Professional Development - MindWing Concepts, Inc.

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Professional Development

How is MindWing’s professional development plan designed?

MindWing Concepts’ professional development is customized to meet the needs of your school, school district or organization. It may include in-depth, interactive workshops, presentations, consultations, coaching and/or demonstrations focused on MindWing Concepts’ cognitive-linguistic-social methodology using MindWing,’s child-friendly materials including Braidy the StoryBraid® Story Grammar Marker®, Talk to Write, Write to Learn™, ThemeMaker® & MindWing’s Data Collection & Progress Monitoring Process™, Oral Discourse Strategies and more. CLICK HERE FOR SUGGESTED WORKSHOP TOPICS.


Kelowna BC Workshop image

Workshops are highly interactive and allow for up to 100 participants and are based on learning about the research-based foundation of MindWing’s methodology and learning how to use and effectively implement MindWing’s tools for narrative development and content area text. The presenter uses MindWing’s tools as well as children’s literature, chapter books, novels and content area articles and textbook chapters. Participants will learn hands-on strategies for intervention in the areas of oral language development, critical thinking skills, listening and reading comprehension, writing, and social communication skills.

Our workshops may be On-Site in a school district or organization or may be Open to The Public (See Current List Here). Each workshop is structured to include a combination of...

  • Foundation of MindWing Concepts’ research-based methodology
  • Consistent references to research and theoretical base of methodology and tools
  • Modeling & guided practice using MindWing tools
  • Demonstration lessons
  • Discussion
  • Video presentations
  • Application of MindWing’s methodology to state standards and curriculum guidelines
  • Participation in classroom activities
  • Participation in cooperative learning group activities
  • Activities using picture books, chapter books, novels, newspaper clippings, internet articles, social studies & science textbook chapters Workshops may be supplemented with classroom demonstrations, coaching, parent/guardian sessions, or certification (see below for details).

What are Learner Outcomes for MindWing’s Workshops?

Each MindWing workshop is designed with the following staff professional development goals in mind. Participants will…

  • Utilize MindWing’s methodology and tools effectively with designated core oral language, reading, content area and writing programs as well as and instructional practices that are currently in place in the school district
  • Inform instruction using MindWing’s Data Collection and Progress Monitoring Tools™ in the areas of oral expression, comprehension & writing of stories and of expository text
  • Build teacher capacity in the area of the oral language link to reading comprehension, critical thinking, expression and writing
  • Provide intervention in the area macrostructure and microstructure of stories (NARRATIVES) and content area text (EXPOSITORY) to develop comprehension, writing, pragmatics & critical thinking skills
  • Differentiate instruction for children with different abilities and learning styles
  • Implement effective strategies for teaching a group of diverse learners such as: children general education as well as children with language learning disabilities, English Language Learners, children with ASD and those who have been victims of trauma, neglect and/or abuse
  • Employ various modes of intervention and instruction to the students through use of hands-on materials, picture books, chapter books, novels & textbooks with MindWing’s lesson ideas and customized activities
  • Develop collaborative partnerships among classroom teachers and the professionals who support their instruction including, literacy specialists, speech-language pathologists, reading teachers, special education teachers, and those working with children for whom English is not a first language.

Please note: There are specific Learner Outcomes for each workshop topic. CLICK HERE FOR WORKSHOP TOPICS.


A workshop is designed to be highly interactive and has a limited number of participants. A presentation, on the other hand, may be based on one of our WORKSHOP TOPICS, but lectures to a large group of 100+ participants. Although MindWing Concepts’ presenter’s style is to include activities and discussion, in a presentation this is limited due to the large number of participants and time constraints. Thus, the structure of the presentation is to conduct activities in more of a large group format. This style is appropriate for organizations such as IRA, ASHA, IDA and state and local organizations. In a presentation, instructional materials are not required but encouraged. Often MindWing Concepts will set up a display table for participants to explore the materials.

