Request a workshop

Click here if you would like to request any of the below workshops.


Developing an effective writing programme

In this practical workshop, Sheena and Louise will review the components of a balanced and engaging writing programme at emergent, early and fluent levels. They will introduce a suggested lesson sequence, which aims to motivate and scaffold writers, allowing time for self and partner reflection. Teachers will be introduced to a range of mini-lesson ideas and generic ‘Quick Write’ activities that can be used for different writing purposes across a range of levels.


Here's what teachers said:

“Lots of practical ideas – classroom tested. Sheena and Louise are so easy to listen to and I liked the link back to how they had actually used the strategies in the class and showed examples of children's work.”

“I found it relevant, practical and useful. I went straight back to my classroom and could implement some of my new learning without buying extra resources or changing anything in my classroom. Simply modifying my teaching.  Thank you.”


Accelerating progress in writing using poetry and an integrated literacy approach

Many students’ progress in writing has been impacted by the disruptions of the past three years. To support students to accelerate progress in writing, we need to explicitly teach skills for writing and plan opportunities for them to complete quality pieces of writing that are reviewed and celebrated. Poetry is a useful genre to use, as writing tasks are short, creative, and rich in vocabulary and literary devices. The skills learned in poetry writing can easily be transferred to other writing forms.


Here's what teachers said:

"Extremely practical! Every single part you could pick up tomorrow and use it in the classroom.
Great for all children, not just struggling writers. Focus on quality, not quantity, and showed me how to teach punctuation in context rather than lessons on their own."

"This was hands down the best course I have been to in years. I have been to all your other courses, so knew I wouldn't be disappointed. You have the perfect balance of teaching, listening and participating throughout the sessions. I left feeling excited about writing again. Using The Poetry Book as a guide helps support amazing teaching experiences. Thank you for bringing the motivation back to my teaching." 


Supporting ‘at risk’ writers

In this workshop, Louise will identify the common sticking points for ‘at risk’ writers and explore effective mini-lessons to teach high-impact skills for writing. In addition, time will be spent reviewing the organisation of a writing lesson to ensure it meets the learning needs of ‘at risk’ writers.


Here's what teachers said:

“It was really good and very informative. So many ideas and has built my confidence to teach writing to my children. This is a great course."

"You leave this workshop empowered with tools to help your at risk writers, but also with many ideas on how to differentiate with the fluent writers."

"There were lots of ideas that could be used with struggling writers across a spread of age groups, and they were ideas that I felt I could start using the very next day without too much prep needed."


Supporting students to edit their writing

Sheena and Louise will share practical ideas for establishing editing routines and supporting students to improve their writing. This workshop will reference ideas presented in Chapter 6 of The Writing Book.


Here's what teachers said:

"Very practical ideas that can be implemented in the classroom today to improve student engagement and progress in writing."

"I like all of the practical ideas and examples provided. It makes your PD relevant and meaningful. Your ideas are quick, simple and easy to implement the very next day."

"I loved the workshop. It was so practical and so many fantastic strategies and resources were shared.  I like how you can easily implement the strategies in your classroom.  Additionally, the workshop was presented at a great pace. I have already recommended the Literacy Place to others."


Teaching grammar and punctuation to support writing (NEW workshop)

In this workshop, Louise and Sheena will explore how the sub-elements of writing (grammar and punctuation) can be taught using explicit and engaging mini-lessons. They will then review the writing lesson and identify how these skills can be transferred into writing.

Mini-lesson ideas and writing lessons will be shared from The Poetry Book.


Teaching phonics and spelling to support writing

Phonological awareness, phonics and spelling skills are important for students to master so they can focus on the ideas and content of their writing. These skills also allow students to decode words in reading. In this workshop, Louise will introduce high-impact mini-lessons that can be used to explicitly teach students phonics and spelling skills. She will also revisit the writing lesson and look at how to support students to apply spelling skills in writing and to improve their ability to proofread.


Here's what teachers said:

"This workshop gave real examples and insight into practical ways to incorporate the explicit teaching of phonics and spelling in the classroom. Easy to follow along and valuable demonstrations were given."

"Thank you so much for the amazing opportunity to be a part of this course! I really learnt a lot about how students learn phonics and spelling and different methods for teaching this!"


Spelling workshop

"It was very useful to be shown actual tasks/activities that we could use with our class. I also learnt how easy it is to incorporate spelling within oral language, reading and writing."


