"I’ve had the pleasure of working with Elizabeth Olsen as she was the moving force behind the successful implementation of the Crystal Lake school district’s adoption of Traits Writing:  The Complete Writing Program for Grades K-8.  I also enjoyed working with her at the Scholastic Book Summit in Florida where her thinking and enthusiasm for teaching and learning infected everyone near her. Elizabeth is a visionary educator who will move mountains to help teachers help students.  It’s a rare thing to find someone with her passion and knowledge about English/language arts wrapped up in one package—but that’s Elizabeth.  An inspiration to us all."
Ruth Culham
Culham Writing - Traits Writing


Beth Olsen is a third generation teacher with a passion for best practice literacy education.  She studied at Oklahoma State University and began her career teaching at a March of Dimes preschool where she learned that early intervention is the key to a child’s success.  Beth earned her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Emporia State University Teachers’ College and began her work with public schools teaching kindergarten, first grade, second grade, 1-2 Multiage, and fourth grade.  She completed her Reading Recovery training and discovered a passion for literacy education.  Beth recently received her District Literacy Coach Leader certificate through National-Louis University.  She has been recognized for her service as a recipient of the Outstanding Young Educator Award and Christa McAuliffe Fellowship nominee.  Beth has served as as a Classroom Teacher, Reading Recovery Teacher,  Language Arts Curriculum Specialist and Literacy Coach.  She enjoys reading, writing, presenting, and listening to music.   Beth believes that a commitment to lifelong learning and a kind demeanor are the hallmarks of a great teacher.
"Beth Olsen is knowledgeable and committed to best practice with regard to literacy instruction, but as important to me--she is genuine.  She has the ability to care as much as you do about your own success, and that is a rare and special gift."
Dr. Steven Layne
Chair - Graduate Programs in Literacy Education Judson University
Author of:  In Defense of Read-Aloud: Sustaining Best Practice, Life's Literacy Lessons, Love the Baby, Number 1 Teacher, and more...

professional development  and presentation topics

Elizabeth Olsen’s career has been devoted to the steadfast delivery of best practice literacy education to Pre K through 5th grade children, teachers, and parents. Her knowledge, warmth, humor, and dynamic presentation style bring professional development alive leaving participants with renewed enthusiasm for their very important work.
  • Developing Oral Language Skills (Preschool - 1st Grades; & Parents)
  • Encouraging Early Literacy (Preschool - Kindergarten; & Parents)
  • The Power of Reading Aloud (Preschool - 5th Grades; & Parents)
  • Balanced Literacy With Guided Reading at the Heart (Series: K-5th)
  • Guided Reading Lesson Modeling (K-5th Grades)
  • Guided Reading Lesson Observation (K-5th Grades)
  • Professional Book Study Facilitator (Preschool - 5th Grades)
  • Literacy Night Host (Preschool - 5th Grades)
  • Literacy Consultant (Preschool - 5th Grades)
"Beth has been wonderful to work with as part of our initiative to improve literacy instruction in my district.  She has shared her wealth of knowledge and expertise with my teacher teams and has been very responsive to questions and concerns.  She is easy to relate to and understands the challenges that teachers today face in their classrooms. Her passion for literacy spreads when she is presenting and we have been very lucky to have her as a consultant."
Becky Haas
Curriculum Director
Sterling, IL School District

Best Practices in Reading

In order to launch and/or sustain the most effective approach to literacy instruction, “Balanced Literacy with Guided Reading at the Heart”, the following series is available to classroom teachers, literacy specialists, and administrators. Select sessions to meet your school/district needs, or enjoy the entire series.

Balanced Literacy With Guided Reading at the Heart (Series: K-5th)

  • Session 1: Guided Reading in a Balanced Literacy Environment – Why and What (3 hours)
  • Session 2: Grouping for Guided Reading Instruction – Assessment and Scheduling (3 hours)
  • Session 3: Zooming in on Guided Reading – Lesson Components (3 hours)
  • Session 4: Reading Strategies in Guided Reading - Explicitly Teaching for Transfer (3 hours)
  • Session 5: Guided Reading in Action – Let’s Watch (3 hours)
  • Session 6: Literacy Work Stations and Independent Reading – Practice (3 hours)
  • Session 7: Best Practices in Review and Self-reflection – Where do I go next? (3 hours)
"I have known Elizabeth Olsen for several years.  She is a passionate educator and advocate for teachers and children who is grounded in best practice with a healthy dose of common sense."
Lester Laminack
Author of Writers are Readers: Flipping Reading Instruction into Writing Opportunities (with Reba M. Wadsworth, Reading Aloud Across the Curriculum (with Reba M. Wadsworth), Learning Under the Influence of Language and Literature (with Reba M. Wadsworth), Saturdays and Teacakes, Three Hens and a Peacock, Bullying Hurts:  Teaching Kindness Through Read Alouds and Guided Conversation (with Reba M. Wadsworth), and more...

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​"​I would like to go on record as stating that Elizabeth Olsen is an outstanding educator who understands​,​ forwards and backwards​,​ best practices in the art of teaching literacy to children.  She has spent her career learning and perfecting her knowledge of literacy for students in primary and intermediate grades.  As a teacher, instructional coach​, curriculum specialist,​ and now a professional development presenter, I strongly support Beth in her role to lead a school and​ / ​or district into best practices for literacy.  Over the past 10 years, I have utilized her services in supporting a K-5 population in my school district of over 1000 students.  She has taken the district to levels of best practices and professionalism never experienced before.  Due to her support, the district has moved toward individualized instruction for students based on data and research.  ​Personally, I ​owe my professional journey and growth in literacy to Beth."
Derek A. Straight
​K-5 Principal​

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