Professional Development by Social Studies Success

Are you interested in Professional Development from Social Studies Success? Meet our two national trainers!



Dawn Vinas has worked in the field of education for 23 years. She has served as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, national trainer for Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, university professor and Social Studies Coordinator.  She is currently working with school districts as a consultant to provide quality professional development and to improve teacher capacity through instructional coaching.



Loyal Frazier is about to begin his 27th year as a high school history teacher. He currently teaches in Colorado, but began his career in California. He is also the Department Chair and has been a trainer with Teacher’s Curriculum Institute for 23 years. His educational passions include building positive classroom culture and preparing his students for life beyond school. He is a two-time teacher of the year recipient and has fought off efforts to move to the dark side of administration. 




Please contact Dawn or Loyal for a custom designed session or a training on the following topics:

  • Interactive Student Notebook – (grades K-12) Learn about the structure, management and implementation of an Interactive Student Notebook.  Leave the training with your own sample notebook and ideas on supporting student learning through an ISN. 1/2 or full day training  Dawn or Loyal


  • Creating Quality Assessments – (grades 4-12) are your tests aligned to the level of rigor required by the STAAR? Learn how to create dual coded questions and write questions for the level of thinking that is being held accountable by this high stakes test. 1/2 or Full Day Training Dawn


  • Social Studies Strategies for ELLs – (grades 3-11) Are you looking for ideas to help support your struggling ELL students in class. Come learn different ways to modify assignments and provide listening, speaking, reading and writing opportunities for an ELL student. 1/2 or Full Day Training. Dawn or Loyal


  • Raising the Rigor for STAAR  – (grades 4-11) learn how to address instructional gaps between instruction and assessment. Teachers will leave the training with a wealth of ideas for teaching vital Processing Standards. Full Day Training  Dawn


  • From Struggling to Thriving – Teaching Secondary Social Studies for the Novice Teacher – (grades 6-12) In this workshop, teachers will learn instructional and assessment strategies for success in secondary Social Studies.  Topics will include a model lesson based on the Interactive Student Notebook, Understanding your TEKS and STAAR, and Formative Assessment Strategies. Full Day Training Dawn or Loyal

  • Supporting Struggling Readers and Writers – (grades 3-11) content literacy is a key aspect of Social Studies instruction. Learn a variety of PreReading, During Reading and After Reading Strategies to engage your students in their text or primary source documents. Included in the training is a focus on Building Academic Vocabulary1/2 or Full Day Training Dawn or Loyal
  • Curriculum Development – (all grades) learn how to strengthen your vertical alignment as teachers examine the STAAR, dig for patterns in data and design instruction to address gaps. The curriculum development training is based on Understanding By Design. Full Day Training  Dawn


    • Supporting Special Ed in Social Studies – (grades 3-11) Are you looking for ideas to help support your struggling SPED students in class. Come learn different ways to modify assignments and provide support for an SPED student. 1/2 or Full Day Training. Dawn or Loyal


    • DBQs Development – (grades 4-9) are you interested in creating your own DBQ for your TEKS, your class, and your kids? This workshop will provide a model lesson and then walk you step by step through the development process.   You will leave at the end of the training with your own DBQ and the knowledge of how to write your own for future topics. Full Day Training Dawn or Loyal

    • Review Games – (grades 3-10) Looking for some new games to add to your bag of tricks? Experience new games and develop your own during this fun, hands on workshop! 1/2 Day or After School Training Dawn or Loyal

    • Prop Box Plays – (grades 2-7) Learn how to engage your students in any content with a Prop Box Play.  This teaching strategy is designed to scaffold group work so that students successfully work together to create a product. 1/2 Day Training Dawn or Loyal

    • Instructional Coaching – (grades 6-12) on site, on demand instructional coaching for all grade levels. Teachers will experience model lessons, receive feedback and develop activities in PLC sessions.  Dawn

    • Content Sessions for Elementary Social Studies, Texas History, Geography, World History and US History 1/2 or Full Day Training Dawn or Loyal

    • Beyond the Bubble – (grades 6-12) If only life were a multiple choice test! Except that it’s not. This workshop deals with making sure students learn and don’t just get a grade by checking all the boxes – or bubbles as it were. Participants will learn how to quiz differently and use assessments that relevant to ensure that students come away with the skills and content knowledge that are representative of the grade they earned. 1/2 Day to Full Day Loyal 
    • 8 Days to a Positive Classroom Culture – (grades 6-12) Any seasoned educator knows that the beginning of the school year is when the culture of each class is established. Do a good job and the year runs, for the most part, smoothly. Fail to build a positive culture and a negative one, run by the students, will fill the void. This workshop seeks to assist the participant in planning the first 8 days of the school year to achieve the 3 R’s: Relationship, Relevance, and Rigor. Full Day Loyal

    Would you like to attend a workshop?  Dawn is presenting the following sessions at Harris County Department of Education in 2016.   

    September 15 – Supporting ELL students in Social Studies

    October 5-Make Texas History Come Alive!

    October 20-Supporting Struggling Readers and Writers

    November 3- Strategies for 8th Grade STAAR – Model Lessons and Teaching Techniques

    November 10- Social Studies Strategies for ELLs

    April 10 – Content Literacy for STAAR


    Dawn and Loyal will  be presenting “Closing the Achievement Gap” at the Texas Social Studies Supervisors Association (TSSSA) Conference in Corpus Christi in October.

    At Texas Council for Social Studies (TCSS) Dawn will present “Texas History in the Lone STAAR State”. 



     A few happy customers – 
    Reviewing Content in a 2×2 Activity
    Learning about the Framework of an 
    Interactive Student Notebook
    Feedback from teachers:

    “I enjoyed this workshop and felt like it answered many of my burning questions and gave me a lot of ideas.” – Terri B.

    “I really enjoyed this workshop today!! It was very helpful as far as managing the notebook and having the students take pride in the notebook. I will be adding a page for personal touches such as the autobiography and things that describe them.  I will also allow a student to manage my notebook. I love that!! Thanks!” – Jessica C. 
    Happy Customers include:

    Aldine ISD
    Alief ISD
    Conroe ISD
    Klein ISD
    Fort Bend ISD
    Goose Creek ISD
    Spring ISD
    Galena Park ISD
    San Antonio ISD
    Magnolia ISD

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