Susan Zimmermann speaks on the following topics:
(Susan will tailor her presentations to address the needs of the audience. She is available to discuss options.)
Keynote: “The Joy of Reading” (1-2 hour keynote)
In our complex, global world, all of our children must be literate to function and thrive. If we want truly literate students, reading must be a joyful adventure, not a chore. Teachers can make the difference by believing in all children’s abilities to learn, slowing down to give time to practice reading, and sharing the magic of the written word.
“The Think-Aloud, The Bread and Butter of a Reader’s Workshop” (break-out session)
How do we make sure children understand that reading isn’t simply an exercise in decoding, but is all about making meaning? The think-aloud is key. With it we model the thought processes that great readers use when they read. In this breakout we’ll warm up by using the comprehension strategies in an adult piece, then practice think alouds in picture books.
“Written Responses, Write from the Beginning” (break-out session)
Writing pushes thinking deeper and plays an important role in developing more avid, thoughtful readers. Writing reinforces reading. Reading reinforces writing. This break out looks at a variety of written responses including quick writes, double entry diaries and poetry and stresses the need to make authentic writing part of our students’ daily routine.
“The Thinking Strategies Meet the Common Core State Standards” (Day-long workshop)
In our complex, global world, all of our children must be literate to function and thrive. The role of the teacher is key in creating a vital learning environment where children develop a love of reading and life-long learning. How do we continue to stress that reading is all about thinking and making meaning? How do we make sure that the goal of creating avid readers is not lost in the pressures of adhering to test pressure and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)? How can the thinking strategies support the CCSS? If we want truly literate students, reading must be a joyful adventure, not a chore.
This interactive session provides an overview of the thinking strategies, weaves in ways the thinking strategies coincide with the CCSS, and focuses on classroom application of the strategies, specifically the think-aloud and written responses. It looks at the reading/writing connection and stresses that reading is all about making meaning. The goal is to have each participant leave with practical ideas to take back to the classroom, as well as a deeper appreciation of the need to create a climate of inquiry in the classroom.
“How to Help Your Child Love to Read?” (for parents)
This workshop gives parents a close-up view of how the 7 Keys to Comprehension can enhance their children's love of reading and gives specific advice about what they can do at home to encourage their children to become avid readers. Frequently parents view reading as decoding only.
This presentation helps parents understand that reading is all about making meaning. It explores the visible and invisible sides of reading, and shows that decoding is one piece of the reading puzzle, but stresses that all of the puzzle pieces must be in place for their child to be a good reader.
Two-Day Institute: “Mosaics of Thought: Teaching with the 7 Keys to Comprehension”
This interactive two-day institute takes participants on a journey into their own reading. It is based on the premise that for adults to understand and teach the comprehension strategies outlined in Mosaic of Thought and 7 Keys to Comprehension, they must first consciously apply them in their own reading. It explores the visible and invisible sides of reading, provides an overview of the comprehension strategies and opportunities to apply the strategies in adult pieces, and explores the key components of an effective readers’ workshop, including modeling, “think-alouds”, written responses to reading, and creating a vibrant classroom environment.
This institute provides time to practice think-alouds and written responses as well as view DVDs of classrooms in action. It gives teachers practical tools to teach reading comprehension explicitly and addresses the concern about students who can read the words, but don’t really understand.