Professional Development for Chicago Teachers – Summer 2022

Kellie RomanyPrograms, Teachers

Professional Development for Chicago Teachers Summer 2022

WITS is excited to welcome all elementary Chicagoland educators to participate in high-quality, teacher-led professional development alongside Rochelle Lee Teacher Awardees! Each summer, the Rochelle Lee Teacher Award offers workshops about literacy, specifically its use in core subjects, arts, and instruction. In Summer 2022, all CPS teachers may participate in the elective workshops listed below. Non awardees may participate in these professional development workshops at no charge and earn CPDUs toward ISBE recertification. 

Educators will receive continuing education credits for any workshop they attend. Availability will be limited, and educators will be registered on a first come, first serve basis If you are interested in attending any of these professional development workshops, please email Daphne Robinson with your workshop selection(s), school and current grade level(s) you teach, and IEIN number.

The professional development offerings for this summer are:

Writer’s Workshop in Action 
Recommended for grades pre-K – 2nd 
Date and time: Thursday, July 14th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm (with a break for lunch)  
Where: Fairfield Academy, 6201 S Fairfield Ave, Chicago, IL 60629 

Participants will take a step by step look at a writing workshop and receive answers to that big question, “How do I implement a writing workshop in a primary classroom?” I will share mentor texts that can be used during mini-lessons. Examples of ways to conduct writing conferences and create status updates for primary children will be provided. Participants will learn how to guide the little writers through the writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing). Participants will leave with tips and tidbits to kick-off a writer’s workshop and facilitate high-functioning workshops throughout the school year.

Reflective Practitioner: Implementing Culturally Responsive Teaching
Recommended for grades pre-K – 8th
Date and time: Tuesday, July 19th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (with a break for lunch)
Where: Sawyer Elementary, 5247 S Spaulding Ave, Chicago, IL 60632

Reflective Practitioner will help cultivate a safe and productive space in which teachers can apply key components of culturally relevant pedagogy to their own practice. This workshop is applicable to all teachers at every level of familiarity with culturally responsive teaching (CRT). A key component of implementing CRT is the ability to self reflect and situate oneself in a broader cultural and social landscape. While addressing internalized oppression (such as internalized white supremacy) and reflecting on our own privilege can be uncomfortable, it is paramount that we begin and continue these conversations for the benefit of students, communities, and the greater good.

Teachers will read, watch videos, and discuss, learning from experts in the field including Zaretta Hammond, Gholdy Muhamad, James Baldwin, Angela Davis, bell hooks, and more. An intersectional lens will be used to help teachers explore and reflect on their own cultural backgrounds, strengths, blind spots, and how that affects their pedagogy. Teachers will reflect on their experience and plan actionable next steps to continue implementing culturally responsive teaching in their own classrooms. While this workshop is open to all individuals from all backgrounds, cis-, white, and straight educators are especially encouraged and invited to participate.

Independent Reading Routines in Middle School 
Recommended for grades 6th-8th 
Date and time: Wednesday, July 27th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm  
Where: Galileo Scholastic Academy, 820 S Carpenter St, Chicago, IL 60607

Not sure how to make independent reading work in middle school? This workshop is for you! This workshop will provide a variety of techniques to keep middle school students engaged during the literacy block. Teachers will learn ways to hold students accountable for what they read, tips for organizing the classroom library, ideas for increasing student ownership of the classroom and their learning, techniques for varied reading responses, and much more.

This workshop is perfect for teachers who would like to strengthen independent reading practices in a middle school setting. Participants will engage in reflection and planning and will leave with resources to use in the classroom.

Science Literacy: Preparing Students for High School
Recommended for grades 3rd – 8th
Date and time: Monday, August 8th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (with a break for lunch)
Where: Talcott Elementary School, 1840 W Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60622

As the educational landscape adapts to changing times, STEM and Science course are becoming a central tenant of a child’s experience in school. Through these courses, students are learning about the natural world around them and how to think critically about its protection. Science, technology, and innovation will be necessary to support and sustain seismic changes facing the world’s population: global warming, health and wellness, rural and urban growth, and so much more. As literacy teachers, are we truly preparing our future scientist to be able to effectively and consistently access and work within the Science classroom?

