PD Presentations

Workshops (1/2 or full day)

Teachers rave about Nancy's workshops!

Lindsay C.

Teacher in in B.C., Canada

I recently had the pleasure of participating in one of Nancy’s two-day professional development workshops. It was centered on her new book  “Secret Code Actions” and offered a fun, and informative approach to literacy instruction. Nancy is a dynamic and engaging speaker and her workshop presented fascinating information about brain science and reading. She promoted collaboration and connection with other teachers, and presented many hands-on active activities throughout. I left the workshop feeling invigorated and excited to apply my new knowledge in the classroom. I would highly recommend this fantastic learning opportunity!

J Cooney
Grade 2 classroom teacher
, Canada

I recently attended Nancy’s workshop on supporting students reading.  I have struggled with explaining aspects of written English in a way that was engaging and memorable to my students.  Nancy’s book and instruction have given me some amazing ideas to use with my students.   I am excited to get back to my classroom and put it to use.

I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your presentation on the secrets of the code. It was full of excellent information and was fantastically presented. It was the best ProD I've attended in a long while and I found things immediately coming up and being useful in lessons on Monday morning. I'm really thankful for all your hard work! 

Craig Sheridan
Learning Support Teacher 

Surrey, BC, Canada 


Teacher in B.C., Canada

I attended a two-day workshop featuring Nancy and her new book. It was the most informative workshop I have been to about teaching children to read...this workshop was fascinating and explained so much about how the brain has to change in order to learn to read. I can see how teaching the "Secret Code Actions" of the complicated English language will provide my students with a meaningful connection to the phonemes and graphemes involved in learning to read. Thank you again, Nancy, for a great workshop.

Tyson Schoeber

Teacher, The THRIVE Program

Nootka Elementary School


Your presentation on the secrets of the code was one of the very best I have ever attended! You not only explained to teachers why reading instruction needs to be structured, but you showed how much fun it can be for kids if they are moving while they learn! If your methods were used in more schools, I think there would be far fewer kids with reading problems out there!

Available in-person or online.

Learning the English code using Secret Code Actions

This active workshop has teachers up and moving while increasing their knowledge of the “secrets of the code” – the specific concepts that underlie proficiency in reading (decoding) and spelling (encoding). Equipped with a copy of the book Secret Code Actions™ participants will assume the role of Word Detectives as they:

  • Glimpse into the unnatural process of learning to read and spell, and the challenges so many children face as they try to climb the “Ladder of Reading”.

  • Investigate the components of instruction that are crucial for students diagnosed as dyslexic, yet can help build skills and extend learning for all students.

  • Discover how to integrate code-based kinaesthetic mnemonics into reading/spelling instruction.

  • See how using movement enables engaging reading/spelling practice opportunities to take place across the school day (including during mandated DPA – Daily Physical Activity), providing the repetition so many students need.

  • Find out that laughter and fun can be a part of learning to read and spell the fascinating “secrets of the code”!  


Every workshop participant will receive a copy of the book Secret Code Actions™: A Resource to Support Learning to Read and Spell the English Language (Teacher Edition), and leave the workshop set to use it as an instructional tool for all learners.

Presentations (1.5 to 3 hours)

Climbing the Ladder of Reading: Instruction for children climbing slowly AND leaping up!

Using her globally recognized Ladder of Reading infographic, Nancy will address the wide range of ease as children learn to read and the instructional implications for educators. She’ll briefly summarize the components underlying skilled reading/spelling/writing and delve into the relevance of such instruction for children who struggle to learn to read as well as those who are advanced. Addressed will be both overlapping commonalities that can be taught during whole class instruction and the need for differentiation to ensure all students have opportunities to grow at every stage of the journey. Using the English language as an example, attendees will explore some of the many opportunities for enrichment inherent in learning about language structure. Of special focus will be the particular needs of certain students in order to maximize their potential, such as those with environmental and/or genetic challenges including dyslexia, low SES, gifted, and ADHD – recognizing that some children may have two or more co-occurring issues. Woven into the session will be multi-sensory strategies, including the use of movement to enhance code-based instruction.

Twice-exceptional (2e) students who are gifted and have dyslexia.
Might they be the “canaries in the mine”?

Students with the exceptionalities of either giftedness or dyslexia are often underserved in today’s schools. At even greater risk of not being identified and effectively supported are students who are intellectually gifted AND have dyslexia. Described as twice-exceptional (2e), these students require programming that addresses both their strengths - intellectual and personal - and their challenges in learning to read/spell/write. In this session, Nancy will summarize the research on 2e (gifted and dyslexia). She'll then provide examples of how to provide differentiated instruction that is intellectually engaging while teaching the components of structured literacy in the regular classroom kindergarten to grade 3. Nancy will propose that our 2e students may be the “canaries in the mine” to help us increase the engagement of all students in reading and writing instruction and practice while providing enrichment opportunities for gifted students.

Bridging Research Silos: Looking Beyond to Better Support ALL Students

The huge movement to address the needs of struggling readers is causing changes to happen in more and more classrooms and in teacher training at the university level. Yet, those who research the science of how children learn to read suggest we need to be cautious and recognize that we still need to know more about how to translate that science into effective instruction. As we continue to work towards this important goal, should we not consider other areas within education that may impact the development of improved reading methods and programs? In this session, Nancy will propose that we need to bridge across to other areas of research as we move forward. She’ll address four areas in particular: 1) Differentiation to meet the wide range of skill mastery; 2) Challenging learning opportunities for gifted students; 3) Inclusion of parents as true members of the team (supporting their learning to help them better support their children); and 3) Physical activity and the connection between movement and academic success. As she addresses each of these areas, she will point out how they connect to learning to read and to one another.