Seminars and Inservice Programs

Professional Development Residency

For genuine growth to occur, teachers (like students of all ages) require time to process and modeling. This is why my favorite form of inservice is the residency.

In a typical residency, I provide initial seminars on Writer’s Workshop and/or Six Trait Writing and, if possible, spend some time modeling Writer’s Workshop in the classroom. (Lessons may be streamed to the whole group.) Additional professional development (after teachers have had the opportunity to work with the methods and theory presented) may include any combination of modeling, lesson development, assessment, or teacher observations. We spend time clarifying, trouble-shooting, and adding techniques to the teaching toolbox. Exciting is the adjective most often used to describe these days as we build on shared successes.

Please note that all residencies are custom designed to fit your school’s schedule and particular professional development needs.

Read what participants are saying about my residencies.

However, having presented the ideal situation, I understand that school inservice budgets have been cut significantly and am more than willing to do one and two-day inservices with the hope that work can be continued with administrative support, PLC groups, or even Skype visits.

List of Available Programs:


Conference Break-out Sessions



Programs for Teachers and Administrators:


No More “I’m Done!” Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary Classroom (1 or 2 days)

No doubt the teaching of writing can be challenging at any grade, but particularly in the primary years when both skills and attention spans seem to be in short supply. Nevertheless, we teachers (with the very best of intentions) often train our students to be dependent rather than independent writers. In this workshop, we’ll examine practice and identify classroom designs, routines, and lessons that help young writers grow into motivated, thoughtful, self-sufficient writers. Principles of writer’s workshop and six trait teaching will be included.

The Successful Writer’s Workshop (1 or 2 days)

Writer’s Workshop is an acclaimed model that supports increased daily writing and allows students to move through the writing process with explicit instruction, immediate feedback, and authentic audience.  In this seminar, participants examine effective routines and teaching practices that help students become skilled, powerful writers.  How to teach the CCSS within a workshop model is covered.

Six-Trait Writing: A Framework for Writing Success (Grades K-8, Full Day)

Focus on the “Six-traits” found in successful student writing. They are: Idea, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Fluency, and Conventions. Using this instructional framework first developed by the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory, and represented in most state tests, attendees will learn about and be able to:

  • Focus on one trait at a time for improved writing performance
  • Use assessment tools that result in greater student understanding and revision
  • Explore a variety of literature-based mini-lessons to teach and reinforce the traits
  • Share a clear and common language with students and colleagues.

Developing Mini-lessons Based on Student Data (and CCSS) (Full Day)

In this advanced seminar (practice in Writer’s Workshop required), participants examine student writing and then develop and share a series of mini-lessons based on the data. This workshop not only helps teachers to better interpret student writing (and gain more skill in conferencing), it offers me an opportunity to clarify misconceptions and deepen teachers’ understanding of Writer’s Workshop.  Teachers leave with a newfound confidence that’s inspiring.

Mini-Lessons for Ideas and Organization (75 minutes)

Take your Six-Trait writing instruction to new heights! In this exciting session, you’ll learn oodles of new mini-lessons to help your students write with clarity, focus, quality details and organizational patterns. Leave with a renewed excitement about your writing program – and a level of energy your students will find contagious.

 Mini-Lessons for Voice, Sentence Fluency and Word Choice (75 minutes)

Voice is the hardest trait to define, and yet essential for successful writing. Come learn fun and engaging techniques to help your students write with increased energy and enthusiasm. You’ll also learn new mini-lessons for teaching sentence fluency and word choice — two traits that have a positive effect on voice.

Advanced Six-Trait Mini-Lessons (75 minutes)

Take your Six-Trait writing instruction to new heights! In this exciting session, you’ll learn oodles of new mini-lessons to help students identify and apply the six traits. You’ll leave with a renewed excitement about your writing program – and a level of energy your students will find contagious.

What Makes a Good Story? Mini-lessons on the Elements of Fiction (75 minutes)

Recognizing story patterns helps students to improve reading comprehension and develop writing techniques that lead readers to say, “Wow! That is a great story!” Jennifer will demonstrate mini-lessons that provide students with a genuine understanding of setting, plot, and characterization. After this session, you will never look at children’s literature in quite the same way again.

 Successful Writing Conferences (75 minutes)

In theory writing conferences are the ideal method for providing feedback. In practice, they can be overwhelming. Learn how to provide students with specific praise, guide revision, and teach new skills — all within a limited (but highly effective) use of time. You’ll gain techniques to meet the needs of all your students with individualized, motivational, successful instruction.

Writer’s Workshop: The First Fifteen Days (75 minutes)

“Help! I get the concept of writer’s workshop, but how do I begin?”  In this session, you’ll learn how to  prepare,  and which initial lessons are most effective in guiding your students in becoming engaged, productive, independent writers. Once you’ve established a successful writer’s workshop, you’ll never give it up!

So, You’ve Always Wanted to Write for Children

A former teacher and assistant children’s librarian, I will describe my own path to becoming a children’s author and how you can do it, too. This workshop is one part inspiration, two parts useful information. A question and answer session follows. (1 – 2 hours)


Teacher Inservice or Conference Speaking

$3,000 per day conference speaking or teacher inservice (includes ALL travel expenses: airfare, hotel, transportation, meals)

$350 virtual visit via Skype (75 minutes). May only be arranged as a follow-up to an onsite professional development training.
 A keynote speech may be combined with two breakout sessions.

Author Visit (Presentations for Students)

$1,100 per school day in Maine (plus travel expenses beyond 50 miles)

$2,400 per school day out of state (includes ALL travel expenses: airfare, hotel, transportation and meals)

$350 Single one hour public library or evening program (plus travel expenses beyond 50 miles)
Free 20 minute Q+A Skype visit with readers. $100 forty-five minute Skype visit.  Students must be familiar with my work.

You may wish to combine an author visit with an inservice session for teachers or an evening with parents.

Please contact me directly to arrange a seminar, residency, or author visit.