The Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING continued to host Balanced Literacy trainings for the 2016-2017 school year. The trainings were facilitated by Growing Educators, Momentum in Teaching, Senior Program Officer, Angela Bae, and various teachers at Alvarardo Elementary School.
Along with professional development days for all current fellows and alumni hosted at various school sites, an additional form of professional development was offered to fellows. Bae provided opportunities to study with the fellows at their individual schools as a follow-up to PD days the fellows attended.
Laura Iovino, writing fellow from Morrison Elementary in the Norwalk/La Mirada Unified School District, participated in a day with two of her writing colleagues, her mentor, and Bae. The group worked with students in her class, studying the structure of Writing Workshop. After reflecting on the day, Iovino stated, “I got so much from our day together: How to make the mini-lessons stronger and how to get my strategy groups started.”
Another fellow from Morrison Elementary, Lori Knight, participated in a study of the structure of the mini-lesson in Reading Workshop. Lori commented, “The personalized lab day addressed my many questions regarding the teaching of Reading Workshop. I learned a lot that will help me move forward as a Reading Workshop teacher.”
After a day of Bae working with individual fellows in their classrooms as they taught Reading or Writing Workshop, Elva Enciso, mentor at Wild Rose Elementary School in the Monrovia Unified School District, said, “The fellows felt motivated and inspired to improve their practice after having Angela coach them individually. The teachers were excited and immediately put the suggestions made to them in place.”
This added form of professional development at each school site seems to be helpful in individualizing the learning process for fellows who have chosen to study reading and writing as their focus area.