School Consulting

If we want students to remember the things they learn in school, then JOY has to be the overriding feeling students experience.

I work with schools and communities to create meaningful and memorable experiences where joyful teaching and learning is the goal. Below find some of the structures and topics I most often support in schools and educational communities including bringing the science of reading into the balanced literacy classroom. Have an idea for something different? Email me to find out more or to schedule a conversation.

In school-based coaching, we start with goal setting and a discovery phase to assess the strengths and challenges your school community faces. School-based coaching can be for one day or multiple days across the year.

Designed to be interactive, engaging, and FUN, my workshops are memorable and enjoyable for teachers. Workshops can include half or full days on a range of topics. Drawing from my experience as a classroom teacher and instructional coach, I weave stories, research-based instructional strategies, and opportunities for teachers to TRY something new.

Sometimes scheduling makes school-based learning a challenge for schools. Virtual learning is a highly effective option especially for whole-school introduction to a topic or working with small groups of teachers, such as a grade level or administrative team. My workshops can be shared via Zoom, Google Hangout, or other digital platforms.

Curriculum review can be a daunting process for teachers and school leaders as you build a program for deeper student learning. Whether you are creating, adopting, or adapting curriculum, bringing joy to the process is essential. Curriculum support can be designed to fit your school’s needs and calendar through a combination of school-based workshops and virtual learning.

Keynote presentations offer audiences inspiration to take action. My presentations are a powerful way to ignite change in a school community particularly on topics like bringing the science of reading into the balanced literacy classroom, designing instruction for student happiness, and joyful routines that build independence.

In education, we have been designing instruction for understanding for decades, isn’t it time we started designing for happiness as well? Using the seven pillars from my book Start with Joy, teachers (and/or families), will learn research-based methods for how to design for students’ happiness as a part of the learning process. This professional development can focus on literacy learning or general classroom practice. Applications for parents and families to apply the seven pillars can also be shared for designing for happiness at home.

Thanks to brain imaging and cognitive science, we now have a model for how the brain processes text to read and make meaning. Now is the moment to integrate the sciences of reading into balanced literacy practices. But, knowing which method to use, when, for what purpose, and with what frequency can be challenging to enact. Workshops can focus on an overview of the science of reading and bringing it into the balanced literacy classroom or can hone in on specific methods including: phonological and phonemic awareness routines; read-alouds to support oral language, knowledge, and comprehension; small group instruction; independent reading and conferring; modeled and interactive writing for sentence development; independent writing and conferring.

We want learning to be energizing and engaging. We sometimes mistakenly think that we need big changes in order to have an impact. When, really, small shifts in our teaching practice can have a big impact on student learning. Small Teaching workshops will focus on research-based methods to harness student interest and to keep student engagement high.

Supporting students to be lifelong inquirers starts with the power of wondering. Inquiry can be integrated into daily teaching structures like mini-lessons and conferring with students. Inquiry can also be supported through joyful, memorable, project-based learning. Project-based learning partnerships can include the creation or revision of capstone grade-level projects at the elementary or middle school levels, interdisciplinary learning projects, and multimedia projects like student podcasts and website building.

How do we support all students to feel at home in a world of books? In this workshop, teachers are supported to learn about new titles and teaching ideas for how to use books to support all students as readers, writers, communicators, and creators. Picture books, early readers, graphic novels, and middle grade literature are featured to help teachers grow classroom collections, build text sets, select read-alouds, and make independent reading suggestions with an emphasis on children’s and young adult literature that represent our diverse world.

As a former teacher in an international school, I learned how to integrate the essential elements of the Primary Years Program with workshop based teaching. Partnerships with international schools can include an emphasis on the PYP program, literacy and culturally and linguistically diverse students, and how to celebrate the multiple literacies of students and families.

Katie hit it out of the park to bring more joy into our profession.

Teachers want to be engaged in their own professional development and feel respected for what they already bring to the table. Katie does this every step of the way.
Literacy Coach, Mass.

I absolutely LOVED Katie’s gentle reminders and strategies about being intentional to bring joyful learning to our balanced literacy program.

I immediately put into practice Katie’s ideas which were so simple but so impactful.
Literacy Coordinator, Rhode Island

Katie’s big picture ideas were balanced with practical “small” things that add up to make a big difference to our students and teachers.

Classroom Teacher, Connecticut

© 2019 Katie Egan Cunningham