© Copyright 2018 Randi Whitney Consulting
Reaching students one teacher at a time!

Texas Seminar


TEXAS Teacher Reading & Writing

In-Services and Student Writing CAMPS

Foundational Teacher In-Services Your teachers can come to our Kemah Conference Center (see “Upcoming Conferences” link) or we can come to your school or district!!! Narrative In-service (At the following grade levels:  PK-2, 3-8, 9-12) Within the Narrative seminar, teachers participate in brain based, tactile-kinesthetic activities that teach students organization, progression, and development of ideas, including voice. Teachers will dive into strategies that are grade level appropriate regarding transitions, voice, introductions, and conclusions. Expository Endeavors (Foundations) (At the following grade levels:  PK-2, 3-8, 9-12) The Expository Endeavors day will set a firm expository foundation through brain-based, tactile-kinesthetic strategies. Teachers will be introduced to types of expository writing, prompts, introductions, and prewriting through a series of fun games and activities. In addition, teachers will dive into expository development, transitions, and conclusions. Teachers will participate in and be able to take back to their students brain-based games that make Expository writing engaging.  Excellent Expositories (Going Deeper) (At the following grade levels:  3-8) Excellent Expositories will take ordinary and make it extraordinary! Teachers will dive further into structures of expository writing, topic/charge prompt analysis, thesis statements, revision, progression, effective transitions, and altruisms with historical flair. Higher level concepts that are ONLY addressed in Excellent Expositories include inferencing, paraphrasing, summarization, common pitfalls, student samples for analysis, Prompt 2 Product workshop booklet, and Train of Thought social studies manipulatives. ** Expository Endeavors is a prerequisite BEFORE Excellent Expositories! ** Persuasive In-service (At the following grade levels:  6-8, 9-12) The Persuasive curriculum will expose students to the logos, pathos, and ethos rationales. Individual and group activities will allow students to polish their persuasive skills and make convincing arguments in creative ways. Participating in the development and writing of a complete persuasive/argumentative paper, including introductions and conclusions, teachers will receive an organizer and a manipulative that will effectively lead their students through a position essay. Focus will also be placed on the role  of the counterarguments and addressing them in this type of paper. Editing In-service (At the following grade levels:  PK-2, 3-8, 9-12) Tackle the objective, Editing section of STAAR head-on!  You will never teach grammar the same after experiencing hands- on, brain based games and activities for parts of speech and grammar rules. These learning games are followed by how to apply these rules to the STAAR test and samples of how they will look on the test.  This seminar goes on to address:  Apostrophes, Contractions, Homophones, Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Prepositions, Adverbs, Punctuation, Capitalization, and Commas, Commas, Commas! Sentence construction will forever be changed! Revising In-service (At the following grade levels:  PK-2, 3-8, 9-12) In true Writing Academy, creative, tactile-kinesthetic fashion, Revising is taught by being a R.O.C.K. STAAR!  First, R.E.A.D. will help discern the type of question: Rearrange, Exchange, Add, or Delete. Then, teachers will learn to teach students to recognize correct/incorrect answers through repeats, offs, connections, and knowledge needed in STAAR selections.  This seminar addresses fragments and run-ons; and misused and confused words just like the STAAR test. Teachers will walk away with a wealth of knowledge about what is tested on STAAR and tactile-kinesthetic, fun ways for students to learn and remember how to revise sentences, selections, and papers. Tap and Think Reading   (At the following grade levels:  PK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12) (For 9-12 this includes Short Answer Response) Tap & Think Reading features a new method for comprehension and recalling reading selections.   Teachers will experience, and be able to share with their students,  a tactile-kinesthetic method for playing a movie in their minds as they read.  Teachers will see how learning games and learning activities will help their students to decipher reading passages and analyze what has been read.  Learn how to T.R.A.C.K. and T.E.L.L.  Walk away with concrete ideas how to teach the implicit and explicit relationships between:  cause/effect, fact/opinion, compare/contrast, first/third person, fiction/nonfiction, and similes/metaphors.  See how to teach children how to use higher level thinking strategies to develop suggestions, themes, connections, and ideas.  Become even more aware than you already are of the question-based terminology.  Experience example STAAR Test-type selections, and see how much easier it will be for your students to answer the multiple choice questions after using our methodology.   Follow-Up In-Services Narrative and Expository 15 Points of Distinction In-service, Follow Up ( 1-2, 3-5, 6-8) (Participants must have had our STAAR Narrative and Expository In-service) We all recognize that there is a difference between good and great writing.  The question is, “What makes a composition great?”  After studying hundreds of papers, Randi Whitney discovered that there are 15 attributes that occur in great personal narrative and expository papers that do NOT appear in good papers.  This six hour in-service takes the participants through activities for each of these Narrative & Expository 15 Points of Distinction.  