Reading is Thinking
Comprehension, Collaboration and Inquiry
By Stephanie Harvey and Debbie Miller

16th - 17th March 2018, Dubai
Kids' thinking matters! When our students begin to understand that their thinking matters, learning changes. They develop a passion for literacy. The refrain of What time is recess? When's lunch? becomes an anthem of "Can we please go read now?" As educators, we take kids' thoughts, ideas, questions, opinions and learning seriously. In all the work we do, comprehension is at the core. It is the foundation of understanding.

We teach comprehension strategies so learners can acquire and actively use knowledge. When we model thinking and curiosity across the curriculum and teach kids to collaborate, kids can work in small inquiry groups or individually to research their questions and curiosities.

Inquiry-based learning is about empowering students to find out: to investigate authentic questions they have posed for themselves or that have been inspired by the curriculum. Inquiry-based learning is not always about a project at the end. There may be one, but the emphasis is on the journey, not merely the final destination. Inquiry is, above all, about living in a way that kids' questions matter.

In this two-day workshop, we advocate instruction that engages kids and guides them as they read, write and think their way through the day and across the curriculum. We teach the reader not merely the reading, the researcher not merely the research, by sharing and modeling strategies that support students to merge their thinking with the information, ask questions, construct meaning, acquire knowledge and actively use it.

Our staff development efforts support teachers to plan engaging instruction that places an emphasis on teaching for understanding. Based on the comprehension research of David Pearson and his colleagues, our focus is on teaching comprehension strategies that lead students to become thoughtful, active, independent readers, writers and inquirers. We advocate active literacy classrooms where students do not spend the day filling in bubbles and blanks, but rather read, write, talk, listen and investigate their way into thinking, learning and understanding. Inquiry-based learning is central to understanding and acquiring knowledge in classrooms. Collaborative inquiry features multiple perspectives from which all kids can benefit.

Principles that guide our work include:
  • Teach for understanding, engagement and empowerment.
  • Foster passion and curiosity in an inquiry-based environment.
  • Make thinking visible.
  • Create an environment that values collaborative inquiry.
  • Support kids to read extensively in text they can and want to read.
  • Instilling the spark of agency within children and ourselves.
  • Provide explicit instruction with the Gradual Release of Responsibility framework.
  • Create a common language for literacy.
  • Differentiate instruction and text.
  • Create deep, curious thinkers and lifelong learners who take action.
Objectives: Participants will
  • Have a better understanding of how to explicitly teach comprehension strategies.
  • Discover new ways to engage kids and support them to expand their thinking and acquire knowledge.
  • Learn more about delivering instruction in a reading workshop model.
  • Gain a more complete understanding of inquiry-based teaching and learning.
  • Plan for short term and long term learning targets.
  • Interact with each other throughout the two days.
  • Have fun!
Friday, March 16, 2018
Morning with Steph
  • 9:00 - 10:00 am Conditions that Foster Curiosity
  • 10:00 - 10:30 am Inquiry-Based Learning
  • 10:30 - 10:45 am Break
  • 10:45 - 11:45 am Reading Nonfiction: Comprehension Strategies for Understanding, Engagement and Building Knowledge
  • 11:45 am - 12:30 pm Read Write and Talk: Nonfiction Comprehension from the Inside Out
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
Afternoon with Debbie
  • 1:30 - 2:45 pm New Visions for Readers’ Workshop
  • 2:45 - 3:00 pm Short Break
  • 3:00 - 4:00 pm Focus on Fiction: Getting to Know Ourselves as Readers (and Teachers)
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Morning with Debbie
  • 9:00 - 10:00 am Instilling the Spark of Agency Within Children and Ourselves
  • 10:00 - 10:30 am The Power of Read Aloud Across the Grades
  • 10:30 - 10:45 am Break
  • 10:45 - 11:30 am The Art of Conferring
  • 11:30 am - 12:00 pm Reading Jigsaw—The Five T’s
  • 12:00 - 12:30 pm Connections so Far: YOU, Steph, Debbie
  • 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch
Afternoon with Steph
  • 1:30 - 2:30 pm Content Literacy: Reading, Writing and Thinking Across the Curriculum
  • 2:30 - 3:15 pm Collaborative Inquiry—View Inquiry Circle Videos
  • 3:15 - 4:00 pm Steph and Debbie
  • Conversation and Back Home Plan
  • What Am I going to stop doing
  • What am I going to start doing
  • What am I going to do less of
  • What am I going to do more of
  • Read aloud
Trainer’s Profile
Stephanie Harvey has spent the past forty-five years teaching and learning about reading and writing. After sixteen years of regular elementary and special education teaching, Stephanie became a staff developer for the Denver-based Public Education and Business Coalition (PEBC), a partnership of leaders from education and business who support innovation in public schools. Insatiably curious about student thinking, she is a teacher first and foremost and continues to work in schools on a regular basis, savoring any time spent with kids.

Stephanie also serves as a private consultant to schools and districts around the world. A regular presenter and keynote speaker at conferences, she speaks on comprehension, active literacy, nonfiction reading, writing and research, content literacy, inquiry-based learning, collaboration, reading and writing workshop, technology integration and the role of passion, wonder and engagement in teaching and learning.

Her books include Nonfiction Matters, Strategies That Work and Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action, From Striving to Thriving, and The Comprehension Toolkit series ( Additionally, she has released a number of videos on comprehension, active literacy, inquiry-based learning and enhancing literacy with technology.

Stephanie lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and has two grown children and one precious granddaughter.
Debbie Miller is an experienced teacher, author, and literacy consultant who now works in schools around the world. She is known for her work in the field of comprehension instruction, particularly in its application for children in the primary grades.

Debbie began her professional career in the Denver Public Schools, where she taught and learned from children for thirty years. While in the classroom, Debbie worked with the Denver-based Public Education and Business Coalition, a non-profit organization committed to high-quality, ongoing professional development. It was through her work with PEBC that she learned about the proficient reader research and discovered its amazing impact on teaching and learning.

Though Debbie no longer has her own classroom, she continues to be involved in ongoing professional development in classrooms in the U.S. Much of her current work is working alongside teachers and children, demonstrating lessons, conferring with children and teachers, and refining her practice.

In addition to her comprehension work, Debbie is fascinated with the work of Peter Johnston and his work on the role of agency in students learning and understanding. Debbie is the author of Reading with Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades, 2nd Beliefs and Aligning Practices, and co-authored No More Independent Reading Without Support (2013) and Comprehension Going Forward (2011).

She lives in Littleton, CO with her husband Don, where they always have time to read and play with their four adorable grandchildren!
  USD 790 closing date till 10th March
  Holiday Inn Dubai - Al Barsha
Sheik Zayed Road, Dubai,
United Arab Emirates

T: +97143234333, 00971474040777
  Timings 9.00 am to 4.00 pm
Registration at 8.30 am on the 16th March 2018.
  Shonal Agarwal

    register now
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