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What is the Workshop approach and how might it help English learners improve their reading and writing skills? What is the appropriate balance between direct instruction and independent student work? How might we implement workshop style activities in classes with diverse groups of learners?
We discuss these questions and much more with Valentina Gonzalez. Valentina is an educational consultant working with educators across the nation to support English learners. She works with schools and districts to provide professional learning experiences that are tailored to meet the needs of the participants. She specializes in creating presentations that are engaging and interactive.
Valentina started her journey as an educator in 1997 as a third grade language arts teacher in Katy, Texas. She has served as an educator in many capacities since then, including teaching second and fourth grade. After leaving the classroom, she worked as an ESL Instructional Support Specialty Teacher on her campus serving and co-teaching in first-fifth grade classrooms. As a district leader, she has served as a facilitator for campuses and as a professional development specialist.
Currently, Valentina shares her time as an independent contractor traveling to deliver professional development and working for a school district.
During our conversation, we referenced the following books and resources:
The Book Whisper, by Donalyn Miller
When Kids Can’t Read: What Teachers Can Do, by Kylene Beers
The End of Average, by Todd Rose
You can find Valentina's writing and other great resources on the Seidlitz Education Blog
Valentina also writes frequently on Middle Web.
She also has her own website - check it out here.
Finally we encourage you to follow Valentina on Twitter - @ValentinaESL
We'd love to hear your reactions to this episode - leave a comment below to start a conversation!
View the discussion thread.