Back-to-Basics: Teaching Close Reading and Academic Writing Skills

Dallas, Texas
Workshop Date: 
Monday, October 23, 2017 - 9:00am to Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 4:00pm
2 days; 12 CEUs

Price: $299.95

Let's face it; tests are always changing, and those changes make our heads spin.  But the fact remains (and we all know this) that close reading and academic writing skills help students to become academically and culturally sound. So, that's why we call this two-day training "Back-to-Basics." If our children can read well and write well, then the tests will take care of themselves. Breathe. Let this two-day workshop provide you with training on the teaching of close reading and literary analysis, also known as response to literature. From the very simple model of the Cinderella paragraph to Advanced Placement® interpretations, this guide reveals an academic approach to writing about literature. This workshop is the English Language Arts teacher's foundational workshop that segues nicely to our expository, argumentation, and narrative modes of discourse. 

The standards-based curriculum guide aligns with both the Common Core State Standards and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

Through the gradual release of responsibility model, teachers learn how Jane’s prewriting strategies strategies teach students that "Writing is about Thinking." Scaffolding of skills starts with student-centered terminology, color-coding, and Web-off-the-Word™, Schaffer's breakthrough approach to commentary and vocabulary development. The thinking and writing process continues with editing, revising, and proofing techniques. From writing an effective prompt to common terminology to cognitive processes to final draft essays, this workshop is designed to assist the English language arts teacher with strategies and techniques that yield successful writers and the added bonus: close readers! Woven throughout the two-day training are also close reading strategies, because we all know that writing and reading go hand-in-hand. Topics for the reading section include strategies and activities pertaining to denotation, connotation, and tone; multiple-choice reading stems; annotating texts using the JSWP color-coding, creating a dialectical journal, vertical approaches to reading, and questioning strategies, to name a few.


  • Part I
    •  Introduction and The Methodology
    • Brief History and Jane's Philosophical Points
    • The Formula Issue Laid to Rest; Enter "Weaving"
    • Gradual Release of Responsibility Format for JSWP
    • Organization, Logic, and Voice: The Response to Literature Model Paragraph
      • Avoid Starting from Scratch Each Year: Common Terminology for Students
      • Topic Sentence
      • Concrete Details
      • Commentary
      • Teaching Students Literary Jargon: How to Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk
      • Concluding Sentence
    • Color-Coding for Cognitive Recognition and Development
    • Chunking
    • Different Ratios for the Different Types of Writing
  • Part II
    • The Thinking and Writing Process of a Literary Analysis
    • Gathering Concrete Details and Discerning the Best Ones to Use
    • The T-Chart: Arranging Ideas
    • Web-off-the-Word™ (WOW) Commentary DevelopmentTopic Sentence RevisionsConcluding Sentences That Impact a Paragraph
      • Teaching Tone
      • Verbal Sound Values
    • The Shaping Sheet for Grammar, Style, Revisions, Editing, and Proofing
    • Varying the Types of Sentences, Lengths of Sentences, and Sentence OpeningsTransitional Words and Thoughts
      • Close Reading: Sentence Openings of Famous Authors
      • Simplifying Syntax
    • Introduction to Weaving
  • Part III
    • Prompts and Practice:
    • The Three Parts to an Effective Writing Prompt
    • Developing Prompts (Bring a Topic for a Literary Prompt)
    • Collaborative Writing (Working Through the Thinking Process Together)
    • Core Literature
      • Skill Progression Charts
      • Novel and Drama Records
  • Part IV
    • Engaging Students in the Act of Reading
    • Text-based Writing with Embedded Quotations
    • Writing a Thesis Statement
  • Part V
    • Thematic Statements
    • Introductions and Conclusions
    • Introduction to Style Analysis
    • Google Docs Template for Response to Literature
    • The Teacher's Toolbox
      • Rubrics and Scoring Guides
      • Making Corrections
      • One-to-One Conferencing
      • Timelines
      • Portfolios

Included in this Training

  • Access to the trainer and/or Dr. Louis for questions that might arise after the training
  • Differentiation strategies:Comprehensive teacher's guide
    • The JSWP approach instills a sense of confidence and understanding of the thinking and writing process for the following students:
      • English as a second language
      • English language learners (ELL)
      • Special education (SPED)
      • Struggling writers
    • The JSWP approach trains advanced students to weave concrete details and commentary and  develop syntactical and stylistic techniques, which lead to more sophisticated academic essays
      • Advanced Placement®
      • AVID
      • Gifted and Talented
      • International Baccalaureate
      • Pre-AP®
  • Unbound student graphic organizers for easy copying
  • Zipper bag with set of pens for color-coding technique
  • Free Access to Google Docs Template
  • Newsletter subscription
  • CEU certificate of completion

    Start Time:  9:00 A.M.

    Lunch: 12:00 - 1:00 P.M.

    End Time:  4:00 P.M.

    Location: Jane Schaffer World Headquarters

    The Oak Room (Ground Floor "0")
    Bank of America Tower
    400 South Zang Boulevard, Dallas, Texas 75208
    Phone: 214.946.3385
    Fax: 214.943.9447

    Parking: Free parking is available on the south side of the building on Centre Street. Do not park in the lot behind Oak Cliff Towers. Parking is reserved for bank customers only, and towing will be enforced. 

    Questions? 214.946.3385


    Credit Cards and Purchase Orders Accepted.

    • Purchase Orders must be received by registration deadline to reserve seats.
    • Please make Purchase Orders and checks payable to Louis Educational Concepts, LLC