Your Partner in Implementing the Common Core State Standards in California

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EXPERTS AT YOUR DOOR: Bringing the Common Core to Life in Your School

Register for a free online webinar today and receive best practices and solutions to
support your ongoing transition to the Common Core State Standards.

Join our team of leadership coaches, solutions architects, and instructional experts in math, literacy, and the content areas, as they guide you through building whole-team awareness for the new standards, preparing teachers and leaders for the transition, and transforming curriculum and assessments to improve performance.

All webinars are free and new sessions are added regularly so be sure to check-in often and select the right courses to help you meet your Common Core goals.

Meet Our Experts

  • Sue Gendron
    Senior Fellow, International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE)
  • Marianna Vinson Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for the San Jacinto Unified School District
  • Ruth Culham
    President, Culham Writing Company, Author
  • Laura Robb
    Author, Teacher, Coach, and Speaker
  • Jennifer Serravallo
    Speaker, Author, Literacy Consultant
  • Freddy Hiebert
    President and CEO, TextProject
  • Pam Allyn
    Executive Director and Founder of LitWorld
  • Dr. Kate Kinsella
    San Francisco State University, Author

Upcoming Webinars - Register for FREE to Join Us!

Additional Webinars Coming Soon



Archived Webinars (by Topic) - Register for FREE to Watch the Replay!

  • Next Generation Assessments
    • What’s New With Smarter Balanced That Will Impact Your Classrooms? hosted by Sue Gendron Aug. 15, 2013

      During the first part of our webinar series, Sue Gendron discusses recent developments with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. New information provides guidance on the tools featured in the new online assessments, highlights key takeaways from pilot tests, and provides greater insight into the standards for Claims 2 (Problem Solving), 3 (Communicating), and 4 (Performance Task).




      Sue Gendron
    • Adapting Your Curriculum to the Next Generation Assessments hosted by Sue Gendron Aug. 28, 2013

      The second session of our webinar focuses on literacy and key strategies to help prepare students for the Next Generation Assessments. During this presentation, Sue Gendron explains the benefits of curriculum mapping and provides step-by-step guidance for teachers to engage in this process of integrating instruction and assessment practice.




      Sue Gendron
    • Designing Backwards—Mathematics hosted by Sue Gendron Sept. 18, 2013

      This webinar will take a closer look at the assessment targets being defined by Smarter Balanced and the instructional shifts necessary to meet the higher expectations defined in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.




      Sue Gendron
  • Curriculum Transitions
    • Curriculum Transitions for the Common Core hosted by Marianna Vinson Sept. 25, 2013

      San Jacinto Unified School District is kicking off 2013–2014 with eight new Common Core-ready ELA units for every K–12 grade level. These units were developed by key stakeholders—teachers, coaches, and principals—from the ground up in just five months through an expertly facilitated process of building deep understanding of the coming assessments, backward mapping units from the assessment consortium claims and targets, selecting a variety of complex texts, and planning for differentiated instruction.

      Watch a video of San Jacinto's success here.


      Marianna Vinson
  • Middle School Literacy
    • Build Students’ Vocabulary Power and Improve Reading Comprehension hosted by Laura Robb Oct. 25, 2013

      Because of the close correlation between students’ vocabulary and their ability to read and comprehend, the first webinar will start with word building. After a quick review of the research on vocabulary acquisition and the Common Core vocabulary standards for middle school, participants will try some word expanding strategies that students can use before, during, and after reading.




      Laura Robb
  • Independent Reading
    • The Goal of Goals: How to Help All Children Become Independent Readers in the Core Ready Era hosted by Pam Allyn Jan. 21, 2014

      Pam Allyn will share her new thinking on how to make independence a central goal for the work we do as teachers and leaders. She will present ideas on how to structure Accountable Independent Reading Time that will help us motivate all students to become lifelong readers. This webinar will share new titles for readers of all ages, and also strategies for how to make reading with choice also reading with purpose and power.




      Pam Allyn
  • English Language Learners
    • Vocabulary and Volume for English Learners hosted by Freddy Hiebert Jan. 22, 2014

      Words represent concepts, concepts are the basis of knowledge, and knowledge is presented in complext texts. To fully participate with complex texts, students need to develop a vibrant and generative vocabulary. They also need to read widely and deeply in texts that vary in complexity and topic. Dr. Hiebert will describe how vocabulary learning can be bolstered and how the amount that students read–and learn–can be increased in classrooms.