As students transition from elementary to middle school, and, eventually high school, they will be enrolled in Science courses where they will need to demonstrate a variety of literacy and critical thinking skills. In high school, the focus of teaching shifts from skill-based learning to content-based learning. Science courses require students to use multiple cognitive abilities to demonstrate their knowledge and interact effectively with the content. Many of these necessary skills stem from foundational Reading and Writing skills developed in 3rd-8th grade. Students need to be able to read and comprehended complex scientific texts, use and understand scientific words, write claims with evidences, analyze text features and graphs, and convey their understanding through oral presentations, or assessments.

EdTech Spotlight: Book Creator
Recommended for grades pre-K – 8th
Date and time: Tuesday, July 12th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Where: Zoom – link will be sent after registration

You can use Book Creator, a free EdTech tool, in your classroom to support ALL students. Book Creator has accessibility features — including voice-to-text in 120 languages, Auto Draw to aid fine-motor skills, voice recordings, and the ability to push out templates with scaffolds — so that students of all ages and abilities can create individual, professional-looking, original books. Book Creator raises the bar for excellent content creation while supporting all students to be successful. Try it out in your setting!

Dictados: An Authentic Bilingual Approach to Writing about Reading
Recommended for grades pre-K – 8th
Date and time: Monday, July 25th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Zoom – link will be sent after registration

As bilingual educators or educators serving bilingual students we can strengthen our students’ trajectory towards biliteracy (being able to read and write in two languages) through practices that foster metalinguistic awareness and cross-linguistic connections. The dictado is one of such practices that you can implement in your classroom. A dictado is an explicit writing method used to refine language arts skills, as well as to teach content, spelling, conventions, and grammar in an integrated way. Dictados are like the “math talk” of writing, and they are commonly used in Latin America.

Teaching and Modeling Anti-Ableism in the Classroom
Recommended for grades pre-K – 8th
Date and time: Wednesday, August 10th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Where: Zoom – link will be sent after registration

This professional development workshop will focus on how teachers and other school leaders can foster more inclusive, equitable, and explicitly anti-ableist school cultures. Creating such cultures will require shifting away from viewing disability through a deficit-lens and a deep commitment to the belief that all students are deserving of equitable opportunities and access.

Participants will have the opportunity to discuss how they can apply a disability studies in education (DSE) framework to their classroom and school communities. They will also have the opportunity to discuss ideas and resources for teaching students how to (1.) listen to people with disabilities, (2.) reject the deficit-model, and (3.) create a world that is more accessible for everyone.

Let’s Agree to Disagree: Facilitating Debate and Discussion in the Classroom
Recommended for grades 3rd-8th
Date and time: Saturday, August 13th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (with a break for lunch)
Where: Zoom – link will be sent after registration

Discussion and debate help students to clarify their thoughts, consider alternative perspectives, and engage more thoroughly with a lesson. During this writing workshop participants will understand how effective teaching and learning must include engaging discourse. Participants will use the ThinkCerca paragraph set up graphic organizer, rubric, and additional supplemental resources for writing an effective “hook”, using transitional words and phrases, as well as writing a conclusion for argumentative papers. In addition, participants will get strategies for providing actionable feedback that is specific and focused helps students grow and improve their writing.

Please email Daphne Robinson with your name, Illinois Educator Identification Number – IEIN and title of the workshop that you would like to attend (e.g. Literacy in the Three Linguistic Spaces and Using Diverse and Inclusive Books as Mentor Texts). You will receive an email confirming your registration for your requested workshop(s) within a few days. A reminder that these professional development workshops are free to educators, and all take place either in place or on Zoom in real time.

If you have any questions, please contact Daphne Robinson.