Steve W. Dunn - Educational Consultant
Call for more info: 714-357-1253
HomeWriting WorkshopSpelling WorkshopWorkshops/ConsultingAbout UsTips from Steve

Steve W. Dunn- Author, Curriculum Developer, 
Keynote Speaker, Staff Developer
Interested in learning more about consulting services?
Contact Us
Writing Workshop and Educational Consulting 
Professional Educational Services Offered:

K-12 Professional Development in:
Reading, Writing, Expository Research, Nonfiction Strategies, Spelling Vocabulary & Grammar/Skill Development, Coaching, Gradual Release, and Student Engagement that is Standards Aligned

Staff Development Audiences:
Teachers, Instructional Coaches, Principals, and Leadership Teams

Strategy Based Instruction (SBI) assists teachers in understanding the symbiotic relationship between skills and strategies. Teachers have many resources for teaching skills: worksheets, graphic organizers and organizational tools, activities, etc. but they have minimum resources to help with the transfer of skills to strategies. When students are introduced to skills, they are temporal and will be forgotten UNLESS these skills are used on a recursive basis AND with purpose. SBI staff development focuses on how to combine skills and strategies to solve reading, writing, spelling, and grammar problems. The intended goal is for students to select appropriate strategies (which includes previously taught skills and strategies), monitor progress, and produce an example of the new strategy. For instance, if a student wants to revise his/her writing and focus on word choice (specifically verbs), the student needs to have a cognitive 
guide to navigate the thinking that includes previously taught skills and strategies. Below is a cognitive guide of how a student mediates and navigateshis/her way through this strategy,

1. Reread first paragraph of your writing
2. Underline ACTION VERBS that are overused or weak
3. Consider which 2 underlined verbs might be replaced
4. Use a word bank, or your own language (for more specific verbs), or other verbs the teachers has used.
5. Visualize the sentence to make sure it is EXACTLY what you want your reader to see
6. Reread for flow (clarity?)

In the above example, step 2 and 4 are specific skills a student needs to conduct this strategy. He/she needs to be able to select verbs in his/her writing. If a child cannot do this skill, he/she can not continue with the strategy. Using a thesaurus or word bank is also a skill that a student needs to acquire in order to use these resources. Visualizing and selecting two verbs are strategies that children need BEFORE they can be effective with this strategy. It is when these previous taught skills and strategies are combined that children can truly revise and improve their writing. As students master this cognitive guide, they can extend the learning by considering which skills and strategies to use to add adjectives to improve his/her writing. This metacognition is the key to self extended learning.

Our Elementary Educational Consulting extends across the United States.