The staff development day consists of approximately three to three-and-a half hours before lunch and three or so hours after lunch, although we are prepared to accommodate a schedule that fits the needs of the school. During this time, participants practice ten to twelve MAX Teaching classroom activities each day. These are modeled for the teachers as if they were students in our classrooms. Teachers thus experience classroom activities they will immediately be able to use in their own classes with their own specific readings and curricula.
We demonstrate how to use these MAX Teaching strategies in the Mathematics, Language Arts, Health, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Science and Career Technology classes, to name a few.

It is best to schedule two or more days of staff development so that the teachers get to experience about 25-30 MAX Teaching strategies among themselves with a MAX Teaching consultant facilitating the process and answering any questions.

  1. MAX Teaching Consultants will use a mix of mostly modeling and some lecture to demonstrate the effectiveness of using these strategies with real students. The readings we use are suitable for professional teachers; the reading strategies we use to get them to read and discuss the materials are the same ones that they will hopefully use with their students after the workshop. By experiencing the strategies first-hand, teachers easily see their effectiveness. We also have examples of the strategies from many subject areas. We have used reading for learning in the classroom for more than 25 years, teaching thoughtful and strategic reading and writing processes in basic algebra, algebra 1, trigonometry, statistics, earth science, geography, government, American history, world history, and, health and PE, language arts, and electronics and other vocational classes. When teachers see our materials and perceive how we answer questions that are content-specific, they know we know what we are talking about. We also share brief videos of real classroom applications.

  2. Clear, precise instructions for using each of the many strategies are included in the text we use, and may be reproduced for classroom use. Any teacher can turn around and use the strategies the next day, and many will do so.

  3. We usually don't convince 100% of the participating teachers. There are always a few resisters in any crowd. However, the following are important measures to help bring as many on board as possible:

    1. Heterogeneously group people in a random way. Don't let all the math people or all the coaches sit together. Have a random assignment that puts people from different subject areas together at tables.

    2. Principals should attend and participate throughout the sessions. This allows for them to appreciate the nature of the instruction, and we have found that it helps reduce levels of nay saying. Leadership participation also allows for teacher leaders to know what to expect in the classrooms following the professional development.

    3. Assurance of follow-up support such as MAX Teaching consultants’ visiting teachers in the classroom, teachers visiting each other in the classroom, or support in the form of assistance in creating materials, etc. that might be provided by a literacy coach.

    4. We have been performing staff development in content area reading instruction for more than two decades now. We know the right things to say to convince teachers that these things work. (That's because they do.) The only equipment we will need is a screen large enough for all participants to see. We send a small set of materials to be reproduced, one copy for each workshop participant to be used in conjunction with the text. The MAX Teaching text is a handbook for teachers to provide step-by-step instructions for the processes of reading and writing for learning. The text is required for each workshop participant.

Among the many reading and writing strategies that teachers will be able to use after the workshop are:

  • Anticipation Guides
  • Bologna Sandwich
  • Concept Checks
  • Cornell Note Taking
  • Cubing
  • DRTA Fiction
  • DRTA Non-Fiction
  • Extreme Paired Reading
  • Focused Free Writes
  • Frayer Model
  • GIST
  • Guided Reading Procedure
  • Hunt for Main Ideas
  • Idea Survivor
  • Interactive Cloze
  • Magic Squares
  • Math Translation
  • Paired Reading
  • PQRST+
  • PreP (Pre-reading Plan)
  • Previewing
  • Sensible Sent. Highlight
  • Student-Generated Graphic Representations
  • Stump the Teacher
  • Semantic Feature Analysis
  • Think-Alouds
  • Think-Pair-Share
  • Three-Level Study Guides
  • Triangle Truths
  • …and others.

Once teachers have experienced these activities from the perspective of students, they understand why the activities are so effective in achieving the literacy goals of the Common Core State Standards while, at the same time, helping students to deeply learn their subject matter.


MAX Teaching with Reading and WritingMAX Teaching with Reading and Writing

Classroom Activities for Helping Students Learn New Subject Matter While Acquiring Literacy Skills.



MAX Teaching in ActionMAX Teaching in Action

Classroom Demonstrations of Reading & Writing Activities that Help Students Learn New Subject Matter while Acquiring Literacy Skills. (Set of 4 DVDs)