Capstone Professional

  1. Unstructured, free play fosters learning, reduces stress, promotes creativity, and facilitates problem solving. Yet, time for such play is being drastically reduced, sometimes eliminated in the lives of children. Thus it is important for educators and parents to be more aware of the many different forms of play and their educational, physical, and socio-emotional benefits so they are better able to provide opportunities for play. This webinar will familiarize you will the different types of play and their benefits.

    Dr. Joyce Hemphill is the author of the newest Capstone Professional release, The Power Of Playful Learning. She has a doctorate in developmental psychology from The Ohio State University and 30 years of experience teaching infant-child development, cognition, and learning. She organizes community play events, gives workshops on safe ways to play using recyclables materials, and serves on the board of the American Association for the Child’s Right to Play. Joyce retired from the University of Wisconsin School of Education in spring of 2012.

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  2. Linda Feaman and Nancy Geldermann, authors of the new book, Unlocking Close Reading, will provide background on their close reading lesson model and demonstrate their process of uncovering an embedded central idea. Participants will leave with ideas for collaborating with their own colleagues to develop similar close reading lessons on their own.

    Linda Feaman’s credentials include work as an educator, an administrator, and as an educational consultant with the Chicago Public Schools. Her expertise in the field comes as the result of 35 years of teaching, learning, analyzing student work, observing teacher performance, examining data, and assessing curriculum, programs, and initiatives. This background has led her to truly understand the needs of both students and educators. Her recent work as an educational consultant has reinforced her belief that development of quality curriculum can only come when teachers understand what they are being asked to teach. With the advent of the Common Core, it became apparent that teachers needed access to research-based materials to assist them in delivery of quality educational services.

    After 22 years in the classroom, Nancy Geldermann is currently working as a literacy coach/consultant. Instrumental in bringing an understanding of the Common Core State Standards to Chicago teachers through collaborative work with teacher teams, teacher leaders, and administrators, Nancy’s unique approach to close reading has been used in classrooms across the city. With two National Board certifications and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, she has been a driving force in the Chicago Public Schools for the past 15 years. Additionally, Nancy shares her expertise nationally through her website,, and through her professional publications: Instructional Resources for Teaching the Common Core and Unlocking Close Reading, both published by Capstone.

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  3. Young children naturally come to school with a burning desire to read. They love listening to books and being read to but rarely enter school reading and comprehending independently. What you do before, during and after read-alouds can encourage your students to become critical thinkers. During this webinar we will reveal ways to use read-alouds to spark collaborative conversations and encourage comprehension growth. We will specifically share some of our favorite songs and writing response strategies that we use to teach the Reading Literature strand of the Common Core State Standards. Join us for this webinar and leave feeling inspired to make the most out of those required daily read-aloud lessons!

    Kathy Brown and Sarah Martino, the authors of Kindergarten and The Common Core: It’s As Easy As ABC, have collectively almost 40 years of experience teaching kindergarten. Kathy has been teaching kindergarten for 26 years in both half and full day programs. She holds a M.A from Aurora University and is Nationally Board certified in the area of Early and Middle Childhood Literacy: Language Arts. Kathy developed a love for early literacy instruction when she did her student teaching in Brisbane, Australia. Sarah has 13 years of kindergarten teaching experience and holds a Master's degree from Aurora University. She has been teaching kindergarten in the AM and working in the PM as a Tier 3 Literacy Interventionist for the past 5 years. Together they enjoy presenting at national and state conferences and are truly passionate about helping kindergartners reach the rigors of standards based learning in fun and developmentally appropriate ways!

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  4. Hilary Mac Austin and Kathleen Thompson have created three “print documentaries,” including one that was featured on Oprah. They bring their years of expertise to the new Capstone Professional book Examining the Evidence and, in this webinar, they demonstrate how to help your students extract every bit of information from a primary source.

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  5. This webinar by Margaret Policastro and Becky McTague, professors at Roosevelt University, will feature the new model for balanced literacy, which includes strategies for implementing CCSS with the new read-alouds, guided reading, word walls to language walls, and independent reading and writing. Their new Capstone Professional book, The New Balanced Literacy School: Implementing Common Core, is based on years of working with urban and suburban teachers and administrators.

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