The activities are oral, visual, and tactile-kinesthetic and are based on the student’s age, grade, and readiness. Narrative and Expository Pitfalls to Avoid, Follow-Up (3-5, 6-8) (Participants must have had our STAAR Narrative and Expository In-service) Come learn about the pitfalls that previous students fell into on the STAAR test.  Learn instructional strategies, learning activities, and learning games that will teach your students how to avoid these pitfalls.  Half of the    in-service will be over the STAAR Narrative Pitfalls and half of the day will cover the STAAR Expository Pitfalls.  This valuable information needs to be passed on to your students! Writing Across the Curriculum (PK-2, 3-5, 6-8) Teachers of Science, Social Studies, Math, and Specialties will see how they can encourage writing within their subject areas.   They will learn instructional strategies, learning activities, and learning games that will use the same vocabulary that the writing teachers use.  Not only will your school be vertically aligned, K – 12 using The Writing Academy in all classrooms, it will be horizontally aligned across the curriculum.  The biggest plus: students will learn and write better in classes “across the curriculum” and in all walks of life! Writing Across the Curriculum (8-12) English teachers, get your colleagues on board!  The STAAR’s focus on expository and persuasive writing means that now every teacher on campus can help our students become successful on STAAR, in high school, in college, in the work place, and throughout life.  The social studies teachers can help develop students as writers of informative, classificatory, compare/contrast, and cause and effect essays.  Science teachers can assign procedural or explanatory reports tied to experiments done in class. Math is perfect for procedural and explanatory papers.  Teachers of electives can go in any or every direction.  The Writing Academy has developed games and strategies that have been adapted for the various subject areas.  Students need to realize that expository and persuasive writing is a life-skill.  Writing across the curriculum disciplines reinforces the fact that effective writing benefits every area of their life.  All teachers leave at the end of the day with activities that can be used in their subject area! Each of our in-services cost $1950 which includes travel if your school is within 50 miles of Kemah.* The only other cost to the school/district is that we UPS an original presentation packet for your staff to duplicate for your participants. *If over 50 miles from Kemah, Tx, everything above applies, plus travel. Four Day Summer Institutes at our Teach BIG! Kemah Conference Center (PK-2, 3-8, 6-8 and 9-12 Sessions) $595 for all four days, and all materials    This is an in-service experience like no other!  Teachers enjoy a tearoom-type setting, complete with a little pampering:  chocolate covered strawberries and other cute snacks, blankets if cold, small fans if hot, a light breakfast, and a vast assortment of flavors of soaps and lotions.  Now, within that setting add the best, most effective in-service experience of your life, including make-and-takes so that you are ready for the year, and you have a Kemah Conference Center Four Day Summer Institute!  The summer institutes will feature the STAAR Narrative and STAAR Expository materials as well as the STAAR Narrative Pitfalls and STAAR Expository Pitfalls to avoid.  Teachers will enjoy a couple of hours of interactive in- service presented by high-energy presenters; and, will then be given all of the materials to make class sets, groups sets, and demonstration models needed to implement The Writing Academy in their classrooms.  Teachers will walk away with a bucket overflowing with materials to use with their students.  They will also leave with a mind full of new, energizing strategies! In addition to our Four Day Summer Institutes as described above, The Decisions Four Day Summer Institute will also be offered.  These interactive four days will cover grammar, editing and revising,  sentence structure, commas, spelling, sequencing, best choice, verb tense, and so much more all in a tactile-kinesthetic format that will make these tools meaningful and effective for your students.  Walk away with manipulatives, activities, and a wealth of ideas for teaching these concepts!  Watch your students become better writers for life and do better on the multiple-choice portion of the STAAR test! New this year:  The 3-8 Tap and Think Reading Four Day Summer Institute featuring foldables and manipulatives as well as learning games and learning activities to show your students how to decipher reading passages and analyze what has been read.  Learn how to T.R.A.C.K. and T.E.L.L.  Walk away with concrete ideas how to teach the implicit and explicit relationships between:  cause/effect, fact/opinion, compare/contrast, first/third person, fiction/nonfiction, and similes/metaphors.  See how to teach children how to use higher level thinking strategies to develop suggestions, themes, connections, and ideas.  Become even more aware than you already are of the question-based terminology.  Walk away with everything made and ready to use Tap and Think Reading in your classroom! For more information, or to schedule an inservice, feel free to email rylie@twa.net or kelley@twa.net. If you prefer, you can call 281-549-4466 and ask for Rylie or Kelley.  Rylie and Kelley schedule all of our in-services at schools and districts, as well as our Student Writing CAMPs and Reading CAMPs. For a schedule of our Kemah Conferences and prices, please click on “Upcoming Conferences” tab above.
