Workshops, Seminars, and Consulting Services

If you’re looking for instructional coaching or mentoring, I am available to provide professional development or support for schools and teachers.  Although I am most passionate about sharing best practices in the English Language Arts area, my doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction qualifies me to provide consultation in any subject area.  I am willing to dedicate myself to providing educator support because I love teaching and genuinely care about teachers and learners.

When educators craft conditions that motivate creativity and implement classroom activities that encourage critical thinking and stimulate conversation, they increase learning.  Under the influence of such conditions, students will come to understand that their intelligence can be developed and doesn’t depend on luck or genetics.  Intellectual activities will exercise their brains, which like a muscle, will grow stronger.

Your Thinking Zone Consultant can also travel to your school or business to present a workshop or seminar on one of the topics in bold below or on a topic of your choice.

Teaching with Poverty in Mind is a workshop designed to extend participants’ understanding of the impact of trauma and poverty on the brain and on pupil behavior and decisions. Beyond examining how health and achievement overlap, Dr. Donna Miller will share action steps and environmental enrichment strategies that will assist in the re-tooling of the student’s operating system.  We can help students rise above their struggle if we see them as possibilities, not as problems and if we empower them with hope and learned optimism while providing a challenging curriculum. This is a three-hour (1/2 day) workshop.

Creating Culturally Responsive Learning Communities will breathe life back into your teaching. The process begins with building community, cultivating certain student and teacher dispositions, nurturing social justice, leveraging the power of talk and dialogic exchange, using Cultural Identity Literature to build bridges and to normalize difference, and fostering a culture of civil discourse.  Join Dr. Donna Miller to discover some simple but not simplistic strategies for fostering culturally responsive learning communities. Workshop participants will walk-away with ideas that honor, respect, and use students’ identities and backgrounds as meaningful sources for creating optimal learning environments. This is a three-hour (1/2 day) workshop.

Upgrade your written business communication abilities, including your email correspondence and your advertising copy, with Serious Grammar Review, a workshop on improving grammar, or Writing Effective Emails, a workshop in which participants will review five key points for getting emails noticed and acted upon.

In addition to stressing the value of proofreading AND using spell check, a Serious Grammar Review workshop will review usage rules related to commas, apostrophes, and homophones.

The public typically expects published writing to conform to a set of rules; in other words, to be the embodiment of perfectly produced prose.  Readers are put off by spelling or punctuation errors and poorly executed grammar.   Although one mistake may not destroy your brand's credibility, consistently using poor grammar can make your brand look unprofessional and careless and can contribute to a shrinking customer base.

Writing Effective Emails will provide a refresher on

  • Monitoring Email Volume
  • Using Effective Subject Lines
  • Keeping Messages Clear and Concise
  • Scrutinizing Tone
  • Editing, Proofreading, and Revising

Remembering these five key points will not only avoid tension, confusion, or other negative consequences but will reflect positively on professionalism, values, and attention to detail.

You can also potentially increase your sales by enhancing your speaking talent with The Art of Persuasion, a workshop that shares tips for maximizing time spent in persuasive exchanges like advertising sales.

Your words and their delivery have a tremendous impact on how buyers perceive you and on whether you will make a sale.  With tips for mastering the nuances of vocal tone to personalizing your message, The Art of Persuasion further addresses how certain questions and phrases can actually damage a company representative’s credibility.

A Transitions Seminar (TS) will smooth the transition from high school to the post-secondary level. While many students feel prepared to take on the challenges in college, studies show that students benefit from programs with a bridging feature, some means for helping to smooth the transition and for more seamlessly connecting the two sites. With strategies for

• Enhancing Cognitive Processes
• Reading Academic Text
• Notetaking
• Understanding Direction Words, and
• Studying for College Exams
a TS would build a bridge between the relative ease of high school and the rigor of college.

A typical TS spans five-eight hours, depending on the audience size and the topics selected and can be tailored to address individual needs.

Writing for Life, a college and career ready writing seminar, features topics like

• Job Application Letters
• College and Scholarship Application Essays
• Résumé Writing
• Letters of Concern/Complaint
Participants could conceivably come away with four products from this writing seminar.

The cost of a three-hour seminar is an affordable $750.00, plus a modest mileage and per diem reimbursement if applicable. Seminar-hosting requires a presentation venue with computer access, preferably for each participant, and with technology that enables viewing computer-generated documents, such as PowerPoint slides. For high school audiences, multiple one-hour sessions are usually a more appropriate delivery model than an intensive block.

Stand-alone workshops on any of the topics listed in the bullet points are also available, as are writing refresher courses for your business or team. Simply complete the contact form below for more information.