Learning Opportunity

Summer Literacy Institute Grade 3 - Grade 6

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Registration Closed
Webinar will NOT be recorded
Facilitators: Farrah Feygis Peter Bowers Darren Victory Carla Thio Miranda Krogstad

This is a multi-day event.

Day 1Aug 23, 2023 (8:15 am to 3:30 pm MDT)
Day 2Aug 24, 2023 (8:15 am to 3:30 pm MDT)
Day 3Aug 25, 2023 (8:15 am to 3:30 pm MDT)
Location: Sherwood Park (Heritage Hills Elementary School)
280 Heritage Drive
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Session Code: 24-LI-085
Focus: English Language Arts, Literacy and Literature

Target Audience

Grade 3-6 teachers

About this Learning Opportunity

Farrah Feygis with Teacher’s College Reading Writing Project

This workshop will focus on teaching writing using a workshop approach. You will learn the philosophy behind writing workshop and how that philosophy impacts the structures and routines of a workshop classroom. You will think through the writing process and the different ways the writing process supports students with qualities of good writing. The workshop will focus on informational writing and how that grows across grade levels. You will explore formal and informal ways to assess student writing and use your learning to plan for future instruction. Across the workshop, Farrah will share the project’s newest thinking about writing in small groups as well as engaging ways to bring grammar instruction to life.

Working With the Tools of Structured Word Inquiry: PART 1 with Peter Bowers

Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) (Bowers & Kirby, 2010) is instruction which targets morphology to help students recognize spelling-meaning connections across related words and to make sense of spelling-pronunciation correspondences that otherwise seem “irregular” and cause literacy challenges, especially for struggling students. This practical full-day session will help teachers learn how to collect and analyze words related by structure and meaning with SWI tools like the matrix and word sum. For example, studying the morphological family of the base < sign > can bring us to
related words including: signal, signature, design, designate, assignment etc. Here we see the common spelling < sign > despite varied pronunciations of that base in these related words. We will also learn how to draw on etymological references to understand the meaning connections of words like these that all go back to a sense of “mark, token.” Bowers will walk participants through lessons from classrooms and model how we can use this instruction to target key concepts and terms in any subject area.

Working With the Tools of Structured Word Inquiry: PART 2 with Peter Bowers

This session builds on Part 1, but participants can attend this session without Part 1. In this course, Bowers models teaching lessons from his teacher resource book “Teaching How the Written Word Works” that is included for those attending Part 1 or 2. These are the lessons from the vocabulary intervention (Bowers & Kirby, 2010) that introduced the term “structured word inquiry” and showed generative vocabulary learning for the SWI condition. Students didn’t only improve for vocabulary of words addressed by the intervention, but also for words that were not explicitly taught, but
which were related to bases that were taught. Participants will take the role of students working through the first series of lessons that introduce the matrix, word sums, the relationship between spelling-meaning-pronunciation and suffixing conventions. Bowers will also model how to draw on these lessons to teach concepts and terms in any subject area. People who join this session will gain more if they also take the first session, but those who only take this session will gain a lot as well.

Darren Victory with Jennifer Serravello

Drawing from The Writing Strategies Book and Teaching Writing in Small Groups, this summer learning experience will help you use strategies effectively in your instruction—no matter what approach to literacy you use, or the grade level, developmental levels, or ages of the students you teach. Research has proven that strategy instruction is effective when used to teach a whole class or when used to differentiate instruction for individual students. This particular learning experience will emphasize the use of strategy instruction when differentiating learning for your students.

Empowering Writers with Carla Thio

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN: Instructional tools to support deeper text comprehension through understanding the author’s craft and strategies to develop creative narrative writing. Through this session, you will gain confidence in your writing instruction and be inspired by the practical nature of Empowering Writers methodology and resources.

Write On: Hands On Activities to Get Your Students Going with Miranda Krogstad

While many students have the ability to create Pulitzer-worthy pieces, getting pen to paper can be somewhat of a challenge. Especially in youth, where inhibitions and insecurities are at an all-time high, putting ourselves out there creatively can be daunting. Using a series of prompts and games, however, this workshop will take some of the pressure off of the blank page. Giving students an “in” regardless of their abilities and interest, we will try some hands-on activities that will get the ink flowing from even your most reluctant writers!

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
  • #4: Establishing Inclusive Learning Environments

This learning opportunity is being subsidized through funding from Alberta Education.


Farrah Feygis

Farrah Feygis was an upper-grade elementary teacher in Brooklyn before joining TCRWP. During that time, she worked with a diverse population in both general education and ICT settings. Farrah supported and mentored colleagues in implementing the Units of a Study to meet the needs of all learners. Farrah is a graduate of the Literacy Specialist program at... Read more »

Peter Bowers

Pete Bowers, PhD, is a teacher, researcher, author, and founder of WordWorks Literacy Centre. His research on morphological instruction and "Structured Word Inquiry" and his practical work with schools are transforming how researchers, teachers, tutors, and students around the world understand and study English spelling. His workshops and presentations at... Read more »

Darren Victory

During his years as a classroom teacher, Darren Victory worked primarily at bilingual and Title I campuses, collaborating and planning with educators in multilingual classrooms to provide support for ESL students. Darren was also instrumental in developing campus initiatives designed to improve K-5 writing instruction, supporting multiple grade levels... Read more »

Carla Thio

Carla Thio is currently a master teacher at the Renert School. She has been a classroom teacher for 23 years in Calgary, Alberta. Her first experience with Empowering Writers was in her first year of teaching at Rundle College School where she became the go-to person for teaching writing. Her students are proof that Empowering Writers yields success. Students arrive to her class excited to... Read more »

Miranda Krogstad

Spoken word poet meets eternal optimist, Miranda’s poetry ranges in topic from child’s play to empowerment, giving life’s obstacles a feel-good finish. A member of the 2014 slam team, a member of the 2013 International spoken word program at the Banff centre, a Calgary Arts Development grant recipient, and a 2-time Canada Council for the Arts... Read more »