Our proven methods guide teaching and learning

Our intensive training programs focus on two of the most difficult skills to teach: expository writing and language organization.

Our most widely sought training programs are in EmPOWER, a method for teaching expository writing, and Brain Frames, blueprints for organizing language. Click below to earn more about these methods:

EmPOWER Brain Frames©

The following training options are available for educators
looking to put effective, research-based methods
into action within their classroom:

EmPOWER: a method for teaching expository writing

This training is for general education and special education teachers in grades 2-12 who share responsibility for teaching students to write and want to guide their students through the writing process in a more structured way.

Training for Schools and School Districts: 

In a three-day intensive training, teachers acquire a common language and framework for teaching the writing process. Direct instruction in each step and component strategy of EmPOWER is provided and followed by hands-on, collaborative activities that allow teachers to practice new concepts with the guidance and support of a trainer. Teachers leave this training ready to use EmPOWER with their students.

Research clearly shows that effective professional learning is sustained, intensive, on-going, connected to instructional practice, and relevant to teachers’ instructional goals. Recognizing this research, school-based training in EmPOWER includes at least five additional training/consultation sessions to support teachers with implementing EmPOWER effectively.

Through additional workshops, classroom observations, model lessons, and teacher mentoring, we refine instructional practices with writing and support teachers with using EmPOWER to meet their instructional goals and objectives.

Training for Individual Teachers:

Our EmPOWER Writing Institute is open to general and special educators in grades 2-12 who are looking for proven instructional methods and strategies that improve student writing.

This online course kicks off with five days of jam-packed learning in the summer, where we meet live online from 8:30-4:30 CT Monday through Friday and for two hours on Thursday evening with the author of EmPOWER. This is an intensive week of learning, filled with strategies and instructional moves that can be used immediately with students.

We continue with on-going coaching and support through the first half of the school year while teachers put what they learned in the summer into play in their classrooms.  Through a series of webinars and live Q & A sessions, we offer the support teachers need with putting EmPOWER into practice with their students.

Teachers have the option of registering for three graduate credits from Endicott College.  See our Trainings page for information about our next EmPOWER Writing Institute.

“Before, I felt my writing curriculum was made up of unconnected lesson plans, and I had to pull strategies from many different resources. All of my lessons are connected now, and I can still bring in other material that I feel is worthwhile. As an ELA teacher, it was always easy for me to work on reading skills. Now I feel I have so much I can do with writing that I want to spend more time with my students in that area.” – Grade 7 English Language Arts Teacher


EmPOWER: One-day Overview Workshop

This training is for schools that are interested in learning about EmPOWER but are not in a position to complete a full training.

In a one-day workshop, the training provides a basic understanding of the many factors that influence students’ ability to write and the logic and research base behind the EmPOWER method. Direct instruction and hands-on practice with the first two steps of EmPOWER (Evaluate and make a Plan) is provided along with a brief overview of the remaining steps.

The strategies introduced, which are proven to improve students’ writing, can be put to use immediately within a general education classroom or specialized instructional setting.

“One of my fourth grade teachers was so excited about the Evaluate and make a Plan concepts that he tried to figure out the rest of the steps of EmPOWER all on his own! This was a great day for my faculty. They all want to learn more.” — Elementary School Principal


Brain Frames: Full training for school or district

Training for Schools and School Districts:

This two-day training is for grade pre K-12 teachers in any subject area who want effective methods for teaching students to organize language and think critically.

We begin with a full-day of hands-on learning that introduces teachers to each of the six Brain Frames and then guides them in using them to support listening, speaking, reading, writing, learning, and problem solving across the content areas.

An additional day of instruction deepens understanding of how to use Brain Frames as tools to support reading comprehension, note taking, content instruction, formative and summative assessment, and study skills.

Training days may be scheduled successively or a few weeks apart.

Training for Individual Teachers:

We offer Brain Frames courses for any general and special educator who is looking for cutting edge instructional strategies for language organization and critical thinking.

Open-enrollment courses follow the same structure and format as our school-based trainings, with two days of back-to-back instruction and hands-on practice with each of the six Brain Frames.

Upcoming Brain Frames courses are listed on our Trainings page.

“I use Brain Frames for EVERYTHING: to teach new concepts, assess my students’ knowledge, guide their reading comprehension, support them with organization in writing, manage their behavior, promote self-awareness, and help them problem solve. Now that I know them, I can’t teach without them.” – Grade 7 Teacher


Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about EmPOWER can be found here.

Answers to frequently asked questions about Brain Frames can be found here.

The Brain Frames work… you can visually see what the heck is going on. They are so much better than sticky notes, and they keep my headaches away too. They slow me down enough to really see and understand what I’m doing, what my goal is, and where I have left off for the next day. You made a difference in this Marine…you really did. –Letter from a U.S. Marine who learned Brain Frames in his rehabilitation sessions at Fort Belvair Community Hospital