Learning Opportunity

Supporting Our Striving Readers in Grades 4-8: 5 Part Series

This session has been completed.
Registration Closed
Webinar will NOT
be recorded
Facilitators: Michelle Bence Miriam Ramzy Tannis Niziol

This is a multi-day event.

Day 1May 18, 2023 (3:30 pm to 4:30 pm MDT)
Day 2May 29, 2023 (3:30 pm to 4:15 pm MDT)
Day 3Jun 05, 2023 (3:30 pm to 4:15 pm MDT)
Day 4Jun 12, 2023 (3:30 pm to 4:15 pm MDT)
Day 5Jun 19, 2023 (3:30 pm to 4:15 pm MDT)
Location: Virtual
Session Code: 23-LI-617
Focus: Curriculum Implementation and Pedagogy English Language Arts & Literacy

Target Audience

Grade 4-8 Teachers

Also Recommended For

Instructional/Learning Coaches, Inclusive Learning Teachers, District Leaders/Consultants, Educational/Instructional Assistants, Specialists who work directly with students

About this Learning Opportunity

Join Michelle Bence and Miriam Ramzy for a ‘Learning Sprint Series’ targeting striving readers. During each learning sprint, we will dig into a layer of reading development, and share the research behind the layer. We will also build in time to share strategies to support your stiving readers. Each session will end with 10 minutes for questions.

 Thursday, May 18: Professional Learning Session

In this first session, we will provide an overview of how reading develops, and how we become skilled readers. We will preview the Layers of Reading Development graphic, and share the keys to reading success.  

 Monday, May 29:  Sprint 1: Phonological Awareness  

 In our first sprint, we will focus on Phonological Awareness: the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds. We will share the 2 developmental progressions that come into play when reading, and provide strategies to target this area for older, striving readers. 

 Monday, June 5:  Sprint 2: Phonics & Word Study  

 Next, we will dig into Phonics! Let’s look at the complexities of English, and how, through a pattern-seeking approach, we can support children in working with letter representations and sounds for reading and writing success. 

Monday, June 12:  Sprint 3: Morphemes & Vocabulary 

For sprint #3, we will look at the role of vocabulary development as a tool for success throughout school. A focus on morphemes, the smallest meaning units in the English language, and academic Tier 2 language, will guide our time together. 

 Monday, June 19:  Sprint 4: Fluent Comprehension

 Finally, we will dig into fluent comprehension and ways in which we can support students to deeply understand text, including text across the disciplines. 




This session addresses the LQS competencies

  • 2. Modeling Commitment to Professional Learning
  • 4. Leading a Learning Community

This session addresses the TQS competencies

  • 2. Engaging in Career-Long Learning
  • 3. Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge


Michelle Bence

Michelle Bence's passion is early literacy. She is an enthusiastic educator with over 18 years of teaching experience. Over the past few years, Michelle has worked extensively with several school boards in Alberta, investigating professional teacher learning and evidence-based early literacy practice. Currently, Michelle is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Calgary, examining the... Read more »

Miriam Ramzy

Miriam Ramzy is the Director of Student Learning, Jr K - 6, with the Foothills School Division. The focus of her education, teaching practice, and professional development endeavours has been on early learning and literacy. Miriam has her PhD from the Werklund School of Education; her doctoral work looked at early literacy learning in a grade one setting, with an emphasis on writing... Read more »

Tannis Niziol

Tannis is currently supporting Alberta teachers as a Professional Learning Facilitator with the Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium. She recently served as a curriculum consultant for the Edmonton Catholic School Division. Throughout her 30-year career as an educator, in both Edmonton and Winnipeg, Tannis remains passionate about teaching and learning, and the need for explicit literacy... Read more »