Classroom Demonstrations

Many educators learn best by observing a particular instructional approach being conducted with their own student population. During classroom demonstrations, a MindWing presenter conducts lessons using MindWing’s methodology and tools in classrooms in that school district, while participants in that Professional Development observe the lesson. In weeks prior to the classroom demonstrations, the school district shares with MindWing the grade and ability level of the students in each of the sessions. A typical day of classroom demonstrations involves the MindWing presenter conducting 3 different lessons with 3 different groups of students. Between each lesson, there is time for the presenter to meet with the PD participants to discuss the lesson.



Coaching sessions usually involve fewer than ten participants and are designed for targeted work with the MindWing Presenter. During a day of coaching sessions, a MindWing presenter may observe, assess and provide feedback for individual educators or teams of educators conducting lessons using MindWing’s methodology. Another option for the coaching session is to have a MindWing presenter participate in a “think tank” or brainstorming session with a small group of participants to discuss plans and challenges specific to their school district goals, curriculum and initiatives regarding the implementation of MindWing’s methodology.



Since the Story Grammar Marker® was designed in 1991, there are professionals who have been using the methodology for decades. SGM® Certification Module I was developed for professionals who are at the expert level in using MindWing’s methodology and who want to train directly with Maryellen Rooney Moreau, creator of the Story Grammar Marker®. SGM® Certification Module I is a 2-day intensive training held at MindWing’s designated location (also may be held in school districts as requested). Designed as a roundtable, think-tank-type of workshop, this certification module will cover MindWing’s methodology from early childhood (Braidy®) to elementary (SGM®), writing (Talk to Write, Write to Learn™), and expository text (ThemeMaker®) at the middle school level. It will also cover MindWing’s focus on Autism and social communication as well as make connections to the Common Core State Standards and data collection. The major focus will be how to use MindWing’s methodology to provide instruction and intervention, while supporting the curriculum goals and State Standards by using data collection tools to monitor progress. The intention of this Module is for participants to have to ability to use this methodology at an expert level with students and clients as well as be able to mentor and in-service within a school district about the foundations of MindWing’s methodology.

Who is this Certification Module for?

  • An educator who has the SGM® Certification as part of a Professional Growth Plan
  • Administrators who may want to implement this in their school or district
  • A professional designated by a school district to receive specialized training in SGM® in order to in-service and mentor the staff
  • A professional in Private Practice who wants to be able to advertise Certification in SGM® methodology
  • A professional in Private Practice who wants the credentials to consult to schools about SGM® and related methodology
  • Advocates who may want to recommend this methodology

What does Certification Include?

  • 2 Days of workshop time and 2 Hours of Skype or phone conference with Maryellen Rooney Moreau for individualized follow-up
  • Extensive Powerpoints and handouts for in-servicing
  • SGM® iPad App, Common Core Kit and Data Collection Set ($200 value)
  • ASHA CEUs, PDPs, Official Certificate
  • Breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack are provided

***Please note: This is an ADVANCED level course. For this course to be most beneficial, all participants should already have attended a MindWing Concepts workshop in the past or have been using MindWing’s tools in school or clinical settings. This is NOT an introduction to MindWing Concepts’ methodology.


Parent/Guardian Sessions

MindWing offers a Parent/Guardian Mini-Workshop. This workshop can be provided in tandem with another session of Professional Development, to be held in the evening, and lasts 1-2 hours. This workshop will give parents/guardians working knowledge of MindWing’s methodology so that they can support what and how their child is learning in school. Parents/Guardians will also learn how to use MindWing’s tools to guide family conversations, help their children “make connections,” resolve conflicts and solve problems at home.

The Home Connection is an important part of Professional Development because according to the National Education Association (NEA), parents must be actively involved in order to insure a child’s success in school. Research indicates that a child’s educational experience is enhanced when a parental figure is involved.

