Professional Learning Menu of Options


Assessment for Instruction Foundational Skills Reading
Writing Reading and Writing Planning





Taking and Analyzing Running Records (available face-to-face or asynchronous)

A running record allows teachers to closely observe and record students’ oral reading behavior. Participants will learn how to use standard markings to take running records, and then how to analyze the running record for accuracy and comprehension, to plan instruction.


Assessing Readers for Reading Instruction

To implement good reading instruction, it is important to determine students’ baseline performance. This session will cover using informal reading inventories, various phonemic awareness, and decoding assessments, as well as spelling and writing artifacts to determine students’ performance in all the components of reading. With this knowledge, teachers will be better able to identify skills not mastered, develop appropriate lessons, monitor student performance, and adjust interventions.


Assessing Writers for Writing Instruction

Improve your practice for determining where your students are struggling with writing. Learn how to determine where to begin writing instruction and what lessons to provide during interventions. Participants will use a continuum document, the Region 4 resource Written Composition in Motion, to analyze writing samples for strengths and areas of growth.





Making Sense of the Six Syllable Types (available face-to-face or asynchronous)

Six written syllable-spelling conventions are used in spelling English words. Familiarity with these syllable patterns helps students read longer words accurately and fluently and to solve spelling problems. This online training will help teachers make sense of the six syllable types by giving a detailed description of each syllable type, the steps to implement syllable type instruction, and strategies that can be taught to decode multi-syllable words.


Effective Word Study in the Upper Grades

This training will cover the continuum for teaching word analysis in a systematic and sequential design that supports effective decoding and encoding. Participants will learn practical applications for teaching all aspects of word study using direct explicit instruction and hands-on practice.


Advanced Decoding for Middle School Students

Students who struggle to decode suffer from poor comprehension, and many upper-grade students who can decode simple words struggle to read grade-level text due to a lack of advanced decoding. This session will address the aspects of advanced decoding by delving into syllable division rules, morphology (i.e., affixes, roots), and etymology. 


Word Study Part 1

Let's start at the very beginning of reading acquisition.  This session will review phonological awareness, alphabetic principle, graphemes and phonemes, basic phonics, and the six syllable types.  Participants will review the what, why, and how for each topic, including some make-and-take activities.


Word Study Part 2

After students have mastered the alphabet and can read single-syllable words, what are the next steps to advance student skills with decoding?  This session will address the aspects of advanced decoding by delving into syllable division rules, morphology (i.e. affixes, roots), and etymology. Participants will learn the what, why, and how for each topic, including some make-and-take activities.





Reading Comprehension of Expository Text

Expository text is a critical component of reading instruction but offers many challenges for readers.  This training will share lessons for teaching informational text structure using specific mentor texts, multiple strategies for teaching students to become critical readers of informational text, and how to teach content-specific vocabulary.


Using the Science of Teaching Reading in Guided Reading

Build your student's ability to process increasingly challenging texts with fluency and understanding. This training will cover using data to form small groups and to identify the instructional focus for each group. We will focus on a guided reading framework, identify how to address each component of reading with the framework to meet students' needs, and plan using a guided reading lesson planning template.


Reading in the Content Area

Reading in content areas, such as science, social studies, and mathematics implies that students can read and understand expository texts.  This training will offer strategies for teaching students’ questions to ask before, during, and after reading to help them become critical readers of informational text, lessons to increase students’ knowledge of expository text structure, how to read a textbook, and how to teach content-specific vocabulary.


Are You Really Teaching Comprehension?

Comprehension requires that students can recognize words and decode unknown words quickly, while also having strong language comprehension. This session will identify the barriers to comprehension, the processes needed for full comprehension, and how to teach these processes to develop fluid applications of them while reading.


Science of Teaching Reading for All Educators (available face-to-face or asynchronous)

Reading is a complex activity made up of two interdependent processes. A skilled reader combines word recognition and language comprehension to make meaning of the text. Years of research have identified the theory and practice of teaching reading. Understanding the cognitive processes that are imperative for successful reading acquisition is important for all educators. This course covers the components identified in the research to give educators the background knowledge needed to implement effective reading practices in all grade levels. 


Modules within the course include oral language, developing foundational literacy skills through phonological awareness, making sense of the six syllable types, fluency, and understanding reading comprehension.


