© Copyright 2017 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!!! Writing Foundations In-service (At the following grade levels:  PK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12) The Foundations Day is dedicated to brain-based strategies for writing interesting, engaging compositions. Teachers participate in tactile-kinesthetic activities that teach students organization, progression, and development of ideas, including voice. Teachers are introduced to the vertical alignment of The Writing Academy process during this in-service. Teachers will be provided with strategies that are grade level appropriate and will return to their classrooms with confidence, as well as, a new sense of purpose in their own role in teaching successful writing.  When teaching is fun, interesting, and engaging, it is effective for the students! By the end of this inservice, it will be transparent that the key to getting students to write like authors is teaching them to think like authors regarding transitions, voice, introductions, conclusions, and the various types of development. Persuasive In-service (At the following grade levels:  6-8, 9-12) At the conclusion of this in-service day, teachers will leave with strategies and activities that will help even struggling writers approach persuasive/argumentative writing with confidence. Handouts will expose them to the logos, pathos, and ethos rationales. Individual and group activities will allow students to polish their persuasive skills and make convincing arguments in fun 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. At the end of the day, participants leave with new strategies and activities and a “Can Do” attitude with regard to the STAAR test. Decisions: Editing In-service (At the following grade levels:  PK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12) Tackle the objective section of STAAR head-on!  You will never teach suffixes the same after experiencing Spelling with Suffixes Golf, Super Suffix Activity, and Suffix Fishing. These learning games are followed by not only how to apply this to the STAAR test, but samples of how it will look on the test.  This seminar goes on to address:  Apostrophes, Contractions, Homophones, Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs (helping and linking), Adjectives, Prepositions, Adverbs, Punctuation, Capitalization, and Commas, Commas, Commas! Classrooms will never be the same after this in-service!  Decisions: Revising In-service (At the following grade levels:  PK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12) In true Writing Academy, creative, tactile-kinesthetic fashion, revising is taught by being a R.O.C.K. STAAR!  Teachers will learn to teach students to recognize connections, offs, repeats, and knowledge needed in STAAR selections.  Personal, Relative, and Demonstrative Pronouns are addressed.  The dreaded “I” and “me” are taught through a Relay Race.  Teachers are introduced to new ideas regarding Antecedent Agreement.  Participants experience “Sentence Weather” so that they can use this tactile-kinesthetic, colorful way to bring sentence structure together in the classroom.  Through this interactive demonstration students will have “ah-ha” moments about proper, abstract, concrete, and collective nouns; pronouns; action, helping, and linking verbs, as well as, present, past, and future verb tense; and, positive, comparative, superlative, and demonstrative adjectives.  Students will also understand conjunctions, articles, transitions, and interjections as teachers see how to follow Sentence Weather with Sentence Storming.  This seminar addresses fragments and run-ons; misused and confused words; and touches on literary devices just like the STAAR test. Teachers will see how to have their students become “CSI – Comma Splice Investigators” and become experts in comma usage. Teachers will walk away with a wealth of knowledge about what is tested on the STAAR, and tactile-kinesthetic, fun ways for students to learn and remember how to revise sentences, selections, and papers. Expository Endeavors (Foundations) (At the following grade levels:  PK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 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. They will learn to bring everything together with the use of our I-Write kinesthetic foldable. Teachers will walk away confident that they know how to teach each style of expository writing. They will also walk away with examples, activity sheets, and manipulatives that will make Expository writing come to life in the classroom! Teachers will receive prompts for each style of Expository writing and example papers to share with their students. Teachers will walk away with the knowledge of what is expected at the particular grade level they teach. Students will be better prepared for the STAAR test and life-long writing.  Excellent Expositories (Going Deeper) (At the following grade levels:  3-5, 6-8) Excellent Expositories will take ordinary and make it extraordinary! Teachers will walk away with a wealth of knowledge about what is expected on the STAAR assessment and what makes an excellent lifelong writer. Teachers will dive further into structures of expository writing, topic/charge prompt analysis, thesis statements, revision, progression, effective transitions, and altruisms with historical flair. Teachers will walk away with examples of student’s papers at each level of writing. They will dive into the world of expository through tactile-kinesthetic games. They will bring it all together with the envelope application foldable. 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! ** 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 pertaining to us coming to you, feel free to email cheryl@twa.net or rylie@twa.net. If you prefer, you can call Cheryl at 281-470-1111 or Rylie at 281-549-4466.  Rylie and Cheryl schedule all of our in-services at schools and districts, as well as our Student Writing CAMPs and Reading CAMPs held at schools. For more information on the Four Day Institutes, or seminars at our Kemah Conference Center, please call our main office:  281-549-4466.  For a schedule of our Kemah Conferences and prices, please go to twa.net and click on “Conferences.”
Student Writing CAMPS Teachers can receive CPE inservice hours while their students benefit from participating in STAAR Writing & Reading 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! Students will create materials, play educational games, participate in activities, and enjoy whole- group pep rallies that will get them excited about learning. We bring everything your students need. The entire camp will be so engaging, students will wish it didn’t have to end! Participants will walk away with materials and their own manipulatives to utilize in the classroom. 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! 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:  10th) 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: 4th, 7th) 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: 4th, 7th) 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: 9th, 10th) 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. Just-In-Time Tap & Think Reading, Day 1 & 2 STAAR Student Reading CAMP (Available for the following grade levels: 3-5, 6-8) While the Fall Tap and Think Reading takes students through the effective process of scrolling, the Just-in-Time Tap and Think Reading teaches students how to apply scrolling in a testing situation. Through games and activities, it addresses comprehension as well as all of the important nuances of reading that are on the STAAR test. Students will analyze reading passages and test type questions using the strategies that they learned during the CAMP. Teachers will walk away with follow up material to utilize in the classroom. Expository Writing Workshop (Grades 4th & 7th) 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. . 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.