“In study after study, researchers discover how important it is for parents to be actively involved in their child’s education. Here are some of the findings of major research into parental involvement:

  • When parents are involved in their children’s education at home, they do better in school. And when parents are involved in school, children go farther in school — and the schools they go to are better.
  • The family makes critical contributions to student achievement from preschool through high school. A home environment that encourages learning is more important to student achievement than income, education level or cultural background.
  • Reading achievement is more dependent on learning activities in the home than is math or science.
  • Reading aloud to children is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child’s chance of reading success. Talking to children about books and stories read to them also supports reading achievement.
  • When children and parents talk regularly about school, children perform better academically.
  • Three kinds of parental involvement at home are consistently associated with higher student achievement: 1) actively organizing and monitoring a child’s time, 2) helping with homework and 3) discussing school matters.
  • The earlier that parent involvement begins in a child’s educational process, the more powerful the effects.
  • Positive results of parental involvement include improved student achievement, reduced absenteeism, improved behavior, and restored confidence among parents in their children's schooling.”

Who should attend MindWing Concepts’ Professional Development?

We have provided workshops to include participants in the following positions:

The participants can either be a mixture of ALL these staff positions, one particular position or "teams" of participants.

What combination of participants is right to meet the needs of a school district staff and the academic and social goals of a school district?

All our workshops focus on the link between language and literacy. All workshops are interactive and incorporate lecture, discussion, activities, video, modeling, and guided practice using MindWing's materials to increase student achievement. However, the combination of the participants dictates the style and focus of the workshop. Here are five examples of these styles (Remember: these are just examples; we customize the workshops to fit your needs and goals!):

  1. All participants are Speech Language Pathologists - the workshop is designed for the ever-broadening role of the SLP; from therapy to the classroom setting. This workshop focuses on oral language development from narrative to expository discourse and builds upon the existing knowledge base and experience of the SLP. Participants find this workshop revolutionizes their therapy and gives them a way to get into the classroom, using MindWing's tools to impact student achievement.
  2. All participants work with a specific grade level (early childhood, K-2 or 3-5). The specific focus is narrative development and the oral language base for comprehension, writing and critical thinking for that age/grade level.
  3. All participants are Middle and High School educators teaching science & social studies—the workshop will use ThemeMaker® and have a focus on older students working with content area (expository) text, critical thinking skills, conflict resolution
  4. All participants are in teams of 2 who work with each other in their school. Due to Response-to-Intervention (RtI) initiatives, we have seen an increase of school districts employing the “team” style of workshop participation. These teams can be comprised of a Classroom Teacher & an SLP, an SLP & a Literacy Coach, a Special Educator & a Classroom Teacher, etc. This is a synergistic approach to bringing this methodology back to the school. During the workshop, there is a focus on RtI, collaboration, curriculum goals, small and large group activities, and collaborative models for lesson planning & sharing.
  5. All participants are in problem-solving teams of 5-6 who work in the same school—a very effective plan that has been used in school districts to kick off the use of the MindWing approach. The teams are comprised of a general education teacher, a special educator, an SLP, a Reading Specialist, School Psychologist, and a Literacy Coach. They all work in the same school. The district sends 10-12 schools. This way, the principals can purchase additional materials for staff members, and have these 5 colleagues to in-service, team-teach, assist and mentor them. This is the path to whole district implementation that a district might take.

What is an appropriate length/time frame for MindWing’s professional development?

Over the past 29 years of providing professional development to thousands of educators in the U.S. and Canada, we have developed and perfected various styles of workshops to meet the needs of the educators with whom we work. We are very flexible and can design your professional development to fit your needs regarding participants, release time & budget constraints.

  • Two-Day (12 hours) initial workshop (in district) and One-Day (6-hour follow-up) approximately 6 months later, then annually or semi-annually coming back to the district for additional training and support. This professional development design is most effective due to the proven fact that a strong foundation as well as ongoing training and support yields the most success. It is recommended for all school districts but especially for large school districts and those who wish to train a variety of grade levels, disciplines, and staff positions. Please note that in large school districts, the group might have to be split up, necessitating multiple days of PD. Each Professional Development is customized. In addition, demonstrations and coaching may be scheduled.
  • One-Day (6 hours) or Two-Day (12 hours) initial Workshop is appropriate for school districts or organizations that wish to train a specific grade level, discipline or staff position and for whom release time and/or budget constraints are an issue. (For example, a one-day workshop is appropriate for training either All Pre-K teachers on Braidy the StoryBraid® only, OR all middle school educators teaching social studies, OR all SLPs in a school district.) In addition, demonstrations and coaching may be scheduled.