News, resources, and links to help educators and home schoolers improve academic achievement.

Workshops for Teachers and Students

Judy has provided training for over 5,000 teachers at the district and state level!  Her interactive workshops are packed with creative ideas to improve learning and academic achievement. Teachers can take these innovative ideas back to the classroom and immediately implement them with little or no preparation.  She is available to work with schools and/or districts across the nation to help boost academic achievement. 
Workshops for Students

Five-STAAR Math Boot Camp  
Students and teachers participate in hands-on, TEKS-based activities to help prepare for the STAAR test.
In this interactive session, participants will:
  • Play games to reinforce rounding, place value, and multiplication.
  • Participate in logical thinking activities.
  • Use interactive puzzles to explore measurement concepts.

CSI - Comprehension Strategies Investigations 

Reading and comprehending can be difficult for struggling students, but it doesn’t have to be. In this interactive workshop, students and teachers will practice reading like a detective, learning how to magnify to justify their thinking. Students will be motivated to go back to the comprehension scene to investigate and find the text evidence to prove their answers on ANY test. 
In this interactive session, students will:
  • Learn strategies to better understand how to tackle different text types.
  • Participate in hands-on activities to improve reading skills. 

Workshops for Teachers 

Teach Reading Like a Rock STAAR
Reading can be laborious for some students and others may just not find reading to be very interesting. By engaging students in various reading activities, you can capitalize on the strengths, styles, and interests of ALL your students! 
In this interactive session, participants will:
  • Acquire ideas to teach students how to be “thinkers” to make inferences about cause and effect relationships, main ideas, vocabulary, and sequencing through visualizing and sketching.
  • Learn techniques for using music to teach summarization.
  • Use dramatization to teach summarization and make reading come alive. 
Teach Math Like an All-STAAR
Math can be a mystery for at-risk students. Now you can demystify math with exciting hands-on activities that make math concepts tangible and real.
In this interactive session, participants will:
  • Learn a variety of TEKS-based card games and activities to reinforce concepts such as place value, rounding, and other important math skills.
The Three E's for Success with Expository Text 

Reading and comprehending expository text is generally difficult for many students. Since (85%) of reading material at the secondary and post-secondary level is expository in nature, it is imperative that students have tools for tackling texts of this type. Students need to be excited about reading, and have a positive self-esteem when learning how to extract pertinent information from expository text. 
In this interactive session, participants will:
  • Participate in hands-on activities to help students extract pertinent information when reading expository text.
  • Learn how to make science and social studies exciting.
  • Acquire strategies to boost the self-esteem of struggling students to be more confident readers of expository text. 

CSI - Comprehension Strategies Investigations
Test-taking strategies should not be separate tasks, but developed as part of everyday classroom instruction. Test-taking strategies are a way of organizing thoughts about fiction and nonfiction in reading and writing. Learn how to motivate students to go back to the comprehension scene to investigate and find the text evidence to prove their answers on ANY test.
In this interactive session, participants will:
  • Learn think-aloud strategies to help students understand how to tackle different text types.
  • Acquire hands-on activities that focus on reading skills.
  • Learn how to incorporate test-taking strategies while reinforcing these reading skills.
  • Participate in activities and games that combine strategies and skills to help prepare students for the STAAR reading test. 

Games Galore and Other Tips to Keep Learning Active and Meaningful
Research shows learning must be active and meaningful in order for students to be successful. As educators today, we are faced with competing with video games and television, which makes teaching challenging at times. But, if we don't move 'em, we lose 'em! 
In this interactive session, participants will:
  • Learn activities to provide opportunities to make learning interactive through movement and reflection.
  • Acquire knowledge about new games to help students repeat, review, and reinforce concepts/content in reading, language arts, math, science, and social studies.
  • Acquire transition tips to bridge the gap from one activity or subject to the next. 
Using Visual Images to Improve Comprehension on the STAAR Test

Rationale: Using visual images to improve comprehension will help students be more successful on the STAAR reading test. In our modern technological world, kids are exposed to multiple sources of visual images via computer games, video games, television, etc. and are seldom required to create these images on their own.
According to Hibbing and Rankin-Erickson, students who lack the ability to create visual images when reading often experience comprehension difficulties. Many low-ability readers with comprehension difficulties are not able to describe the pictures in their minds as they read. The Reading Teacher Vol. 56 No. 8 May 2003
Teaching your struggling readers ways to create visual images as they read will help them be more successful on the STAAR reading test. One way is by actually teaching your students to draw pictures as they read each paragraph of a selection to help them visualize what is going on to help them draw out the main idea.
 In this interactive session, participants will:
  • Learn techniques to boost vocabulary instruction using nonlinguistic representations.
  • Acquire various sketching strategies for improving comprehension.

Integrating Language Arts Skills in Science and Social Studies
Finding the time to fit it ALL in during the busy school day can be challenging for classroom teachers. By integrating language arts skills in science and social studies, it won't be as likely for these important content areas to be placed on the back burner.  By utilizing these strategies, teachers will have time to cover the content in the science and social studies TEKS.
In this interactive session, participants will:
  • Be given a framework for practical and purposeful development of science and social studies lessons.
  • Acquire various reading strategies to do before, during, and after reading science and social studies materials.
  • Learn ways to incorporate writing in science and social studies.  
  • Strategies to spice up science journals. 
ELL Strategies That Benefit ALL Students!
Cancel out the invisible factor! Many English Language Learners fade into the background and allow other students to do all the thinking rather than taking a risk by answering a question incorrectly.
In this interactive session, participants will:
  • Discover ways to set up the learning environment to be safe and risk-free so that English Language Learners feel confident to take risks and participate in the learning.
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