Penny Kittle Returns To MCIU!


Planning and Implementing Book Clubs Using Culturally Responsive Texts and Strategies

Book clubs engage readers in a wide range of texts that allow for divergent thinking and learning from the perspective of others. Book clubs build community and deepen reading comprehension through discourse and writing.  In this workshop, participants will dive into planning and implementing book clubs using culturally responsive texts and teaching strategies in the intermediate and secondary classrooms. Participants will build their understanding of:  

  • Why book clubs leverage engagement and deeper learning 
  • The essential roles discourse and writing play in book clubs
  • The teacher moves and design elements of book clubs 

By the end of the workshop, participants will be ready to plan a book club unit of study for the new school year.

JUNE 2, 2021


AUG 25, 2021


Launching Your Year with Independent Reading Using Culturally Responsive Texts and Strategies

How can launching the year with independent reading build a collaborative community of learners? With over a year of unprecedented learning, participants will learn how to plan a unit of study around independent reading in order to support students in gaining back their stamina, fluency, and joy of reading and writing.

Participants will explore how to:

  • Cultivate habits of reading through in- class reading time 
  • Empower students to make choices from a wide range of genres
  • Create discussion and writing experiences in response to reading
  • Give book talks from a variety of texts and voices 
  • Use conferring as a tool for assessment, monitoring progress, and goal setting
  • Support students in developing their identity as readers 
  • Support readers to build stamina and fluency
  • Model self- monitoring and goal setting strategies 
  • Use mentor texts to increase the complexity and demands on readers and examine writer’s craft

*Participants can participate in one or both professional learning opportunities. 


Penny Kittle teaches freshman composition at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. She was a teacher and literacy coach in public schools for 34 years. She is the co-author of 180 Days with Kelly Gallagher, and is the author of Book Love, and Write Beside Them. She is the president of the Book Love Foundation and was given the Exemplary Leader Award from NCTE’s Conference on English Leadership. Penny speaks to teachers about empowering students through independence in literacy. She believes intentional teaching in a reading and writing workshop brings the greatest student investment and learning in a classroom.

Refine Your Practice:

A Professional Learning Playlist for Independent Reading

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Proven educational professional with a passion and commitment to lead colleagues forward and to guide curriculum and instruction. Skilled in long-range planning and creating infrastructure to support the growth of teachers, schools and districts. Over 20 years of experience within the North Penn School District serving as a classroom teacher with leadership responsibilities in the areas of literacy, math, science and use of technology to enhance instruction and serving as a reading specialist and district literacy leader developing systems and structures to promote diagnostic and prescriptive instruction within a responsive teaching framework. Currently serving in the role of Program Administrator of Literacy working to ignite change and to encourage growth in teachers and administrators in the area of literacy instruction while also supporting the instructional coaches throughout our region through the PA Institute of Instructional Coaching (PIIC).

Through all of my years in the field, I've continued to have curiosity and interest in the human aspect of our work. I enjoy reading, watching and reflecting on leadership and relationship and how we can better support each other and work together to evolve our educational systems to support the learners of tomorrow. Our future is in their hands!

Academic Degrees and Credentials:
*K-12 Principal Certification, The Pennsylvania State University, Great Valley
*Collaborative Mentorship and Coaching Certificate, The Pennsylvania State University, Great Valley
*Master of Education, with distinction, Arcadia University
*Reading Specialist Certification, Arcadia University
*Merck Institute of Science Education Teacher-Leader
*Elementary and Kindergarten Education Certification, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
*Bachelor of Science in Education, The Pennsylvania State University, 1990

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Carey Rhodes is a Project Consultant in the Office of Professional Learning at the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. As a Project Consultant, she works in the areas of literacy and instructional coaching. Carey provides learning opportunities, technical support, and coaching that are interactive, reflective, and strategy-driven to guide participants from theory to classroom practice.

Prior to her serving as a Project Consultant, Carey was an instructional coach, literacy specialist, and secondary classroom teacher. Utilizing her background as an instructional coach and literacy educator, she encourages participants to learn and grow together by reflection in, on, and about instructional practice. Carey believes educators are stewards of learning and need to model for their students that learning never ends. She encourages a mindset of collaborative exploration and challenge. Carey is supportive of sharing our learning journeys in order to build our capacity, construct and clarify our understandings, and shift the teaching and learning experience. She thinks a learning environment that is anchored in an intentional instructional design supports transferable learning and student achievement.

Carey has a Bachelors in Educations from The University of Scranton and a Masters of Education from Cabrini University. She holds Pennsylvania Certifications in English 7-12 and Reading Specialist K-12.

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Sarah Misner is a Project Consultant in the Office of Professional Development at the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. As a Project Consultant, she works in the areas of literacy and English language development and has served in this role since 2012. Sarah provides professional learning opportunities, technical support, and coaching. Some of her areas of focus include:
*Program mentor and instructor for the English as a Second Language Teacher Certification Graduate Program through the MCIU
*Certified trainer of Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS)
*IU point of contact for the Montgomery County ESL Council and Title III Consortium

Prior to serving in this role, Sarah works with students in kindergarten through eighth grade as a reading specialist and as an elementary emotional support teacher. She believes that through looking at the educational research and translating it into practice, we an better meet the needs of ALL learners.

Sarah has a Bachelors in Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Education form Arcadia University. She holds Pennsylvania Certifications in Special Educations PK-12, Reading Specialist PK-12, Elementary Education K-6, and Program Specialist English as a Second Language PK-12.

Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahmisner23