Back-to-School Literacy Conference

The Northwest Montana Reading Council is hosting its Back-to-School Literacy Conference at Flathead High School on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Author Cornelius Brown will give the keynote address. The cost to attend the conference is $40. Participants whose schools are part of the PIR Net are encouraged to register through the PIR Net by August 1, 2019. See the attached flyer for more information and other registration details: NW MT Reading Council Flyer 2019

Western Montana 2019 Summer Institute

The Western Montana CSPD is offering a Summer Institute with a variety professional development opportunities June 11-13, 2019 in Polson, MT.

Some of the opportunities include:

  • The Development of Reading and Writing (K-2)
  • High Impact Math Instruction (K-12)
  • Understanding Conflict and Communication
  • Preschool Curriculum
  • Restorative Justice
  • Raising Student Achievement
  • Data Management and Tech Integration

…and much more!

How to Enroll: Visit Summer Institute 2019

Ramping-up K-6 Reading and Writing for End-of-year Results

Monday, April 29, 2019, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
New location: Location: Montec Building, 1121 East Broadway, Missoula, MT in the small conference room across from the break room (look for our signs)
Register at:
Presenter: Ann Ellsworth
Registration: $99
For educators of grades K-6
6 OPI renewal units
Coffee and snacks provided. Lunch on your own.
Course # 18551015

This presentation focuses on how teachers can minimize summer reading loss by maximizing literacy instruction during those final weeks of school. Using short texts–including fun poetry and newspapers–can motivate even the most reluctant readers and writers. Add to your repertoire of first-rate, evidence-based reading and writing instructional approaches. You’ll leave this workshop excited to implement these strategies with your students.
Bring your laptops or wireless device.
Register at:

Working With Diverse Learners Who Find Reading and Writing Challenging (Apr. 5 – Aug. 2, 2019)

Working With Diverse Learners Who Find Reading and Writing Challenging
This self-paced, online Moodle course is intended for those who are interested in studying how teachers can impact their reading and writing instruction in school contexts. Major course objectives are to help class participants become more confident with teaching their diverse students reading and writing in the content disciplines they teach.

Course description: This 2-credit course is designed to extend participants’ knowledge of literacy instruction for students who find reading and writing challenging. Since word knowledge is tied to comprehension, there will be an emphasis on learning about those instructional approaches that support vocabulary growth and concept development.

Learning outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
identify basic principles of literacy instruction and describe how these are influenced by academic language and content knowledge.
describe Tier 1, 2, and 3 vocabulary levels.
create a motivational “hook” that previews key concepts of a text.
evaluate a professional resource, noting how ideas can be incorporated into a pre-existing lesson.
create several vocabulary development activities that support the B-D-A learning model.
analyze specific strategies that support language learning and reading comprehension

​About the course facilitator:
Ann Ellsworth has taught in elementary and secondary schools in Wisconsin and Montana, and has led reading and writing professional development workshops across Montana and the Midwest. She is the 2019 National Council of Teachers of English’s (NCTE) “Grammar Teacher of the Year.” The Association of Teachers of English Grammar (ATEG) is an arm of NCTE. She was awarded the 2016 Montana Reading Teacher of the Year, and was a finalist for two national teaching awards. Presently she works with teacher candidates at Montana State University-Bozeman She has served as editor of the MONTANA STATE READING JOURNAL and is working with a publisher on a book on how to improve student writing.

Register at:

Reading and Writing Workshops, Part 2

This writing workshop is part 2 of 2 part workshop hosted by the Western Montana Professional Learning Collaborative. The theme of this workshop is Engaging reluctant writers who can’t, won’t or don’t with presenter Ann Ellsworth. The grade level focus for this workshop is from kindergarten to 8th grade. This session focuses on how classroom teachers can develop students’ writing skills, with a particular emphasis on how to meet the needs of those who can’t, won’t, or don’t write. Exploring how to change attitudes about writing with five teacher-tested techniques along with engaging activities that empower developing writers serves as the bedrock of this workshop. Participants can expect to leave with numerous ideas that will infuse energy into their existing writing curriculum—ideas that creatively use mentor texts and which can be used across grade levels and with students of varying abilities. An added component is to learn about three strategies that all writers can use as they upgrade their first draft into a better, polished version. Part 1 of this workshop, the reading workshop, will be held on November 2, 2018. 6 OPI renewal units will be offered per day. Register here to attend one or both workshops. For more information, contact Daisy Carlsmith at

Reading and Writing Workshops in Missoula, Part 1

This reading workshop is part 1 of 2 part workshop hosted by the Western Montana Professional Learning Collaborative. The theme of this workshop is Building Literacy Learning: Exploring Options for Differentiation with presenter Ann Ellsworth. The grade level focus for this workshop is from kindergarten to 4th grade. This active-learning workshop will address how to incorporate phonemic awareness, print understandings, and word-building activities within the reader’s workshop model. We will discuss structuring and organizing the classroom, mini-lesson topics and delivery, book selection practices, and options to track students’ progress. The goal of this workshop, as we explore options and possibilities to accelerate student reading development, is how each teacher can work within the workshop framework to make it “right” for him or her.. Part 2 of this workshop, the writing workshop, will be held on November 9, 2018. 6 OPI renewal units will be offered per day. Register here to attend one or both workshops. For more information, contact Daisy Carlsmith at

American Indian Literature K-8 (IEFA Book Club Registration)

Register here:

This online course serves as an opportunity for participants to explore OPI developed instructional units based on literature sent to all Montana elementary and middle school libraries alongside additional primarily fiction texts for use in grades K-8. The course will be divided into three parts: literature for K-2, literature for 3-5, and literature for 6-8. Many resources are place-based, either focused on Montana tribes or created by Montana Indian authors. Participants will read texts, engage in discussions, complete instructional activities, and examine accurate and authentic Native American fiction and nonfiction texts. Ultimately, participants will select texts and instructional units for immediate integration of IEFA into their classrooms. This course is rigorous and requires the participant complete extensive reading and access a number of texts through their school or public library or purchase said materials from WM-PLC or booksellers.

Event Number: 18521010
Instructor: Michele McGuire
Dates: October 8, 2018 – December 2, 2018

Registration fee: $175
Credit: 30 OPI Renewal Units or 2 Semester Credits (semester credit is offered through the University of Montana and is an additional fee of $155. The course instructor will provide a separate registration form).

Obtaining a copy of the book: Check your school /district or local library. Amazon and other online booksellers often have used copies available. The instructor is available to assist with locating copies, if needed.

Register here:

WMCSPD Summer Institute

3 Days of FREE High Quality Professional Development in Polson
Sessions include…
Classroom Management ER – Dr Linda Karges- Bone,
MTSS – Wayne Callender
Reading & Writing – Carrie Cole
DATA Collection & Management & Distribution – Rob Reynolds
Para Supervision Training – Barb Stimson.
Sp Ed Law – Linda Maas & Melissa Morris
Para Training – Barb Stimson
Proloquo Training – Leah Gardner
MATH intervention strategies- Rhonda Birnie