Debbie Diller and Associates Debbie Diller and Associates
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What We Do

Yes, Debbie or her associates will work with your school(s) in classrooms! Debbie can create a customized plan that includes modeling and coaching in your building(s) with your students for and with your teachers. We have experience in diverse settings, ranging from 100% economically disadvantaged schools in inner city and rural settings to private and parochial schools. Debbie’s favorite work is done in classrooms with teachers and their kids!

To inquire about training Click Here.


Training Topics

Spaces and Places

Spaces & Places: Using Classrooms More Effectively for Instruction

A well-organized classroom is a more productive classroom! In this training, Debbie or her associates will guide teachers through processes to "declutter" their classrooms and set up thoughtful, productive spaces for instruction. Using ideas from Debbie's best-selling book, Spaces & Places, we give teachers strategies and provide inspiration to help them get rid of unnecessary items in their rooms that may be distracting children from learning. Step-by-step processes for how to set up a classroom to maximize space (and ultimately, time) are included along with many "before and after" examples from K-8 classrooms. We help teachers look at essential spaces, essential furniture, and making a classroom "student-centered," rather than teacher-centered. Practical ideas teachers can use immediately are shared. If the training is held in a school setting, we can model the process of how to set up a classroom in the training using one of the rooms at your school.

Teachers love this training option, especially at the start of the school year or in the summer. Another ideal time for this training is near the end of the school year when we show teachers how to pack their rooms in one day! If your teachers must move classrooms (due to new construction or rezoning), we teach them how to pack up their classrooms, too. Interestingly, we have found this training to be valuable (and highly appealing to teachers) at any time during the school year.

Classroom Makeover Option: Connected to the initial training, a day may be scheduled where we model how to set up several classrooms in your building and help all teachers work together to declutter and rearrange their classrooms. Search Debbie's blog at WordPress for examples of some of these makeovers.

Recommended Book: Spaces & Places: Designing Classrooms for Literacy by Debbie Diller


Literacy Work Stations

Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work for K-2 Teachers

Debbie or her associates will present an engaging introduction to literacy work stations and how to make them purposeful and connected to instruction and state standards. This session will answer the question, “What does the rest of my class do while I’m working with a small reading group?” This training includes practical suggestions for establishing, managing, and using literacy work stations in K-2.

Follow-up visits may be scheduled after the initial training, usually 1-2 months in between visits. We visit classrooms and give helpful feedback to teachers on how to continue to improve their work stations. We also meet with grade level teams on these visits to troubleshoot and plan forward.

Classroom Makeover Option: Debbie or her associates can also use a follow-up day to help teachers set up classrooms to maximize space. Teachers love these “classroom makeover” sessions. Teachers are involved in hands-on ways as we work together to recreate their space to improve instruction.

Recommended Book: Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work (for K-2) by Debbie Diller


Practice With Purpose

Practice with Purpose: Using Literacy Work Stations in Grades 3-6

Debbie or her associates will present an engaging introduction to literacy work stations and how to make them purposeful and connected to instruction and state standards. This session will answer the question, “What does the rest of my class do while I’m working with a small reading group?” This training includes practical suggestions for establishing, managing, and using literacy work stations in grades 3-6.

Follow-up visits may be scheduled after the initial training, usually 1-2 months in between visits. We visit classrooms and give helpful feedback to teachers on how to continue to improve their work stations. We also meet with grade level teams on these visits to troubleshoot and plan forward.

Classroom Makeover Option: Debbie or her associates can also use a follow-up day to help teachers set up classrooms to maximize space. Teachers love these “classroom makeover” sessions. Teachers are involved in hands-on ways as we work together to recreate their space to improve instruction.

Recommended Book: Practice with Purpose: Literacy Work Stations for Grades 3-6 by Debbie Diller


Growing Independent Learners

Next Steps with Literacy Work Stations: Adding Rigor and Relevance

If your teachers are already teaching with literacy work stations and understand the basics, this training option offers "next steps" and "going deeper with work stations." You might schedule this option if Debbie or her associates have already worked with you to establish routines for work stations.

This session will help teachers evaluate and reflect upon the independent work their students are doing at literacy work stations and focuses on adding the elements of rigor and relevance to existing classroom work stations. In this session, trouble-shooting and making connections are the focus. Teachers should bring curriculum documents and evidence of what students are already doing at stations to this training.

Connected to the initial training, follow-up visits may be scheduled several months later, usually with about 2 months in between visits. We will visit classrooms and give helpful feedback to teachers on how to continue to deepen and connect their work stations. We may also meet with grade level teams on these visits to continue to trouble shoot and plan forward.

Recommended Book: Growing Independent Learners: From Literacy Standards to Stations, K-3 by Debbie Diller


Math Work Stations

Math Work Stations (for K-2 or grades 3-5)

In conjunction with her book, Math Work Stations, Debbie or her associates will help teachers set up and teach with math work stations that connect to whole group and small group instruction and tie to state and NCTM standards. We include practical suggestions for establishing, managing, and using math work stations in K-2 or grades 3-5. We also help teachers learn how to organize their math materials so they can use hands-on methods (with all those manipulatives) more effectively! An emphasis on academic vocabulary and increasing students' "math talk" is included.

Recommended Book: Math Work Stations - Independent Learning You Can Count On, K-2 by Debbie Diller


Making The Most Of Small Groups

Making the Most of Small Group Guided Reading Instruction (for K-2 or for grades 3-6)

Debbie or her associates will share ideas on how to focus small group instruction to help teachers get more power from their lessons. Teachers will learn how to form groups, organize for instruction, choose books, and plan lessons that will maximize the time spent in small groups. Practical, research-based ideas are the foundation of these sessions.

Connected to the initial training, follow-up visits may be scheduled several months later, usually with about 2 months in between visits. On the first visit we meet with grade level teams to model how to plan and teach a small group reading lesson. On subsequent visits, we coach teachers while they work in small groups, providing helpful feedback and thoughtful questioning to help teachers reflect about their practice.

Recommended Book: Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All by Debbie Diller


Making The Most Of Small Groups

From Phonological Awareness to Phonics and Word Study: Improving Students' Vocabulary, Spelling, and Decoding

In our work across the country, we've found that teachers often ask us about the terms, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, and/or phonics. How are these connected? How are they different? In addition, many teachers ask about ways to improve students' vocabulary and how to best provide vocabulary instruction. So, in response, we've created a new training on word study (phonics, spelling, and vocabulary).

Debbie or her associates will involve teachers in an engaging exploration of word study, examining best practices for teaching phonics (and phonological and phonemic awareness as prerequisites), spelling, and vocabulary. We will help teachers organize and integrate resources your school/district may be using in this training, including Words Their Way, Fountas and Pinnell Phonics Kits, etc.

Connected to the initial training, follow-up visits may be scheduled for modeling and/or coaching. Debbie or her associates will model effective lessons for vocabulary, spelling, and/or phonics in classrooms at your school. These may be whole group or small group lessons.

Recommended Book: Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All by Debbie Diller


 

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