Reflection of MAX Implementation
Teachers have no time. This perception often taints our professionalism to the point that we refuse to acknowledge the benefits of many professional development experiences. Though generally a positive person, I entered work on January third with a negative attitude about the day. As Dr. Forget began speaking, however, I recognized my failings and became inspired. In the end, I viewed the day as a life-changing experience—a day necessary in my journey to instructional mastery.
- Keren Jackson, English II Academic and Pre-AP
I was a teacher that thought “yet another initiative” when I was told that I would be getting MAX training at my school. After the training, I was so happy I was picked for Todd’s demonstration. Today I can honestly say that MAX Teaching has changed how I teach and introduce any lesson that requires reading. MAX Teaching has only made my job easier. My students are now reading with a purpose; they are able to read longer and retain more information while reading.
- R. K., Berks Career and Technology Center, PA
MAX Teaching has brought our reading and writing across the curriculum initiative together in a sustainable package. Teachers find that the text provides both a quick recipe for success and a depth of research and understanding to meet their needs.
- D. K., Academic Supervisor, Pioneer Career and Technology Center, OH
MAX Teaching has been an integral component of my instructional design since 2006, resulting in 100% passage rates on state testing.
- A. M., Brunswick, OH
Nancy Lyle just completed another excellent professional development for my faculty at Bennett Middle School in Salisbury MD. As a direct result of our school wide literacy initiative, with a foundation in MAX reading, my school' MSA (state NCLB test) scores improved greatly. We not only achieved AYP, we went from the lowest performing middle school in the district to the highest achieving middle school in the district. Mrs. Lyle has inspired my staff, reinforcing my vision for the school, to increase instructional rigor using MAX strategies in all content areas. Her "Southern" presentation is outstanding; she is very positive and affirming. I was the principal of Stemmers Run Middle School in Baltimore County prior to being appointed as the Principal of Bennett Middle School in Wicomico County. Stemmers Run was in the MMGW network of SREB. I brought a team of teachers to your PD session in Atlanta and then returned to the school to implement reading "a la Forget". I still have my binder of "Forget Reading" from the PD sessions in 2000. Stemmers Run Middle School was one of the first two middle schools to be recognized in a SREB case study report on school improvement. Thank you fro your vision for improved student achievement through reading in the content area. Nancy Lyle did a great job in communicating the MAX vision.
- M. J., Principal, Bennett Middle School, Salisbury, MD
What amazes me is how completely MAX transforms me as a teacher. I have always believed that my role in the classroom is to guide students to their own learning. I have often used these words that I recently read in your book: "I do not want to be the dispenser of knowledge." I have taught for fifteen years with one guiding philosophy, that the learning happens in the struggle. Then I try to always build problems for my students to solve, situations in which they can struggle to find the answer. If they're not struggling, I believe, they are not learning.
- A. G., Broken Arrow, OK
Todd is a true professional and an expert in his field. The training (MAX Teaching) provided by Todd, was very beneficial to my teachers and is being implemented in all CTE classrooms in our district. Every CTE teacher commented MAX Teaching was the most beneficial training they had attended in years. So good in fact, administrators have expressed interest in having Todd return to our school district.
- B. K., Little Rock, Arkansas
The MAX Teaching consultant does a terrific job of presenting practical literacy strategies that any teacher can put to work in their classroom immediately. He does this with a down-to-earth approach that connects with teachers who may not be literacy specialists or English teachers. He was especially effective working with our vocational department on how they could help teach literacy in their classrooms while presenting their normal curriculum. Since our initial workshop, we have had him come back for a modeling session, and we will have him for another workshop this coming summer. I would strongly recommend Todd and the MAX Teaching Program.
- J. W., Arkansas
Dr. Forget – A big personal thank you for coming to Edmond North. You did accomplish exactly what I hoped. You turned teachers on to effective strategies to get kids to read. There are 21 teachers whom I know have already implemented some of these strategies in the last two days. You have helped to reenergize teachers who have gotten stale in their approaches. You have given my administrators better ways to serve as instructional leaders instead of school managers. I have adopted the phrase of "reading to learn teacher" and set the expectation that conversations about teaching and learning will include sharing effective strategies that the teacher has been using.