      Freddie Hiebert
  • Prioritizing Vocabulary
    • Prioritizing Vocabulary for Text Analysis, Discussion and Constructed Response Hosted by Kate Kinsella March 4, 2014

      Since vocabulary knowledge plays such a pivotal role in text comprehension and response, educators serving linguistically diverse and mixed-ability classes must have a viable process for identifying words that will maximize students’ text engagement. By selectively and effectively addressing high-yield words, teachers across subject areas can productively enhance reading comprehension while equipping students with a lexical toolkit they can apply to related response tasks. During this webinar, you will explore practical guidelines for selecting both topic-centric and topic-neutral, high-utility vocabulary to bolster text comprehension and communicative competence. Learn a viable process for establishing instructional priorities rather than relying on publishers’ word lists. Without informed and proactive analysis of a text’s lexical demands, teachers serving students with acute vocabulary voids can squander valuable instructional time on low-yield “stumblers” or engage in “lexical accessorizing” for a verbally precocious class minority.



      Supplemental Handout 1
      Supplemental Handout 2
      Supplemental Handout 3



      Kate Kinsella

Laura Robb

Author, Teacher, Coach, and Speaker

Laura Robb has completed 43 years of teaching in Grades 4–8. She presently coaches teachers in Grades K–8 at Powhatan School in Boyce, Virginia; in Staunton, Virginia; Amherst, Virginia; on Long Island; and in New York City. For several years, Robb taught struggling middle school readers at Johnson Williams Middle School and at the same time trained teachers to scaffold instruction. For long-term professional study projects, Robb always works with those students who need the most support from teachers.

Presently, Robb is working with Scholastic to develop a reading/writing curriculum that shows students how to read multiple related texts and write analytical essays about two, three, and four texts.

Robb is a keynote speaker at conferences all over the country and in Canada and writes articles for education journals. She has completed a featured article, “New Angles for Differentiating Reading Instruction,” for The New England Reading Association Journal and an article on text complexity for Instructor magazine. She leads workshops on reading and writing for teachers throughout the United States in elementary, middle, and high schools.

Ruth Culham

President, Culham Writing Company, Author

Ruth Culham is the president of the Culham Writing Company and former Unit Manager of the Assessment Program at Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (now called Education Northwest) in Portland, Oregon.

She is the recognized expert in the traits of writing assessment field and author of numerous professional resources published by Scholastic, including 6+1 Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide, Grades 3 and Up; 6+1 Traits of Writing for the Primary Grades; Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide for Middle School, and Using Picture Books to Teach Writing with the Traits. Now she has authored a complete writing program for grades K–8: Traits Plus (Scholastic 2011).

As a pioneering researcher in this field, she creates and conducts teacher workshops and videos, designs national and international institutes for writing assessment and instruction, and provides professional development to teachers at local and district levels.

Ruth was named Teacher of the Year in Montana, the highlight of her 19-year teaching career. Ruth holds specialty degrees in Library Science and Elementary, Middle, and Secondary English Education. She has a master’s degree in Teaching English and an EdD in Educational Administration.

Jennifer Serravallo

Speaker, Author, Literacy Consultant

Jennifer Serravallo is a literacy consultant, researcher, and author of two professional books on differentiating instruction during independent reading, Conferring With Readers (2007) and Teaching Reading in Small Groups (2010).

For eight years, she has worked as a staff developer and a national consultant with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. In this capacity, she helps urban, suburban, and rural schools implement exceptional literacy instruction through reading and writing. While working toward an MA at Teachers College, she taught Grades 3–5 in two Title I schools with large class sizes, high numbers of ELLs, and an enormous range of learners.

The experience galvanized her to develop this Independent Reading Assessment and other resources that help teachers meet students wherever they are in their learning curve as readers and writers. Jennifer is also a graduate of Vassar College, with degrees in Child Development and Elementary Education. She has taught undergraduate—and graduate—level courses at both Vassar and Teachers College on children’s literature and Urban Education Reform.

Pam Allyn

Executive Director and Founder of LitWorld

Pam Allyn is the Executive Director and founder of LitWorld, a global organization advocating for children’s rights as readers, writers and learners. She is also the Executive Director and founder of LitLife, a national organization dedicated to school improvement. She is the author of the acclaimed and award-winning What To Read When: The Books and Stories To Read With Your Child–And All The Best Times To Read Them (Penguin Avery). Her most recent books are Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys: How To Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives (Scholastic) and Your Child’s Writing Life (Penguin Avery).

Pam is widely known as a motivational speaker advocating for reading and writing as human rights that belong to all people. Her personal quest to bring literacy to every child stems from a deeper desire to bring dignity to every child, and to empower children to read and write powerfully, effectively and with passion in ways that will change their worlds and the worlds of others. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Oprah Radio, The Huffington Post and in The New York Times.

