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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Upcoming Workshops: Toolboxes for Teachers of Early Literacy and Language - Where are the Breakdowns and What Do I Do About Them?

From the Grimes Reading Institute

December 1, 2015

Courses Written and Taught by Sally Grimes, Ed.M. 

Held at the Burlington, MA Public Schools

- Offered At No Cost to Burlington Teachers; $250 for Others -

- Optional Graduate Credit through Bay Path College ($250.00 Extra) -

GOOD NEWS! These courses meet the new state requirements for Professional Development Plans: 15 PDP’s related to SEI or ELL and 15 PDP’s related to disabilities and diverse learning styles. Needed for license renewal on of after July 1, 2016.

Course AAlphabetics (Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Fluency)

Course BOral Language, Vocabulary, Comprehension

Course CTools for Struggling Pre-Writers and Writers (Pre-K-3)


Course A – Now Offered Twice in 2016!

Spring: January 8/9, 22/23; February 5/6; Snow Dates: February 26/27

Fridays 4:00pm - 8:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am - 4:00pm


Summer: June 29/30 & July 6/7/8


Course B – Offered July 14/15 and 20, 21, 22, 2016

8:30am - 3:30pm

Course C - Tools for Struggling Writers and “Pre-Writers”
(Pre K - Grade 3)

March 11/12 and August 2/3, 2016

To register, please contact Rosemary or

About the Courses

Skilled reading and writing are dynamic processes that start with early language development and slowly evolve, as Hollis Scarborough’s “Rope Model” illustrates. This widely used model depicts eight sub-skills (“strands in the rope”) that become more and more ”tightly wound” (more automatic and strategic) as pre-literacy and language skills and concepts slowly develop from birth and then evolve into efficient use of printed and spoken language. 

What happens when one or two or more of these eight sub-skills, such as vocabulary, background knowledge or phonemic awareness, etc. have not been developed adequately for a given learner? Often, these students have “the Swiss Cheese Effect” wherein their skill set and knowledge base are fragmented and need replenishing according to where they fall on a continuum. One size never fits all. Somewhere along the line, they missed the “cementing” of certain foundational skills and concepts.

These three courses will help educators identify ways of finding the “frayed or weak strands”, or sub-skills in the “Rope Model”, for a given child. Then, importantly, the presenter will help participants learn more about which approaches and interventions will strengthen that learner’s skills and concept development. Just as when a car breaks down, we have to identify exactly “what’s broken”….and then fix it, with laser-like focus.

The courses will provide a hands-on, “nuts and bolts” approach to this challenge and provide teachers with the very latest information about written and spoken language instruction. The emphasis will be placed on practicing and learning strategies used for diverse learning tasks, learning centers, small flexible groupings where the needs of all learners, including those for whom English is a Second Language, can best be met. 

In each course, participants will be provided with a “tool kit” and manipulatives and a “mini manual” of references for web sites, assessments, list serves, video clips, and curriculum ideas for the area of study pertinent to that course.

The focus is on Pre-K to Grade 3, but educators of older students who are performing below grade level have found this course helpful and are encouraged to attend. Assignments are practical in nature. 

About the Presenter

Sally Grimes has provided consulting and professional development services nation-wide in the area of Language and Literacy for teachers and administrators Pre K-Grade 4, for the last 18 years. Prior to that, Sally's experience includes teaching (pre-K through graduate school), serving as Landmark School’s first Admissions Director, performing clinical diagnostic work, developing policy, serving on her local school board and performing public service.

She is the founding director of The Grimes Reading Institute, one of the three entities awarded the contract for implementing the Massachusetts Reading First Professional Development Plan. She served as a Lead Trainer for this and other grants, some in conjunctions with the Massachusetts Elementary Principals’ Association, for which Sally often does professional development. 

Grimes has served on the Governor’s Commission on School Readiness and on the MA State Literacy Planning Team. Recently she was chosen to be a trainer of trainers for the country’s first Early Childhood Dual Language Learner initiative that Massachusetts is launching with the Wisconsin-based WIDA and is part of the “Master Cadre” for this initiative.

She received her Master’s Degree in Reading and Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and her Bachelor’s Degree from the Honors Program at the University of Illinois in Special Education and Elementary Education.

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