Use Mini-Lessons as a Powerful Tool for Encouraging Young Learners to Read, Think, and Reason

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  • Atlanta Business Chronicle
  • Boston Globe

  • Peterborough, NH, October 6, 2014

    Educators are consistently challenged to find new ways to close gaps in reading and build student skillsets. More than ever, teachers are being asked to develop their young students into critical thinkers, to infer and draw conclusions, and delve deeply into texts.

    Professional development experts Staff Development for Educators (SDE) have partnered with veteran teacher and national presenter Pat Pavelka, to developed a seminar dedicated to utilizing the mini-lesson framework to add rigor to the classroom and build student stamina for thinking deeply.

    Reading Mini Lessons for the Common Core: Read, Think, Succeed! is being offered this fall and winter in multiple locations, and is designed to help teachers confidently teach the Reading Standards and systematically develop students’ knowledge through reading.

    In this exciting seminar, standards expert Pavelka will help educators create engaging, teacher-tested mini-lessons that can be woven into the teaching daily routine, and help teachers implement the new expectation without feeling overwhelmed. Pavelka will focus on how to teach, apply, and extend each mini-lesson to help students become better readers, writers, and critical thinkers, as required by the standards. Educators will leave with a comprehensive toolkit of resources to take back to the classroom and immediately implement.

    Each mini lesson is designed to encourage higher-level thinking, and build comprehension, develop vocabulary, make author/illustrator connections, and compare/contrast across different texts —core skills that students will need to advance to the next level. Techniques for supporting struggling readers and challenge proficient ones— in whole groups, small groups, and independent practice, are woven within each mini lesson.

    SDE’s program planner Kymra Kurinskas is excited that educators will have the chance to learn some of Pavelka’s mini-lessons and to experience her energy in person. “Pat’s engaging, hands-on style really resonates with teachers,” Kurinskas enthuses. “ She is consistently one of the most requested presenters that we work with. Once people see Pat, they are a fan for life!”

    “Creating fun and engaging mini lessons will assist in making the standards doable,“ Pavelka explains. “They’ll go back to their classrooms feeling that they can implement the mini-lessons confidently and easily.”

    The seminar is designed for new and veteran teachers alike. Educators will learn both how to create and to tweak existing lessons into mini lessons to meet the needs of every learner and accelerate student mastery of the standards and growth as readers. In addition, they’ll secure tactics for assessments, checklists, and other tools to evaluate student learning and instruction, including ways to differentiate and address multiple personalities and ability levels.

    “This is a great way to start your young learners down the road to a lifelong love of reading,” states Pavelka.

    All SDE events include a free resource book of handouts, lesson ideas, reproducibles, and a free 30-day membership at With the paid registration of a staff member, SDE extends free tuition to a principal from the same building, and also offers group discounts for groups of 10+ and 20+.

    Reading Mini Lessons for the Common Core: Read, Think, Succeed! will be offered in Birmingham, AL on November 3rd; Atlanta, GA on November 4th; Livonia, MI on November 10th; Toledo, OH on November 11th; Milwaukee, WI on December 15th; and Rockford, IL on December 16th. It will also be offered this winter in North Little Rock, AR on February 18th; Memphis, TN on February 19th; Murfreesboro, TN on February 20th; Westlake, LA on February 24th; Baton Rouge, LA on February 25th; and Jackson, MS on February 26th. Educators interested registering for this seminar, or learning about more about SDE’s national conferences, upcoming SDE events, or other professional development opportunities, can visit, call 1-800-462-1478, or email

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