Supporting students to become competent and confident spellers 

Lack of competency in spelling can be an obstacle to the success and enjoyment in writing for many students. If spelling is a challenge, it slows down the writing process and interferes with the flow of ideas. It can also result in students making limited vocabulary choices.  

Explicitly teaching students phonics, morphology and spelling conventions demystifies the alphabetical code and equips them with the tools they need to spell.  It also develops word consciousness and builds a love of vocabulary.


Here's what teachers said:

"Shown actual tasks/activities that we could use with our class. Showed how easily it is to incorporate spelling within oral language, reading and writing."

"I think this is a great workshop for early career teachers. It was explicit in the content we need to be teaching, why we need to teach it explicitly, and the best ways of how to teach it."



An effective reading programme – reviewing the approaches

In this workshop, Sheena and Louise will review the modelled, shared, guided and independent reading approaches.


Here's what teachers said:

“This workshop had such practical and useful advice for all primary ages – from Year 0 to Year 8. There is something in here for every teacher; for those just starting out to help them set up their programme through to those very experienced teachers who just want to refine their practices."

“I liked the clear, concise and practical information and activities that could be used across all age groups to develop reading skills in the classroom. Sheena and Louise are so knowledgeable about all aspects of literacy and they are inspirational and authentic presenters. Thank you for a wonderful workshop!”


A closer look at guided reading

In this workshop, Sheena and Louise will explore the guided reading approach and share practical ideas to support the planning, teaching and management of guided reading at all levels.


Here's what teachers said:

"Thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. It was practical, easy to follow with systems you could easily implement in a classroom. The response from just a few things I have used by the kids has been very positive."

"I really enjoyed the workshop. It was interesting, practical and engaging. I learned a lot, and was inspired to make changes in my Reading Programme at school."


Engaging fluent readers using book clubs 

Book clubs (literature circles) are a student-centred activity that involves small groups of students reading the same novel. This provides the opportunity for students to read, reflect, discuss and respond to books in an authentic and natural way. Book clubs allow students to work both individually and collaboratively to gain meaning of the text.  In this workshop, Sheena will share practical ideas for setting up book clubs. Participants will experience being part of a book club. 


Here's what teachers said:

"The content was well explained, purposeful and practical."

"Thank you so much. It’s great to see professional learning for reading with older students. I got so many ideas from this course, it was amazing!"


Reading for meaning – teaching reading comprehension strategies

Many students can decode automatically and accurately, but have little or no understanding of what they read. How can we support students to help themselves when meaning breaks down? This workshop takes current reading research and translates it into classroom practice.


Here's what teachers said:

"It highlighted what is needed to be focused on for reading and some really cool ideas to make lessons more interactive and fun for the children. Especially useful for me who is new to the NZ curriculum and teaching!"

"I found this course to be really informative on which strategies to teach, which order to teach them in and useful activities to engage students."


Reciprocal reading

In this workshop, Sheena and Louise will share practical ideas for setting up Reciprocal reading groups for proficient readers.

Reciprocal reading is a well-researched and highly effective small-group instructional activity that was designed to support students who can decode, but have difficulty comprehending what they read. The main purpose of Reciprocal reading is improving comprehension. 


Here's what teachers said:

"Short, sharp, practical. I feel ready to take this to my classroom straight away."

"It connected closely to our current work in my school. Provides a scaffold to support students to work independently."


Embedding oral language across the curriculum

This workshop supports teachers to include more quality ‘learning talk’ in classrooms and to embed purposeful oral language opportunities across the curriculum. It presents research-based ideas, activities and support material to translate theory into classroom practice.


Here's what teachers said:

“Very useful content and fantastic 'take away' ideas for use in the classroom."

“Realistic approach. Lots of ideas that are easy to implement and very effective."

"Practical ideas to set up and manage oral language in the classroom to ensure all are active. Many supports/scaffolds provided to supplement instruction as well."


Supporting vocabulary learning (Junior/Senior)

A student’s vocabulary knowledge affects their ability to communicate effectively in both written and spoken contexts and plays a crucial role in academic success across all areas of the curriculum. This workshop will briefly outline research that impacts vocabulary learning in the classroom, review the components of a comprehensive vocabulary programme, and share practical ideas for teaching individual words.


Here's what teachers said:

"I loved all the practical ideas and links to your books. It was engaging, fast paced and filled with valuable information and classroom ideas. Thank you."

"Loved the practical nature of your workshops and the understanding you have of the demands of the classroom."

"I liked that it included little reflections breaks and contained ideas that could be used for all age groups, rather than having to listen to ideas that are pitched at one level only."





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