- J. K., Principal, Edmond North High School, OK
…I never used the textbook. Nobody ever taught me how. Now that I’ve experienced MAX, I see a structure within which I can fit my previously held beliefs, and my teaching can have a much larger impact. Setting up classroom situations to provide problems for my students to solve took so much time and energy. Now, with MAX, I see that it can happen with ease, that I don't have to spend a lot of time planning and digging and finding new material…
- A. G. Tulsa, OK
Todd, you were awesome! I am amazed by the evaluations that the teachers filled out. There were excellent remarks and very positive feedback on paper and in our Wednesday afternoon staff meeting about your instruction and the MAX Teaching techniques. Our superintendent sat in our staff meeting and was very impressed by what the instructors had to say. I have been here for nine years and our staff has never been this excited about anything. You definitely gave us a much-needed shot in the arm. At least ten teachers have told me success stories about implementing MAX Teaching into their classroom just in the last two days. Everyone wants you back in August, so I am working fast and furious to make that happen. Thank you again for sharing the MAX Teaching Strategies. You gave us the tools we needed to energize the faculty and motivate our students. We are all looking forward to a refresher in the fall.
- G. L., Academic Center Instructor, Canadian Valley Technology Center, OK
- Dr. J. A., LA
Todd's in-service training on MAX reading and writing strategies is outstanding. His style in engaging, he is punctual and uses humor throughout the workshop. The teachers loved the two-day workshop.
- C. C., NC
Todd’s passion in his presentation is only exceeded by his passion for his subject matter. The teachers were engaged throughout the two days and gave him excellent evaluations. While his materials are extremely relevant for educators, they are also relevant for anyone involved in communicating ideas to other people. We would and will have him back again.
- R. B., PA
Mark, Thank you for the excellent training. I am sharing with my peers about the excitement that you generated among the participants during the first two hours of your training. Example: I thought that you had asked two groups to continue talking (participants acting like students in a real classroom setting) when you attempted to transition/model the next strategy. As I looked around the room and looked at you, I quickly realized that you had not requested this but that these two groups were so excited that they had to share as to how they would use these new strategies in their particular classes. I am glad that you understood their excitement and patiently explained that you needed to continue with the training. Again, thank you for all that you do for teachers.
- P. C., Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, NC
Todd provides strong practical approaches to helping students become more effective readers. His concepts in MAX Teaching mirror many of the concepts that we advocate in Reading to Learn in Secondary Classrooms.
- D. P., PA
Rosemarie, I wanted to thank you again for sending Mr. Jason Barker, Career Technology Consultant, from Pennsylvania our way. He did an all-day presentation on MAX Teaching with our teachers in the Lakeside School District (Grades 6-12). He was excellent! Truly, awesome!! The teachers felt that they could identify with him since he was in the classroom too. He was approachable and shared numerous "best practice" strategies that my staff thought was "doable" on this level. We are expecting good things to happen as we strategically plan our focus during the whole year.
- L. A., Lakeside High School, Principal (9-12)
The MAX Teaching consultant is an expert in this field and does an expert job of passing along the information to other teachers. Every single one of our teachers that had this training felt that it is something that they can and will use to become better and more effective instructors. Can't say enough good about it – invaluable training that will impact the classroom and student achievement immediately.
- L. S., OK
The implementation of MAX Teaching has improved my students’ classroom behavior, interest in learning and ownership in their education. This would not have happened if not for Todd. The time he gives to educating educators, his organization of materials presented in his seminars, his teaching and communication skills, and his enthusiasm for what he teaches makes those who attend his seminars successful. And his sense of humor isn't bad, either!
- W. T., OK
MAX Teaching is the most long-lasting professional development initiative we have had in our district’s science department. Teachers continue to use the various techniques, in particular the anticipation guides, to help students make better use of text. In the years following the workshop we have regularly revisited different techniques at monthly departmental meetings, and we keep a stock of the manuals on hand and provide one to each new hire in the department. When a MAX Teaching workshop was held in Oklahoma City last year I made sure that all of the new teachers in our department attended. When we are asked for ideas for effective use of training money, our department volunteers that MAX Teaching is a great investment for subjects across the curriculum.