Student Writing CAMPS We UPDATE our Writing Academy STUDENT CAMPS every year!!!! Do you want to prepare your students for the STAAR test and create life-time readers and writers? There is no better way to model reading and writing concepts than with The Writing Academy’s hands-on, interactive student CAMPs! Student Camps include two identical, 2-hour and 15 min. sessions. Each session services up to 75 students. We bring everything your students will need. Camps include tactile, interactive games, activities, and pep rallies that will get students excited about learning! Students will create materials to play games during the camp and take them back to the classroom to continue the learning process. The entire camp will be so engaging that students will wish it didn't have to end! Student camps are also a great opportunity for your teachers to experience concepts they have seen within The Writing Academy curriculum modeled with their students. We completely fill up every season so please call and set up your CAMPs now! Third Grade Narrative Student Writing CAMP Third graders will experience pep rallies, learning games and activities to help them write an effective narrative! Each student and teacher will receive manipulatives, game boards, and examples they can take back to the classroom. This CAMP is fun and uses tactile-kinesthetic activities that teach organization, progression, development of ideas, and voice.  Students will see how to write an effective introduction, use good transitions (not then, then, then), bring life to their paper with voice, and end with a memorable conclusion. Just-In-Time STAAR EXPOSITORY Student Writing CAMP (Tailored to each of the following grade levels:  4, 7, 9) The Just-In-Time CAMP is designed to teach your students strategies for writing expository essays that will result in higher scores on the STAAR test. As a result, they will walk away as better, life-long writers! Games and activities will zero in on brainstorming, narrowing down brainstormed ideas, effective development, interesting and clear introductions, and by popular demand, a large section on high-scoring conclusions. Persuasive STAAR Student Writing CAMP (Tailored to each of the following grade levels:  10 th ) In the Persuasive CAMP, through hands-on games and activities, your students will dive into introductions, how to develop a lead and a position statement, the understanding of ethos, pathos, and logos, creating an argument that persuades your audience, developing arguments, conclusions, creating a well- organized composition, and real student examples. Editing STAAR Student Writing CAMP (Tailored to each of the following grade levels: 4 th , 7 th , 9 th , 10 th ) As your students explore the world of editing, they will leave with a better understanding of grammar rules, review spelling, nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, and commas, experience editing in a BIG, hands-on way, and walk away with real-life test strategies. Revising STAAR Student Writing CAMP (Tailored to each of the following grade levels: 4 th , 7 th , 9 th , 10 th ) In the Revising CAMP, your students will leave with a better understanding of subject/verb agreement, experience comma rules and usage in a whole body manner, dive into conjunctions, learn more about compound sentences, and practice strategies in a STAAR test question format. Short Answer Response STAAR Student Writing CAMP (Tailored to each of the following grade levels: 9 th , 10 th ) Within the Short Answer Response CAMP, your students will have a better understanding of how to analyze what they read, learn to respond to a question within a single and a dual selection, understand that responses must provide an answer, an explanation, and proof, learn how to gather textual evidence, and experience real student examples. Expository Writing Workshop (Grades 4 th  & 7 th ) After completing the Expository Writing Camp, your students can participate in the Expository Writing Workshop! This is a student-centered workshop that takes students through the process of writing an expository essay from introduction to conclusion. Students will use the materials they created in the first student CAMP. Each student will leave with a better understanding of how to compose a composition from prompt to product. ALL NEW READING CAMPS BASED ON STRONG ANALYSIS OF THE RELEASED TEST The Writing Academy and Tap & Think Reading introduce all new READING CAMPS for your students based on a strong analysis of the latest released test! (You can have one or both days!  We recommend one now, September – December, and another one in January – March.) We show students how questions are asked and teach strategies for choosing the best/correct answer.  We would love to come to YOUR SCHOOL!   3rd & 4th Day 1 3rd & 4th Day 2 5th & 6th Day 1 5th & 6th Day 2 7th & 8th Day 1 7th & 8th Day 2   Each CAMP is colorful, interactive, and based on the state tests for both grade levels the particular CAMP spans.  Students and teachers keep the manipulatives, all game boards and handouts so that learning can continue in the classroom.  Not only do teachers receive all CAMP materials, but they walk away with an original Dual Passage set including test questions and a key that explains why the correct answer is correct.   For more information or to schedule, please call:  281-549-4466 or email rylie@twa.net or kelley@twa.net.   Day 1 covers • the author’s purpose and how to spot the questions that are actually based on the author’s purpose making these items easier to understand and answer • textual evidence which is used in answering almost every question and where to find the textual evidence • inferencing which is used in a high percentage of tests question at every grade level • how to approach different types of test questions, eliminate answer choice distractors, and choose the best/correct answer.    Day 2 covers  • textual evidence which is a key to answering almost every test question  • inferencing which is worded differently question to question and needs to be recognized so that students can use the strategies the CAMP teaches to answer inferencing questions • summary, main idea, and theme, as well as how questions that ask for the main idea, summary, or theme uses the other two to be distractors.   • how to decipher what the questions are asking as well as how to eliminate incorrect test choices, and how to choose the best/correct answers when faced with these types of test questions.   EACH CAMP IS NEW, ORGINAL, AND USES ALL DIFFERENT EXAMPLES, LEARNING GAMES, AND READING PASSAGES TO ENTERTAIN AND INVOLVE  STUDENTS WHILE WE DRIVE HOME EFFECTIVE AND USEFUL STRATEGIES! . SCHEDULE YOUR READING CAMP, WRITING CAMP, or EXPOSITORY WORKSHOP TODAY! Spaces fill up quickly, so be sure to schedule a camp for your students as soon as possible. To schedule a camp, please email Rylie at rylie@twa.net, or Kelley at kelley@twa.net. You can also call The Writing Academy at (281)549-4466.