Pam is on the the Advisory Boards of the Amherst College Center for Community Engagement, James Patterson’s ReadKiddoRead, Penguin Publishing’s We Give Books and the Millennium Cities Initiative Social Sector. She is also the Global Ambassador for Scholastic’s “Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life.” Campaign.

Kate Kinsella

San Francisco State University, Author

Dr. Kate Kinsella is an adjunct faculty member in San Francisco State University’s Center for Teacher Efficacy. Her extensive national consultancy, training, and publications focus upon improving achievement of less proficient readers and immigrant youth. She provides guidance to state departments and districts on evidence-based instructional practices to promote gains for English Learners and under-resourced students in states as varied as New York, California and Texas. A teacher’s teacher, Dr. Kinsella has maintained active classroom involvement by teaching high school English Learners in her University’s Step to College Program and by providing in-class coaching and model lessons across the K-12 curricula. Her areas of professional focus are academic oral language, vocabulary, reading and writing development for career and college readiness.

Kinsella is co-author of a 2010 publication by the California Department of Education, Improving Education for English Learners: Research-Based Approaches, and a 2012-2013 series of featured articles in Language Magazine detailing the advanced language demands posed by Common Core State Standards and assessments.

Dr. Kinsella is particularly proud of the instructional programs she has recently developed for English learners and less proficient readers. English 3D (2011) and READ 180 Next Generation (2011), published by Scholastic, address the advanced academic oral language and writing needs of adolescent English learners.

A former Fulbright lecturer in teaching English as a Second Language, Dr. Kinsella has received numerous awards including the Marcus Foster Memorial Reading Award, offered by the California Reading Association to one California educator who has made a statewide impact on policy and pedagogy in the area of literacy. She has also received the California Department of Education’s Award for Excellence for her contributions to improving the education of immigrant youth.

Freddy Hiebert

President and CEO, TextProject

Dr. Elfrieda 'Freddy' H. Hiebert is President and CEO of TextProject, Inc. Dr. Hiebert received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked in the field of early reading acquisition for 40 years, first as a teacher’s aide and teacher of primary-level students in California and, subsequently, as a teacher educator and researcher at the universities of Kentucky, Colorado-Boulder, Michigan and California-Berkeley. Her research addresses ways of supporting students who depend on schools to become literate. In particular, her interests lie in how fluency, vocabulary, and knowledge can be fostered through appropriate texts. Dr. Hiebert’s research has been published in numerous scholarly journals.
She has also authored or edited nine books, the most recent of which is Revisiting Silent Reading: New Directions for Teachers and Researchers (International Reading Association; with R. Reutzel).
Through documents such as Becoming a Nation of Readers (Center for the Study of Reading, 1985) and Every Child a Reader (Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement, 1999), she has contributed to making research accessible to educators. Dr. Hiebert’s model of accessible texts for beginning and struggling readers —TExT— has been used to develop several reading programs that are widely used in schools. Dr. Hiebert is the 2008 recipient of the William S. Gray Citation of Merit, awarded by the International Reading Association and is a member of the Reading Hall of Fame.

Sue Gendron

Senior Fellow, International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE)

Susan A. Gendron's passion is working with school systems to move to a learner-centered system of standards-based education. Her career in education spans service as kindergarten teacher, primary school principal, high school principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent of schools in Windham, Maine. She served as Commissioner of Education for the state of Maine from 2003 until 2010 before assuming the role of Policy Coordinator for the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium. Most recently, Sue joined the International Center for Leadership in Education as Senior Fellow, where she leads a team of former state commissioners/superintendents to provide coaching and executive training and support to state education leaders and their staffs.
Sue was a member of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Board from 2006-2010 and served as its President from 2009-2010. She held several leadership positions with CCSSO, including board liaison for the Education Information Management Advisory Consortium (EIMAC) and member of the Presidential Transition Task Force. She also served as Chair of the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands (REL-NEI) Board and trustee of the University of Maine System.
Sue has received many honors including the Maine School Superintendents' Distinguished Educator Award, 2001; the Maine Superintendent of the Year Award, 2002; the Maine Education Association- Friend of Education Award, 2005; the University of Southern Maine Distinguished Alumni Award, 2006; the State Education Technology Directors Association-Pushing the Envelope Award, 2008; and the Jobs for America's Graduates-National Education Leadership Award, 2009

Marianna Vinson

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for the San Jacinto Unified School District

Marianna Vinson is the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for the San Jacinto Unified School District. An educator for 15 years, Mrs. Vinson has worked as an elementary and middle school teacher, elementary school principal and district level administrator.