The last day of the regular academic year is right around the corner, and that means summer school is not far behind.
To help teachers get ready to deliver concentrated doses of reading instruction, HISD’s Professional Support & Development and Multilingual Programs co-hosted an Everyday ExcELLence Expo on May 18.
More than HISD 200 teachers in grades 3–12 gathered at Hartman Middle School for the mini-conference, where they practiced Everyday ExcELLence literacy routines and shared their approaches to developing language and literacy, particularly for English Language Learners (ELLs). They also attended a series of teacher-led sessions that highlighted successful implementations of sheltered instruction practices and Everyday ExcELLence literacy routines as part of an end-of-year expo. “How to get the students up and involved,” said Brenda Johnson, 6th grade teacher at Westbriar Middle School when asked what she was taking away from the Look Who’s Talking session adding “things like these (trainings) help you stay motivated and stimulated.”
Teachers left the event with ideas and instructional materials to help them bring the eight excELLence literacy routines to life during summer school and the upcoming academic year. Amanda Duncan, Kindergarten teacher at Bruce Elementary said, “I enjoyed the Pump Up the High Frequency Words session because I learned a different more engaging way to introuce high frequency words.” This session offered teambuilding, mastery, thinking skills and communicatin skills necssary for success. It was presented by Dorethia Mills-Lott from Foerster Elementary.
One session was particularly interesting as it was mediated with the help of Liberty High School’s Chrome Team. They are a group of students led by Brennan Gage, math teacher at Liberty HS, that are bridging the technology gap in the classroom by introducing programs like Google Docs, Google Hangouts, and Google Drive to teachers. The excELLent Tools session showed teachers how to build a “robot” for their classroom that allows simultaneous access to students’ work to students and teachers making revising work and keep records more efficient. Sadia Arain, a Senior at Liberty and member of The Chrome team said, “it’s not about the fact that we are students and they are teachers; we have a common goal: to improve the school sytem.”
The Chrome Team is available for trainings. You can see their website at www.chrom.libertymath.org
To learn more about the Everyday ExcELLence routines, please visit the PSD website at http://houstonisdpsd.org/literacy-routines.html.