Course Listing

2 Day Seminars

ACTIVE Learning: Strategies to Strengthen Comprehension

How can classroom instruction help those students who struggle with  comprehension? While reading intervention often addresses decoding and fluency to support struggling readers, instructional practices for reading comprehension can remain overlooked. The ACTIVE Learning workshop examines six metacognitive strategies shown to improve comprehension. The acronym ACTIVE provides students with a systematic method to access strategies to understand what they are hearing and reading. Each strategy can be applied to both receptive and expressive language using a multisensory approach. Explore how expanding these techniques across the curriculum enables students to engage more deeply with text in a variety of contexts and in various content areas.


Upon completion, participants will be able to:

  • define six metacognitive comprehension strategies captured in ACTIVE Learning: Ask Questions, Make Connections, Tools to Repair, Infer, Visualize, Explain.
  • explain how to build upon each comprehension strategy using the acronym ACTIVE
  • describe how to teach students how to organize their thinking and express their ideas using specific graphic organizers and structured language exercises pertaining to each strategy
  • generate meaningful activities that integrate ACTIVE Learning strategies into the curriculum



Participants must bring a laptop and a textbook/materials that they use with students for the application portions of the seminar. The laptop and materials will facilitate participants’ ability to see how the skills apply to their own curriculum.


This course is appropriate for educators at the elementary level.



Participants wishing to receive 1 graduate credit for this course must bring payment of $200 on the first day of the seminar. Payment must be made via credit card or check made out to Fitchburg State University. Cash or Purchase Order will not be accepted for this payment.


This course is offered for 1.0 ASHA CEUs (Introductory level, Professional area).

Course Information

10 hours/PDPs (included)
1.0 ASHA CEUs (optional)
Dates/Time Price
July 12-13, 2018
8:30am - 3:00pm

Registration is unavailable at this time.

Teachers Say...

Over 98% of educators felt that their Outreach Summer Institute seminar provided them with strategies and tools that will help their students.
Over 92% of Summer Institute participants believe that their seminars provided them with useful information that they could apply to their everyday classroom responsibilities.

About the Instructor

Wendy Ellis

Wendy Ellis is a certified speech-language pathologist who joined the Landmark Elementary•Middle School in 2008. She supports the staff and students to reinforce speech/language and social goals addressed across the curriculum. In addition to supporting the development of the ACTIVE Learning curriculum at Landmark to strengthen reading comprehension, Wendy has created social communication classes to address the social challenges that can often be seen in children with language-based learning disabilities. Wendy earned her Bachelor of Science in psychology and special education at North Adams State College and Master of Science in communication disorders at Emerson College in Boston.



Mrs. Ellis receives a speaking fee.



Mrs. Ellis no nonfinancial relationships exist.

About the Instructor

Jennifer Schley Johnson

Jennifer is the co-department head for the Oral Expression & Literature department at Landmark’s Elementary•Middle School. Since joining Landmark in 2002, Jennifer has worked in the capacity of teacher, tutor, academic advisor, and department head at both the elementary and middle school levels. Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Arts from The College of William & Mary and her Master of Science in special education from Simmons College.



Mrs. Johnson receives a speaking fee.



Mrs. Johnson states no nonfinancial relationships exist.

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