Literacy Today Logo

Training ELA Leaders to Develop High Quality PD (workshop series)


Anne's Workshop Planning Sheet

In the first day of a series of workshops, Anne Beamish (EMSB/Ministry) develops teacher expertise in responding to literature through reading, discussing and responding to a variety of texts together. Then, teachers investigate models of expertise in teaching response to literature and enact those new practices in their classrooms. Finally, teachers learn to plan and lead high quality PD focused on response to literature.

Context: Anne Beamish leads the first day of a series of sessions for Secondary ELA teachers working to develop PD for the ELA community around talk and the response process.

n the long term, what do you want students to be able to do?

Therefore, what do you want teachers to be able to do?

● does this involve a shift in epistemic stance?

● what high leverage teaching practices are targeted for development?

● why is this important?

● what does this look like in the classroom?

Who is the audience?

● what is the range of teachers’ experience and expertise?

● is there a gap between teachers’ current practice and the proposed practice?

● what possible misconceptions might audience have?

● is participation voluntary or mandated?

● number of teachers?

What are your goals for this session?

● reasonable grain size (explain)

● what models of this exemplary practice can you share early (videos/transcripts)?

● opportunities for teachers to learn experientially

● evidence of teacher learning

What is the proposed sequence of activities? (before, during, after)

      What is the purpose for each activity?

      Is there an expected outcome for each?

      Is there a sequential order for scaffolding learning?

My personal professional goal: To model using open-ended questions and effective talk moves during whole group discussion.


What example of exemplary practice will you share right at the beginning?

1.     Using picture books to model talk and response.

2.     Modeling using open-ended questions during discussions.

3.     Video of exemplary classroom practice of talk and response or meaning making.

Activity Goals for Teacher Learning Resources and Materials

Activity I

Modeling using open ended question and encouraging student talk during the response process.


      Teacher read a picture book

      What do you notice about this book?

      Teachers do a 3 minute quickwrite

      Share ideas from quickwrite in a whole group

      Ask  teachers (in pairs)  to discuss “What does it mean and why does it matter?

      Do another 3 minute quickwrite

      Discuss the differences between the two quickwrites (which one was easier, better, deeper…)

Unpack the activity, ask teachers to identify the ways talking about the texts helped them make meaning.

Talk is essential to the response process.

Picture books:




A Heart in a Bottle

A Glass

Waterloo and Trafalgar

Activity II

Identification of teaching moves using video


First viewing: What do you notice?

      Show the video and have teachers note their observations.

      Discuss what they noticed.

      Facilitator models press moves (Can you tell me more? What does that look like in the classroom?).

Second viewing: How do readers effectively use talk to make meaning from a text?

      Have teachers focus on what the teacher needs to know and do. Specifically, participant should consider how the teacher set up the classroom, used open-ended questions, pressed students for more information or to deepen thinking, etc.

      Begin to identify specific teaching moves that help students get more out of discussions. 

Talk needs to be modeled and taught.



Claire Galbert “Big Ideas” Ministry of Education


Strategies for Student-Centered Talk

Activity III

Through professional reading, identify the practices that lead to effective whole group discussion.

What did you agree with?

What did you disagree with?

What strategies / ideas would you like to try out in your classroom?

What strategies/ideas do you think we should develop/share with other teachers?

Effective talk needs to be deliberately planned, modeled and practiced.

Nachowitz, M and Brimer, N. (2014). Teaching the Talk, Not the Text. Voices from the Middle, Vol. 22 No. 1 p. 15-21


Big paper, markers


What one idea will you take away from our session?

What idea or strategy will you consider exploring in your classroom?

In order to have students make meaning from texts and  respond on a deeper and more authentic level, students need to have a repertoire of talk strategies. Exit card


What classroom strategies can we use to engage students in talk about texts?

What strategies can we explore in our classrooms with a view towards sharing our practices with other teachers? 

Teachers read and shared the practices they would like to develop at every meeting and targeted those that encouraged more student talk and less teacher talk.

Sharing of learning from professional resources (What strategies can we try out?).

Sharing of classroom practice (whole group discussion.)

Professional Reading:

Notice and Note, Kylene Beers & Robert E. Probst

Book Love, Penny Kittle

Read Write Teach - Linda Rief

Response and Analysis, Robert E. Probst

Readicide, Kelly Gallagher



Baker, L.M. (2015). Under Discussion: Teaching Speaking and Listening. English Journal 104.3 p. 97-100.

Probst, R. (2000). Literature as Invitation. Voices from the Middle, Vol. 8 No. 2 p. 8-15

Taliaferro, C. (2009). Using Picture Books to Expand Adolescents’ Imaginigns of Themselves and Others.  English Journal Vol. 99 No. 2 p. 30-36.


Anne's PD Planning Sheet

Blank PD template for you to use- Downloadable Word Doc