Shifting the Balance: Bringing the Science of Reading into the Upper Elementary Classroom

It seems that talk about the science of reading and the call for changed practices in the literacy classroom is everywhere these days. But so much of this conversation has focused on beginning readers. If you’re an educator supporting upper elementary readers--or even younger readers who have grown beyond their peers--you’ve likely wondered, “What about us? What does the current body of research reveal about practices in intermediate classrooms?” 

In this workshop, a companion to, Shifting the Balance: 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Balanced Literacy Classroom (Burkins & Yates), co-authors Katie Cunningham, Jan Burkins, and Kari Yates introduce six shifts for upper elementary teachers to consider as they work to make reading success more accessible for all students. Across the full-day workshop, the authors will zoom in on common practices that need reexamination, use scientific research to untangle misunderstandings related to those practices and offer brain-friendly, high-leverage instructional moves as an alternative.

Katie, Jan, and Kari know the overwhelm of the “where to start?” question. They’ve experienced the confusion of “who to believe” in a sometimes polarized and heated context. In response, they offer a refreshing approach that is respectful, accessible, and practical – grounded in an earnest commitment to building a bridge between research and classroom practice.

Session Information


Thursday, February 15th, 2024

9:00AM CST- 3:30PM CST



*Can't attend the virtual live session- Recording will be sent to all who register, and will be available for ONE week, post workshop. *



Jan Burkins

Dr. Jan Burkins was an elementary classroom teacher for seven years and a literacy coach for seven years. She has worked as a part-time assistant professor, a district literacy leader, and is currently a fulltime writer and consultant.

Katie Egan Cunningham

Dr. Katie Egan Cunningham has twenty years of experience as an educator in many different roles to support students and teachers including classroom teacher, literacy specialist, literacy consultant, and teacher educator. She's an Associate Professor, author, and speaker.

Kari Yates

Kari Yates is an author, speaker, consultant and staff developer with a passion for helping busy literacy educators thrive. Her experiences include classroom teacher, special education, Reading Recovery teacher, elementary principal and district literacy coordinator.