Cutting Edge Reading & Writing Techniques for Teachers | Teachers College Columbia University

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Cutting Edge Reading & Writing Techniques for Teachers

July 8, 2015 - July 9, 2015

Sold Out Cutting Edge Reading & Writing Techniques for Teachers
Research Update: Teaching Implications for Struggling Readers in Elementary and Middle School with Links to Common Core State Standards

July 8 - 9, 2015
9:00am – 4:00pm each day
Teachers College, Columbia University

Registration fee for the two day Workshop is $395.00.  This fee includes a continental breakfast each day. Call 212-678-8311 for more information or email your request to

This two-day Workshop, Research Update: Teaching Implications for Struggling Readers in Elementary and Middle School with Links to Common Core State Standards, is designed to meet the needs of in-service teachers who, as life-long learners, are interested in staying abreast of current research findings in the field of literacy instruction.

The goal of the Workshop is to provide participants with knowledge and practice with reading and writing interventions designed for improving the skills of students in elementary and middle school classrooms.

Participants will come away with a broader understanding of how to differentiate instruction effectively for the struggling readers and writers in their classrooms, including those whose primary language is not English.  Additionally, the Workshop will provide participants a diagnostic framework for assessing the efficacy of their interventions and planning future instruction, and allow them the opportunity to relate instructional interventions to the Common Core State Standards.

This Workshop will be divided into four sessions focusing on critical literacy skills:
word recognition, vocabulary, comprehension (including content area comprehension), and the relationship between close reading and writing.

Who Should Attend This Workshop

  • General education classroom teachers
  • Special education teachers
  • Academic intervention specialists
  • Reading and learning specialists
  • Literacy coaches and administrators at the elementary and middle school levels.


Primarily on the findings of current research and their teaching applications for students who have difficulty meeting literacy grade level expectations in elementary and middle school.  This is in contrast to offerings where the target population may be students who do not necessarily demonstrate difficulty with reading and writing.  In addition, the Workshop hopes to better prepare teachers for delivering instruction in five core literacy skills used in elementary and middle school classrooms as opposed to focusing on one particular literacy area or grade level.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the Workshop, participants will:

  • Be knowledgeable about the findings of current research in reading and writing
  • Gain familiarity with a variety of evidence based instructional approaches which help support literacy acquisition and which meet the Common Core State Standards in elementary and middle school, particularly as they can be used with students who are not meeting grade level expectations
  • Understand and apply literacy strategies to promote student performance in the content areas
  • Be able to differentiate instruction more effectively within their classrooms, especially for low achieving students and students whose first language is not English
  • Use informed observation and self reflection to assess the effects of intervention with struggling students and plan next steps for instruction and materials

Participants who complete this Workshop will be able to answer the following questions:

  • What does the most recent research say about reading and writing instruction in elementary and middle school?
  • What are some evidence based interventions for core literacy skills that I can implement in my classroom?
  • How should teachers approach instruction in the content areas?
  • How can I more effectively differentiate instruction for all the students in my classroom?

Each session of the Workshop provides for the formation of small work groups that will have a spokesperson and recorder.  Written results of each group’s classroom application discussion and work will be collected by the instructor.  Further, the instructor will circulate during the break-out sessions and provide verbal feedback to each group.  Finally, participants will be required to submit a written self-reflection at the conclusion of each day that will detail how the day’s activities can inform their own instruction.

The Workshop will be offered for 12 clock hours.

Vidya Bhat, MA began her career as a classroom teacher for the NYC Department of Education and taught 2nd and 5th grade students.  Upon obtaining her MA degree from the Reading Specialist Program at Teachers College, she began working as a reading specialist in the Putnam and Westchester counties public schools and continues in that role.  She is also a current adjunct instructor at CUNY Lehmann and Hunter Colleges, and Teachers College Columbia University.  She is completing a doctoral degree in the Educational Leadership Program at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education.  Her research interests involve the role of data in teachers’ instructional decision making.

Bessie P. Dernikos, MA is an advanced doctoral candidate and an instructor in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies and the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University.  Her specialization is in literacy education and gender studies.  Bessie was a full time language arts teacher in both elementary and secondary settings at a clinical diagnostic school in Miami, Florida.  She has also taught English as a second language to students of all ages in Athens, Greece.  Bessie has experience writing and editing publications for language schools, and has served as an assistant director to a clinical diagnostic school under Nobel Learning Solutions. Most recently, she has been part of a research study examining immigrant children's language and literacy schooling experiences in an after school program for children ages 4-8 at a Manhattan public school.

Susan Garni Masullo, Ph.D. is a full time Lecturer and Director of the Literacy Practicums in the Reading Specialist Program at Teachers College, Columbia University.   Prior to coming to Teachers College, she had an extensive career as a reading/learning specialist working with children, adolescents and adults who struggle with literacy and/or academic tasks.  Her professional interests involve clinical applications of research to literacy assessment and intervention across the lifespan.  In her free time, she enjoys maintaining a small private practice working with adolescents and adults.

Samantha Mosher, MA is the Middle School Learning Specialist at the United Nations International School.  She has worked as a reading/learning specialist, English teacher, and literacy coach/curriculum coordinator for the past nine years.  She is passionate about differentiated instruction, the use of technology for literacy instruction and intervention, and middle level education.  She is also a current adjunct instructor in the Reading Specialist Program at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Pooja Patel, MA is a learning specialist who works as a middle school English and Humanities teacher at the United Nations International School.  She is also an adjunct instructor in the Reading Specialist Program at Teachers College, Columbia University.  Additionally, Pooja is a co-author of a book on formative assessment for middle school teachers.

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