- G. M., Science Department Chair, Bartlesville Public Schools, OK
Todd engaged us in a 2-day action-packed, fun-filled, best-practices workshop. Many teachers considered this the best professional development experience they have ever had. Each strategy was practiced in the workshop. The consultant's background as a CTE instructor helped him make valuable connections with our CTE staff, which added a nice personal touch. Thank you, Todd.
- C. S., Des Moines, Iowa
Although most of my teachers are VERY stubborn and set in their ways, I have observed the use of the Anticipation Guide frequently. I think its use has, in turn, created a need for them to think about the standards they are supposed to be teaching. Additionally, I have reiterated the idea that although you cannot turn every struggling student into a 7th or 8th grade level reader you CAN support them to function like one in your class.
- N. J., Literacy Specialist, Youngstown Schools, OH
The MAX Teaching consultant has provided high-quality professional development that has resulted in increased student engagement in both academic and career/technical education classrooms. I highly recommend MAX Teaching as a deliverer of professional development targeted toward increasing student achievement.
- D. S., MO
Todd is an excellent presenter who walks the talk during each presentation by modeling the effective methods. He is able to get even the "nay-sayers" on board in a minimal period of time… a true professional in his field.
- K. H., Tulsa, OK
I am almost embarrassed to admit this – but I believe it is probably very true for many people. Through some of my earlier years of teaching, the learning was very superficial. Students come in to class, take their seats, and jump through the hoops the teacher has planned for the day – whether that be regurgitating the most recent information or listening and watching the teacher put on their show. Superficial Learning!
- S. H., Mattoon, Illinois
The MAX Teaching consultant engaged his audience in the content that he was presenting. He brought his teaching methods to life by putting them into action with our teachers, rather than just "talking about" them.
- D. R., PA
Although I have not had the opportunity to hire Todd more than once, I have recommended him numerous times to state level educators around the country. His services have been utilized multiple times by educators in the MAVCC member states because of his outstanding ability to teach and inspire others. Todd is "real" when he talks about the MAX Teaching strategies because he has applied them as an educator and has seen the positive results. His passion is evident in his presentations. Todd is a professional in every sense and I will continue to recommend him to colleagues who are looking for resources to help students improve their reading comprehension, writing, and thinking skills.
- J. H., Stillwater, OK
He approaches his audience with the passion, confidence, and expertise necessary to deliver the training expected from him. His personality and the training he provided are so good, that he was invited to return for an encore session.
- B. S., MO
"Kept me glued to my seat..." "Best workshop I've ever attended..." These are some of the comments that were repeated from staff after our in-service with Todd in August of 2010. The consultant's experience as a teacher, administrator, along with his experience working in business and industry, gave him instant credibility with our teaching staff. He very knowledgeably could "talk the talk" both in academic and career technical terms. His style, presentation, knowledge, and modeling of how to effectively use reading strategies to help students improve their reading, writing and thinking skills made this day an outstanding day for ALL! I highly recommend Todd to work with any school district!
- R. O., OH
I use MAX Teaching in my program. I have a daily bell ringer on the board every day for the students. It is sometimes about the material we have covered, something related to criminal justice in the news or something about our SkillsUSA Champions at Work program. I use the What I Know sheets sometimes when covering material in the chapter that I know they will never read. I use the free writes and the anticipation guide. I have found that by getting them involved in the lecture they do learn more than just me lecturing everything. They are now used to the bell ringers and ask if there is not one on the board.
- P. F., High School Criminal Justice Instructor, National Park Community College, AR
As a first year teacher I struggled to find ways to incorporate reading in my lessons that actually engaged the students in the material. I mostly stuck with the ole “sit and get” method of teaching because reading and bookwork was boring for the students and me. After I attended the MAX Teaching seminar it changed everything. Without going into too much detail, MAX Teaching has made my classroom more productive, positive and engaging. The ways that the different reading strategies are set up makes it easy for planning and implementing material for me and makes lessons engaging, interesting, and competitive for the students. Who would have thought that reading in a textbook could ever become competitive for students...not to mention actually learning through the process? MAX Teaching has given me the tools to make students better readers and learn about World History at the same time.
- M. S., Mattoon High School, IL
A number of our staff members have commented that this was the best in-service in their careers.