Characteristics, Structure, and Craft of Argumentative Text  (available face-to-face or asynchronous)

The third-grade through high school TEKS requires students to recognize and/or analyze the characteristics and structures of argumentative text and to compose argumentative essays. This session will delve into the characteristics and craft of argumentative texts, identify the differences between argumentative and persuasive texts, and provide teachers' instructional ideas to support instruction of this genre in all grade levels.


How to Implement Acceleration in the Reading Classroom

"Read it aloud to them." is not a strategy that accelerates reading, so how do we accelerate instruction in the reading classroom? This session will look at implementing an acceleration model that remediates basic skills that are needed while preparing students to receive the new concepts and learning in their reading classroom.





Writer's Workshop in the Primary Classroom

Learn the fundamentals of the writer’s workshop in the primary classroom. This training will provide a clear road map for implementing writing workshops throughout the school year with ideas for creating a workable workshop structure for young writers.  Detailed units will be shared for poetry, nonfiction, and fiction writing


Writer’s Workshop (Grades 3-5)

Writer's Workshop organizes writing instruction around the way real authors write. It is based on the idea that students learn best when they write frequently, for extended periods of time, and on topics of their own choosing. Learn how to implement Writer's Workshop, how to choose and teach short, focused lessons that guide young authors as they explore the writing craft, formative assessment methods that set the stage for student success, and how to teach grammar so that students learn it.


Traits Based Writing 

Trait Writing Model of Instruction & Assessment is a powerful framework designed to help teachers use a common language to refer to characteristics of writing and to create a common vision of what good writing looks like.

Participants will be introduced to this popular analytic model providing them with teaching strategies to help students identify quality in writing, manage their own writing processes, practice effective revision and editing, and become confident writers.  The day one session will look at developing that common language across all grade levels, then on day two elementary and secondary will break up into different sessions to explore a range of grade-appropriate lessons and resources.





Evidence-Based Writing to Support STAAR in 3rd-8th Grade.
Learn how to support your students to develop effective evidence-based writing to meet the requirements of the new STAAR redesign.
Using the Reciprocity of Reading and Writing to Support Informational Writing

Explicitly teaching to help students understand the reciprocal nature of reading and writing is a powerful tool to accelerate learning. In this session, participants will learn how to systematically teach the text structures used by authors of informational texts to help their young writers compose and organize their own informational pieces. Multiple craft lessons that span the writing process will be shared so that participants leave with a road map to accelerate their own students' writing.


Developing Critical Reading to Support STAAR Success in 3rd through 5th grade

The new items on STAAR require students to answer and respond to text-dependent questions. Learn the four cognitive pathways needed to critically understand a piece of text, and how to organize lessons that support deeper comprehension. See how this instruction supports success on the new STAAR through engaging in authentic daily reading instruction.





Lesson Planning Using the Gradual Release of Responsibility

Identify the six steps of planning any lesson aligned to the rigor of the standard, follows the gradual release of responsibility, and establish assessment criteria.


HOW DO I FIT IT ALL IN? Organizing and Planning Literacy Instruction  (available face-to-face or asynchronous)

Literacy is the core of all subjects, but to teach it effectively time must be allotted for the teaching of the many interwoven components making organizing and planning a challenge. Learn how to organize your literacy block and how to develop a weekly lesson plan that closely aligns with the rigor of the standards and follows the gradual release of responsibility.


Science of Reading aligned Literacy Block - Elementary

What does a literacy block look like when it is aligned with the Science of Reading? Let's look at how the critical components of reading instruction are represented within your literacy block when our literacy schedule is aligned with what the science of reading research says are the most effective instructional practices. We will discuss critical reading components, SoR effective instructional practices, and the importance of data, UDL, and HQIM. You will leave this introductory session with an easy-to-use SoR alignment checklist and a basic understanding of the what, the why, and the how as you reflect on your literacy block components and practice.


High Quality Instructional Practice and Gradual Release of Responsibility          

Review the components of the Gradual Release of Responsibility framework in the literacy classroom. Learn effective instructional strategies for modeling, guided practice, and independent practice in all areas of literacy instruction, including reading, word study, revising and editing, and writing.





Main Office
Region 4 Education Service Center
7145 West Tidwell Road Houston, Texas 77092-2096
713.462.7708 | PHONE
Region 4 is making improvements to the McKinney Conference Center and will invite guests to experience the difference in September of 2024.
Built with Kalibrate CMS .NET Framework