Available Sessions


Creating a Literacy-Rich Environment in Your Home

This 90 minute information session provides parents with simple, effective ways to engage both preschool and elementary-age children in the learning process — always with an emphasis on fun. Some of the topics covered:

  • choosing quality picture books for your child(ren)
  • stimulating your child’s imagination with literature
  • understanding the differences between home reading and read-alouds
  • engaging your boys and fostering a love of reading
  • supporting struggling readers
  • motivating your child(ren) to write at home

This session is a great addition to a School Council Meeting! The 90 minute session includes time for questions. The session time can be adjusted if necessary.


Some of the most popular sessions for school staffs are listed below. These sessions are typically 90 minutes in length. Karen will tailor her sessions to meet the needs of your staff. She is also available for 1/2 day and full day sessions which often combine some of the topics below. (To be held in person if possible and online if necessary.)

All sessions are tied to the curriculum in which you teach. For Alberta teachers, the focus for the upcoming school year will be teaching and implementing the new curriculum grounded by strong pedagogy.

How Do I Get Them to Write? The Power of Freewriting

Karen always felt something was missing in her writing program. When she brought freewriting into the classroom, it was a game changer. Students became more engaged, the quality of writing improved, and the reluctance to write was greatly reduced. Students were learning to write and they were also writing to learn. This session will provide many practical and engaging ways to use freewriting across the curriculum. We will also explore how to use mentor texts to teach specific writing skills. Teachers and students will begin to welcome their writing time!

How Do I Get Them to Write? Narratives

Do you wonder where to begin when teaching narrative writing? Do your students have difficulty developing their stories? During this session, you will learn how to use plot patterns and appropriate mentor texts to dramatically improve student writing. By providing the structure of a plot pattern, students will become more willing and more confident story writers! Karen will also share practical ideas to help students develop both their setting and characters.

Constructing Meaning through Reader Response

Reader response writing can greatly improve our students’ understanding of what they read. Through reading, writing, and the inevitable discussions that follow, students learn from the experiences of others, open their minds to many possibilities, gain a glimpse into new worlds, make connections to their lives, and reflect on their own learning. Reader response can occur as a response to individual books or it can also be an important part of an author study. Come away from this session with many literature suggestions and engaging prompts!

Writing to Build Relationships and Resiliency

With the uncertainty in our world, writing can be a wonderful coping strategy for our students. Join Karen to explore how to use writing to help build essential relationships with students, foster a sense of well-being during challenging times, and create a stronger sense of self within students. You will leave this session with practical ideas to support your students’ social and emotional learning during these unprecedented times.

Words Matter: Word Study in the Elementary Classroom

Words are the foundation of reading and writing and therefore an essential component to our instruction. And yet, it can sometimes be challenging to ensure a meaningful, integrated focus on words within our classrooms. In this session, Karen will discuss how to approach words in the context of spelling, structural analysis, word walls, morphology, the three tiers of vocabulary, and vocabulary instruction. 

Leveraging Feedback to Improve Student Writing

We all want our elementary students to improve as writers. How do we assist them? Daily writing practice, yes. Mini-lessons, yes. Mentor texts, yes. Feedback, YES! But how? How do we provide authentic, meaningful feedback to our student writers? Join Karen to explore various forms of effective feedback including timely, targeted comments, feedback frames, and single point rubrics.

Establishing Writing Groups in our Classrooms: Why and How!

Students of all ages are capable of engaging in quality literary conversations but we have to teach them how. Explore how writing groups can help us meet curricular outcomes related to collaboration and also dramatically improve student writing (enhancing both artistry and clarity). Learn how to empower students to examine the craft of writing and give feedback to their peers.

Literacy Leadership Matters

Many school administrators have little background in literacy instruction. And yet, they find themselves leading elementary schools where strong literacy instruction is essential. This session provides insight into current practice, strong pedagogy, an understanding of the science of reading, and practical strategies administrators can use within their schools to become more effective literacy leaders.

Leveraging Literacy Strategies to Improve Understanding

This session is geared to junior high and high school teachers. Learn how to leverage literacy strategies to improve understanding in all disciplines of study. This practical, engaging session will leave teachers with immediate strategies to use in a variety of classroom contexts.

What is Morphology and How do I Teach it?

Morphology has become an explicit focus in curricula throughout the country. This session will provide the background knowledge needed to understand morphology and the related terminology. It will also empower teachers to provide meaningful instruction for their students, ultimately improving word recognition, vocabulary development, spelling, reading comprehension, and writing!