- M. H., NJ
We have been using the MAX Teaching strategies school wide. The teachers use Cornell Notes, Previewing, Stump the Teacher, Anticipation Guides, Pre and Post Concept Checks, Fiction Prediction, and quick writes on a regular basis. They also use sharing with partners and group work strategies. We have been sure to in-service all our new teachers in MAX strategies as soon as they join our staff and the principals look for the strategies when they check lesson plane. We have noticed improved student involvement and fewer discipline problems. Our OAA scores have been improving each year although we still remain in school improvement. I have seen overall improvement in the quality of the lessons taught because of the deliberate planning for the use of strategies to match the content.
- B. G. ,SLC , Heskett Middle School, Bedford OH
Todd has worked for our school system as a MAX Teaching consultant. His first session was an all-day workshop for Career and Technical teachers and foreign language instructors. He then came back for two days of modeling with our students. The professional development was very successful. Since Todd was a CTE teacher, our teachers received him well. He knew his stuff and impressed them with the practical application of these techniques. We are looking forward to a continued relationship with Todd.
- T. J., TN
Todd has worked with our teaching staff twice this school year. His presentations and teaching tools have made a positive impact on our staff and students. The methods he incorporates are researched-based. He has modeled what he does to our staff with different content areas and students of many different learning levels. We are very pleased with what he and MAX Teaching have done for us so far. In fact we are planning on bringing him back next school year multiple times. Our teachers have said after being in different professional development, this is the first one I could see the applications with and have the tools to apply them. Teachers are asking when will he be coming back; student engagement and enthusiasm were phenomenal when he modeled MAX Teaching. We are looking forward to our continued future for our staff and students with Todd and MAX Teaching.
- D. M., OH
We made a significant commitment and partnership with MAX Teaching. Todd is the reason why it has made such an impact in just 6 months we have seen results as teachers utilize the reading strategies within their classrooms frequently. He is well respected across the community of Career and Technical Education and we are happy to contract with him for another year as a result of the requests from teachers and the measurable results we see from the administrative perspective.
- S. R., PA
There are many capable and proficient trainers. There are also trainers who, because of their vast knowledge and dynamic presentation, must be considered outstanding. Todd is outstanding! MAX Teaching strategies, aligned with Todd's experience and delivery, forms a perfect trifecta to make a wise investment in the future of our educational system.
- J. T., PA
They provided our teachers with expert training on the MAX Teaching with Reading and Writing strategies. Teachers were able to see the consultants model the teaching approach to each strategy as well as practice the strategy. Evaluations were extremely positive. In addition, these strategies will be of great help to our teachers in engaging students in the Common Core Standards since the strategies make use of reading, writing, reasoning, speaking, listening, thinking, and collaborating.
- E. B.
I offer the highest praise for Todd in his work at our technical high school in Pennsylvania. In his first two visits to our school Todd has demonstrated that there are powerful teaching strategies that are accessible to our entire staff. These strategies have the potential to improve an already positive culture in our school. The consultant is a master teacher of teachers. His gifts have the potential for far reaching effects in each of the schools he touches. I give him my unconditional recommendation.
- N. D., Meadville, PA
MAX Teaching provided an in-service on their methods to our teaching staff. I highly recommend them to any district looking to implement instructional strategies that improve overall student achievement in the areas of reading and writing.
- G. L. Massillon, OH
Todd is AWESOME! MAX Teaching totally relates to the Career & Technical Education teachers. The strategies presented to our teachers works for both - integration of literacy and the integration of math in the career & technical education programs. Todd’s passion for helping students learn is contagious. I would encourage any school, especially a career & technology school, interested in improving teaching & learning to contact MAX Teaching.
- J. D., Philadelphia, PA
Todd demonstrated for the teachers at Eastern on how to facilitate the use of MAX Teaching in their respective classrooms. He worked extremely well with both the students and staff at Eastern. He performed above and beyond our expectations. We will continue to use Todd as our MAX trainer in the near future. I would highly recommend him to provide instruction in MAX Teaching to any school.
- K. A., Willow Grove, PA
The consultant is a wonderful presenter who is extremely knowledgeable and energetic. His presentations are powerful, and he has the ability to build a great rapport with his students (our teachers). They left the workshop feeling excited, challenged, and ready to implement the MAX strategies he had given them. The majority said, "This is the best and most useful workshop I have ever attended.
