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August 12 @ 10:30 am August 14 @ 3:30 pm

Grow Your Teaching of Writing: Yearlong Support Through Virtual Coaching  

Become a better teacher of writing through ongoing support for planning, implementing, and evaluating writing in your classroom.

Learn how to implement your yearlong writing curriculum by thinking and problem-solving with our faculty trainers and a cohort of teachers across the school year. Get ongoing, yearlong support through biweekly think-tank sessions and virtual coaching tailored to support your teaching of writing.

August 2024– May 2025 (Virtual Schedule Below)
10:30am-3:30pm (EST) for first 3 days of training – additional times below
Grade Levels:
Literacy Teaching
  • Classroom Teachers & Interventionists
  • Literacy Coaches & Teacher Leaders
Earn 24 PD hours or 3 graduate credits
  • $1,495 + cost of the required Writing Minilessons Book in one grade level (K, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5)
  • $1,595 (includes the Writing Minilessons Book and How to Become a Better Writing Teacher)
  • Separate fees for graduate credit (see Graduate Credit information tab below for more details)
  • Literacy Collaborative Affiliation Discount available
Course Description & Outcomes
Virtual Schedule
Requirements & Graduate Credit Option

Become a better teacher of writing this year! Join our virtual cohort and have the support of our team for the teaching of writing in your classroom every day. Use your school’s writing curriculum or use the yearlong complete lessons we will provide for your grade level (The Writing Minilessons Book: Your Everyday Guide for Literacy Teaching, Grades K- 6) as your writing curriculum or as a supplement to your current writing curriculum. 

Accelerate your students’ writing by leveling up your teaching!


  • August 12–14, 2024: Three days of professional learning to launch your program of instruction  
  • September 2024–May 2025: Twice monthly 1-hour meetups for planning, mentoring, coaching, and problem-solving support 


  • Scheduling and planning writing time 
  • Getting started with structured writing 
  • Utilizing whole group, small group, and individualized instruction to meet every student’s needs 
  • Managing the writing classroom 
  • Establishing independent writing and building writing stamina 
  • Assessing and evaluating children’s writing 
  • Maximizing the use of mentor texts to teach children how to read like writers 
  • Teaching children to utilize elements of craft in their writing 
  • Refining children’s use of writing conventions 
  • Supporting children’s understanding of the writing process  
  • Working with children who find writing difficult 
  • Targeting instruction to build on the strengths and needs of multilingual students 
  • Helping children develop positive writing identities and gain confidence as writers 
  • Using interactive and shared writing in the primary grades to build children’s understandings of encoding and elements of craft, conventions, and the writing process 
  • Using writers’ notebooks to power up writing in grades 2–6  

Benefits of Participation:

  • Convenient, timely teaching support for a whole year! 
  • Yearlong access to a highly experienced coaching team with expertise in the teaching of writing 
  • Membership in a network of professionals committed to improving writing instruction 
  • Opportunities for specific feedback and problem-solving 

You can take this course for non-credit and earn 24 professional development hours, or you can take it for 3 graduate credits. 

Cynthia Downend, Associate Director, Literacy ProgramsHeadshot of Cindy Downend

Cynthia Downend has worked at the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative for 15 years, serving in the roles of primary level literacy trainer and currently as the Assistant Director for Primary Literacy Programs.

Cynthia has worked with many school districts across the United States to train and develop district level literacy staff developers, literacy coaches, classroom teachers, literacy interventionists and school administrators on a variety of topics related to improving literacy instruction.

Prior to her work at Lesley University, Cynthia held positions as a literacy coach, Reading Recovery teacher, and classroom teacher for over 20 years working in a variety of school settings including urban, suburban, and international schools.


Linda Murphy HeadshotLinda Murphy, Associate Director, Literacy Programs

Linda has worked in school districts in New York in a variety of roles and settings. Prior to her joining the center at Lesley University, Linda held positions as a principal of an intermediate school, a Director of English Language Arts, Social Studies and Reading, a district trainer for Literacy Collaborative Intermediate, a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader and a classroom teacher. Linda holds licenses in Elementary Education and School District Administration.

All professional learning sessions will take place via Zoom.

 Initial Training: 

  • August 12-14, 2024 at 10:30am–3:30pm (EST) 

 Ongoing Think Tank Sessions: 4:00–5:00pm (EST) 

  • September 19, 2024  
  • October 3, 2024 
  • October 17, 2024 
  • November 7, 2024  
  • November 21, 2024 
  • December 5, 2024  
  • December 19, 2024  
  • January 9, 2025  
  • January 23, 2025 
  • February 13, 2025 
  • February 27, 2025  
  • March 13, 2025  
  • March 27, 2025 
  • April 10, 2025 
  • April 24, 2025  
  • May 8, 2025  
  • May 22, 2025 


Required Materials 

You must have individual access and be able to use these books on your own during this training:  

  • How to Become a Better Writing Teacher 

And one of the below Writing Minilessons Books: 

  • The Fountas & Pinnell Writing Minilessons Book for Kindergarten 
  • The Fountas & Pinnell Writing Minilessons Book for Grade 1 
  • The Fountas & Pinnell Writing Minilessons Book for Grade 2 
  • The Fountas & Pinnell Writing Minilessons Book for Grade 3 
  • The Fountas & Pinnell Writing Minilessons Book for Grade 4 
  • The Fountas & Pinnell Writing Minilessons Book for Grade 5 
  • The Fountas & Pinnell Writing Minilessons Book for Grade 6 (Available in July 2024) 

Don’t have these books yet? You will have the option to purchase both when you register for this training. If you choose to purchase these books on your own through Heinemann, please click here for Writing Minilessons and click here for How to Become a Better Writing Teacher

Email us at if you have questions.  

Graduate Credit Option

With additional assignments and fees, this course can be taken for 3 graduate credits. During the registration process, you will have the option to register as a Graduate Credit attendee. When your registration is complete, contact to finish the additional registration process for grad credits through Lesley University.

  • $2,700 ($875*/credit + $25*/credit comprehensive fee) *subject to change  
  • Course numbers:  
    • Grades K-2 — LEDUC 6167-01 
    • Grades 3-8 — LEDUC 6185-01

Cancellation Deadline & Refund Policies


If you cancel your registration prior to the first day of training, you will be charged a $50 processing fee. Email if you have a cancellation or substitution request. Regardless of weather conditions, if the event is held but you cannot attend, you will be billed for the full amount.

Graduate Credit

Review the university’s cancellation and refund policies for credit bearing courses.

Registration Deadline & Shipping Policies

If you register within the week prior to the first day of this training, you may incur additional fees for expedited shipping. You may experience delays in receiving your materials.

Requirements for Participation

After the training, you will receive a certificate of attendance for your participation. To receive a complete certificate, participation during the specified times is required. Additional work may be assigned to meet the professional development hours. Graduate Credit participants will be expected to complete additional assignments.

Interested in professional learning at your school or district? Schedule a meeting with one of our faculty trainers.