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Foundational Skills in Middle School ELA: Taking a Functional Approach

Tuesday, July 11, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Presented by Michele Burns, Ed.D., National Content Specialist, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Ryan Bailey, National Content Specialist, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; and Melissa Day, M.Ed., Product Marketing Manager, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Sponsored by HMH Into Literature

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Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Discussions around the Science of Reading have traditionally been associated with elementary grades, but the need for evidence-based foundational skills development and mastery doesn’t stop when students go to middle school! What does the Science of Reading mean in a middle school classroom, and how can ELA teachers build on those foundational skills in a way that meets the unique needs of middle school students?

Join this edWebinar to hear from experts as they talk through strategies for taking a functional approach to refining and building upon middle school students’ foundational skills. Attendees can expect a lively, collaborative discussion that provides actionable strategies, such as:

  • How to use engaging texts and mixed media to keep middle schoolers invested as they learn new skills
  • Ways to incorporate social-emotional learning into lessons to create a classroom culture that is optimal for middle schoolers’ developmental needs
  • How to develop an action plan for supporting middle schoolers of all skill levels to build on their foundations and move toward higher complexity literacy skills

Join us for this engaging and practical conversation! This edWebinar will be of interest to middle school teachers and school leaders. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

Michele BurnsAbout the Presenters

Michele Burns, Ed.D. is a National Content Specialist on the Northeast team specializing in humanities and the needs of multilingual learners. As a former middle school teacher and lifelong learner, Dr. Burns has worked diligently on supporting the needs of all learners. Dr. Burns has her doctorate in education specializing in curriculum and instruction while enhancing teacher moves to support brain-based learning.

Ryan Bailey

Ryan Bailey is a National Content Specialist with HMH focusing on secondary students and the humanities. Ryan was a National Board Certified teacher and Fulbright exchange participant who worked with adolescent learners across the learning continuum. Ryan is passionate about supporting teachers, pairing students with great resources, and creating just and equitable learning environments.

Melissa Day

Melissa Day, M.Ed. is a Product Marketing Manager for HMH with a focus on ELA 6-12 and professional learning. She spent most of her career in the classroom as a middle school ELA instructor and recently received her master’s in educational leadership. Melissa is also the author of the Young Adult Fantasy series, The Last Traveler. She is passionate about equipping educators with resources to feel confident in the work they do and empowering young readers to find their voices and share their own stories.

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the ELA Today community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.


The learners of today will shape the world of tomorrow. HMH brings learning to countless students and teachers—transforming lives, supporting communities, and making our society more just and inclusive for all. We offer a connected system of research-backed solutions, where assessment drives instruction and learning can be personalized to meet students’ needs. Our engaging, equity-minded content and customized PD are designed to elevate the potential of every learner.


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Tuesday, July 11, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
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