My Summer Preview  

June 29, 2015
The summer months are quite busy for the Teaching and Learning Department as we provide multiple training opportunities for the teachers and administrators in our service area and beyond. The trainings that I will be directly involved with include Rigorous Curriculum Design, the Strategic Leadership Conference and Write Tools.

On June 2nd and 3rd, Peg Coover and I facilitated the Rigorous Curriculum Design process with the St. Paul Language Arts teachers. These teachers have already prioritized the standards and wrote units of study.During this time, we overviewed formative assessments, examine a variety of examples, identify qualities of weak vs. strong assessments, and teachers will begin writing formative assessments for each of their units of study.

The Strategic Leadership Conference was held June 9-11 for administrators looking to build their capacity in the three statewide initiatives which include: Teacher/Principal Evaluation, Data Literacies, and Blended Learning. The Teaching & Learning Department will provide hands-on experiences and the topics for each day included:

Day 1– Using Data to Improve Learning
Day 2– Providing Feedback for Effective Classrooms
Day 3– Enhancing Instruction in a Digital World

During the three days, administrators engaged in reflection about building their own capacity and the capacity of their staff concerning statewide and district initiatives.Time was also spent strategically planning for their 2015-16 professional learning and support.The T&L staff will follow up with each of the administrators to assist with the development of their professional learning plan.

On July 14-15, Jen Letheby from Write Tools will provide training to K-12 grade teachers looking to enhance their writing curriculum. These two days will focus on informative/explanatory writing and responding to informational text. Participants will vigorously engage in reading and writing strategies designed to help teach the art of informative/explanatory writing and reading informational text across the curriculum and at all grade levels. During the workshop, they will focus on the entire writing process, the organization of informational/explanatory text for reading and writing purposes, and note-taking skills. At the conclusion of the two days, teachers will be prepared to put these strategies and techniques to use when they return to their classrooms and will see great improvements in their students’ writing.

-by Dallas Lewandowski, T& L Coordinator