- M. M., Hot Springs, AR
I incorporate a number of MAX Teaching methods into my daily lessons, including think-pair-share, three-level study guides, graphic organizers, anticipation guides, summarizing, focused free-writes, Cornell notes, and text preview. I have found that the personalities of my classes often need different strategies to get motivated and process new information. In addressing these different needs, it has been extremely useful to have an ever-expanding toolbox of quick strategies to vary from class to class even when the content remains the same. I switch up the strategies to keep my students from losing interest, but I feel more confident when I can teach new information to them in multiple ways. They stay focused, their test grades go up, and I feel good when my students get "it"--whatever "it" happens to be that day.
- K. H., Avon High School, OH
The consultant presented 2 days of teaching demonstrations using MAX Teaching techniques. Our teachers are asking for more--veteran or 1st year--they saw techniques that are easily used with instant observable change. Students responded to the techniques, learning more in a shorter amount of time. Techniques are portable for students. They will learn and take with them as strategies for life. Teachers can easily implement the techniques into daily lessons with instant results. The consultant's presentations will improve lifelong learning skills for students and lifelong teaching skills of instructors. I would recommend the consultant and MAX Teaching for all levels of learners and teachers. He is personable and a great value.
- R. H., Henderson, OK
I had the pleasure of attending your seminar in New Orleans. I wanted to express my gratitude for your Anticipation Guide information. In addition to being a HS science teacher in NYC, I am an adjunct @ various colleges including Nassau Community College on Long Island. This past Monday I decided to practice the Anticipation Guide on my college students when introducing the Immune system to nursing candidates. It went over so well they asked if I could use it when introducing all new topics. As you stated, the procedure's workload is heavy on the front end but the outcome in class is I do much less lecturing while, based on my formative assessments, student learning & memorizing has improved dramatically. Outstanding!
- J. A., Hicksville, NY
MAX Teaching motivates and engages my students. It helps weaker students to gain confidence in themselves and pairing with them with stronger students helps them to work with peers and not to just rely on the teacher. The students are no longer bored; they are taking charge of their learning.
- S. H., Mattoon, IL
I’ve been using MAX Teaching in all my classes with good results. I’m confident I’ll see results on my high stakes test (NJ ASK) this year!
- J. M., Bogota, NJ
I had the privilege of attending your workshop three times. Your reading strategies for nonfiction text helped send my geography test scores through the roof!
- K. C., Oklahoma City, OK
Thanks a million for exposing me to so many graphic organizers and reading strategies. It not only has helped me become a more effective educator, but has also helped me personally be more successful in my studies.
- A. C., Findlay, OH
I just wanted to share with you how excited ______ and ______ were about the MAX Teaching workshop. They came back to school today and used what they learned on Saturday in their classrooms. They were sharing at lunch how the lower students were participating a whole lot more and there were a lot less discipline problems during the lesson because all of their students were so involved in the discussion. ____ said there were vocabulary words that she thought were really difficult but her students caught on quickly by the way they taught the lesson. ____ and ____ were smiling from ear to ear because they felt so successful in teaching a lesson that appealed to all of their students. I was also excited to hear such a great story.
- K. A., Lawton, OK
I just thought I would send you a note on the results of my first unit test. Of the 42 industrial tech students that took the test last Friday 97% scored a 70% OR better. That is awesome. Also I had 35% score the 90 percent required to work in the lab. Thanks for the new techniques
- L. B., Butte, MT
Thanks for the most pertinent workshop I've attended thus far in my career. When I read the agenda for our in service, I thought your workshop would be more of the same worksheet/Jedi mind tricks/inspirational speaker fare we've endured in past presentations. I was wrong. You gave me both confirmation and tools to enhance my pedagogy. I am profoundly thankful and awed by your masterful modeling of techniques I'll use in my classroom and with my child from this point forward.
- T. N., Western Texas College
Thank you so much for the whole MAX Teaching concept. I used it exclusively in my self-contained special education class with juniors this past year. I had kids with behavior issues, kids who were EMI, and kids with extreme learning differences, and they all learned a great deal! Reading and writing were greatly improved according to several different criteria!
