In this two-day, interactive workshop, participants have opportunities to clarify and enhance their understanding of readers' workshop. Based on the principles of time, choice, response and community, readers' workshop offers daily opportunities for in depth teaching and learning, differentiation, flexibility, authenticity, as well as advancing student (and teacher) ownership, agency and independence.

In Debbie's new book, What's the Best That Could Happen? New Possibilities for Teachers and Readers, she challenges herself to ask, "What if we did it this way?" She asks, "How can questions help us look beyond the limitations of what we've done and help us discover powerful new opportunities for teaching reading and readers? Let's come together to think about questions like these, focusing on our practice, as well as our problems of practice, and filling our two days together with reading, writing, talking and learning, all in an effort to get smarter about what we're doing, where we're going, what we believe, and who we are.
In this workshop participants will gain
  • A deeper understanding of readers' workshop, particularly when what children make and do becomes our priority
  • New insights into the power of choice-thinking through what, where, and with whom children read, as well as thinking beyond graphic organizers to more authentic (and powerful) ways for student response
  • Strategies for planning for student agency, ownership and independence
  • Options for co-designing routines and environments that offer student choice and advance agency
  • Ideas for using read-aloud to sustain children's independent thinking
  • Opportunities for reflection, collaboration, and planning
Day 1


Session 1
  • Teacher inquiry: The asking of beautiful questions
  • What if we made what children make and do our priority? (Digging into new possibilities for readers' workshop.)
Session 2
  • Conferring with readers-links to agency, ownership, and independence
  • Daily Planning / Lessons to share

Session 3

  • A workshop just for us!
  • What if read-aloud sustained children's independent thinking?
  • Comprehension strategy instruction and thinking aloud / making thinking visible
Session 4

  • Time: Finding the minutes!
Day 2


Session 1
  • What if each day's teaching focused on advancing children's agency?
Session 2
  • Jigsaw The Five T's
  • Student choice and response

Session 3
  • What if our classroom environment and routines offered choice?
Session 4
  • Responding to Margaret Wheatley
  • Reflections and back-home plan
Beliefs that Define My Work:
  1. Because I believe that learning is a consequence of thinking... every day in my classroom you'll see children reading, writing, and talking more than you'll see me reading, writing, and talking!

  2. Because I believe children need time to practice what I'm working so hard to teach them... every day you'll see them engaged in workshops with a one-third / two-thirds balance of time: one third of the time for me to teach / two-thirds of the time for them to work.

  3. Because I believe in the gradual release of responsibility instructional model and its goals for student independence... very day you'll see me modeling just enough to show children how and why, sending them off to have a go, and catching them back if and when they need it.

  4. Because I believe in instilling the spark of agency within children...every day you'll see children working hard, and me asking questions like, "How did you figure that out?" What did you learn about yourself as a reader today that you will use in the days and weeks to come?

  5. Because I believe every learner needs descriptive feedback to grow and get smarter...every day you'll see me conferring with children individually, looking at the work they create, and often writing back to give children concrete feedback.

  6. Because I believe in assessment for learning...every day you'll hear children and I reflecting and thinking aloud about where we're going, where we are now, and what we will do today to move forward.

  7. Because I believe that surface structures and deep structures are best taught side by side...every day you'll see lessons that focus on word work and lessons that focus on comprehension, and lots of time for children to practice consolidating them in real books.

  8. Because I believe in the connections between student ownership and engagement...every day you'll see children making thoughtful choices about what to read, where to read, and with whom.

  9. Because I believe that every child deserves a year of growth...very day you'll see all children developing a clear understanding of their goals and working hard to meet them.

  10. Because I believe in the power of classroom communities and the emotional engagement they offer…every day you'll see children interacting with each other in collaborative, thoughtful, and respectful ways.
Debbie Miller
Debbie Miller taught and learned from children in the Denver Public Schools for thirty years. She is the author of What's the Best That Could Happen? New Possibilities for Teachers and Readers, (2018) Reading with Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades, 2nd Edition, (2013) Teaching with Intention, (2008), and she co-authored No More Independent Reading Without Support, (2013) and Comprehension Going Forward (2011).

She now works in other teachers' classrooms, and presents workshops across the country and internationally, working extensively with schools and districts on long-range planning and development of literacy initiatives. She speaks on comprehension instruction, readers' workshop, the gradual release of responsibility instructional model and planning for student and teacher ownership, agency, and independence.

Debbie worked for many years with the Denver-based Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC) and has been an adjunct professor at the University of Denver and Regis University. She lives with her husband, Don, in Littleton, Colorado, where they always find time to read and play with their four delightful granddaughters!
English Schools Foundation
25 / F 1063 Kings Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong.

Hotel Accommodation
Harbour Plaza North Point.

8.30 am to 3.30 pm
Registration at 8.00 am
on the 5th May 2019.
USD 750 Closing Date 25th April 2019
INCLUDES: Certificate of Participation for 16 Professional Development hours, Lunch and 2 coffee breaks.
Upcoming Workshops
Teaching and Learning Through Inquiry
- By Kath Murdoch
31st August - 1st September 2019
Learning, Memory, Questioning and Feedback
- By Dylan Wiliam
13th - 14th September 2019
Hong Kong
Creating a Culture of Thinking
- By Dr. Ron Ritchhart
5th - 6th October 2019