- L. D., Mattoon, IL
They stay focused, their test grades go up, and I feel good when my students get "it"--whatever "it" happens to be that day.
- K. H., Avon, OH
North and South Technical High Schools have been using MAX Teaching strategies for over six years. All of our teachers have been through many training sessions on Dr. Forget's strategies. All teachers have the book "MAX Teaching with Reading and Writing". Every year all of our new teachers also receive this book and are exposed to the strategies and are expected to use them.
- S. T., Special School District of St. Louis, MO
I asked the head of our SPED Dept. to get the testing history of the student who scored so high in reading comprehension. She found that he was tested in Dec of his 7th grade year and scored at a grade equivalency of 9.3. Last year he was in my 8th grade science class and this year he had a teacher who also uses MAX Teaching methods to teach science. When they tested him in December of this (9th grade) year, he tested at a grade equivalency of 18.0, the highest score the examiner had ever found!!!! WOW!!! Love it!!!!
- J. N., Springdale, AR
We have 33 people in this workshop including the 3 of us. We even have 2 from our feeder junior high school. The feedback has been awesome. I am so excited about the number of teachers learning these strategies and preparing lessons for next year. I'll keep you posted on our progress! By the way, our literacy tests scores just came back and we improved from the previous year! :) Thanks so much for leading us down the right path.
- D. E., Springdale High School Literacy Coach, AR
I just wanted to take a second and thank everyone involved for allowing my colleagues and myself the opportunity to be introduced to MAX Teaching. At first I was very skeptical how my AP biology students would handle this new textbook approach, but I was pleasantly surprised. My students, although they won't admit, it truly enjoy Think-Pair-Share. Some say it is the only time they have ever truly read a section of their textbook in their high school career. We also have switched notes over to the Cornell approach discussed in the book and students are actively engaged in creating upper level Bloom’s Taxonomy questions. Thank you again for this opportunity and I look forward to trying more activities in the future.
- T. S., Avon Local School District, OH
Dr. Forget, I attended your in-service last week in Hudson. I must tell you that going into this I was apprehensive to say the least. The usual thoughts teachers have when told they’re being sent to an in-service, “What is this guy going to tell me that I don’t already know?” I thought, “Great, more time away from my kids.” However, your ideas are phenomenal. I was so excited to start trying these with my kids. This week we started studying the Civil War using our textbook, something I used to avoid like the plague. We started with an anticipation guide I created following your model. The results were awesome! (I’m starting to feel like I’m writing an infomercial script). Kids that normally stared blankly or I had to keep taking notes from or ask to stop talking or to stay on task were so engaged. The debates that kids have were what I’ve always strived to create in my room. We then did some paired reading and today we did a GIST activity, summarizing the Gettysburg Address in fewer than 50 words. The kids are really getting into the Civil War and learning so much more than my traditional lecture classes. The hardest thing was to not jump in and correct them or give them the answers but as I restrained myself and allowed the students to debate and discuss what they had read the results began to pour out of them. I asked one of my girls who is very bright but always struggled with class what she thought of these new activities. She responded, “I really like them and they help me but I’m kind of mad, because we just started doing this at the end of the year”. I couldn’t have agreed with her more! Thanks for opening my eyes!
- B. H., 8th Grade American History, Hudson Middle School
Dr. Forget, I have already begun to share your methods:) I will of course cover more of them, though I know that seeing it from you make more of an impact! I have attached an anticipation guide that I used yesterday in an honors pre-calculus class. I'm a believer that you get better at writing them the more you practice! There is great walking the fence wording and it lead to great discussion! We were discussing continuity. It was the best class I've had all year and honestly, I have some pretty good classes. We do some cool things and kids get very involved, but yesterday was the best I've seen. I am so excited to begin next year incorporating your ideas into my classroom. What you do is just such a perfect way to complement what happens in my room already. I'm looking right past summer break to August already!!! Thank you again for working with us. You'll love the staff here. We are incredibly professional and energetic.
- K. S., Rocky River, OH
Classroom Activities for Helping Students Learn New Subject Matter While Acquiring Literacy Skills.
Classroom Demonstrations of Reading & Writing Activities that Help Students Learn New Subject Matter while Acquiring Literacy Skills. (Set of 4 DVDs)