RLTA STUDY GROUPS
Rochelle Lee Teacher Award Study Groups are school-based professional learning communities. Study groups develop a goal to guide their learning throughout the school year, and meet monthly to discuss instruction and push their practice to reach their goal. Study Groups allow teachers to have a school-wide impact on student literacy instruction. The application is open from mid-December through mid-March. Awardees are announced late April of each year.
BENEFITS OF STUDY GROUPS
- Awardees receive a classroom library grant of $425 per study group member plus the purchase of the group’s professional text.
- Increased knowledge of professional literature and current researched based literacy best practices.
- Leadership opportunities and professional development facilitation experience.
- A professional collaborative forum.
- Literacy coaching provided three times per year.
Download Study GRoup FAQs
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO APPLY FOR A STUDY GROUP
- Four to eight teachers from the same school interested in pursuing a self-selected literacy focus.
- Study Group Leaders who are new to RLTA program will receive additional coaching.
- There may be more than one Study Group at a school.
2020 - 2021 STUDY GROUP PROJECTS
Impacting Student Literacy Instruction
The goal of RLTA Study Groups is to empower teachers to become classroom, school, and district-wide literacy leaders. By focusing program design on the needs and goals of educators, WITS provides relevant, effective professional development and networking opportunities that support long-term literacy goals. WITS is proud of the work of the Study Group leaders and members, and we are excited to share some of the 2020-2021 Study Group Projects below.
creating a compassionate environment
schoolMariano Azuela Elementary School
Group MembersStudy Group Leaders: Maria Cintora, Dawn Meyer
Study Group Members: Barbara Krupa, Lucina Rangel
TextThe Trauma-Sensitive Classroom: Building Resilience with Compassionate Teaching By Patricia A. Jennings
GoalTo create a compassionate and learning environment using trauma sensitive practices to build mindfulness, compassion, and resilience.
effectively implementing small group instruction
schoolNewton Bateman Elementary School
Group MembersStudy Group Leader: Maritza Vazquez
Study Group Members Priscilla Rowe, Samantha Gage, Selene Rivas-Rodriguez, Kendall Williamson
TextConnecting with Students Online: Strategies for Remote Teaching and Learning by Jennifer Serravallo
GoalThis school year, our goal was to effectively implement small group instruction remotely as a way to differentiate instruction and best support our students.
increasing student engagement
schoolW.E.B. Du Bois Elementary School
Group MembersStudy Group Leader: Kelly Flowers
Study Group Members: Robbie Jewell, Lyllien Noonan, Nora Schmiedel
TextThe InterACTIVE Class: Using Technology to Make Learning More Relevant and Engaging in the Elementary Classroom by Joe and Kristin Merrill
GoalUtilize suggested practices and pedagogy seamlessly in the classroom to increase student engagement by 20% at the close of the school year.
creating a culturally (and historically) responsive classroom
SCHOOLNational Teachers Academy
Group MembersStudy Group Leader: Laura Gluckman
Study Group Members: Carrie Both, Jessica Kibblewhite, Melissa Hauser
GoalOur goal was about fostering deep engagement as it’s connected to structures,
stances, and practices like project-based learning and abolitionist/anti-racist teaching.
supporting ELL students more equitably
schoolMary Gage Peterson Elementary School
Group MembersStudy Group Leader: Megan Fair
Study Group Members: Emily Gandolfi, Megan Wales, Catherine Jarvis, Sarah Van Wolvelear
GoalBest practice strategies to better support ELL students more equitably
teaching reading in the remote setting
schoolCharles H. Wacker Elementary
Group MembersStudy Group Leader: Crystal Carmichael
Group Members: Caroline Cunningham, LaConya McKinney, Danielle Washington
TextThe Distance Learning Playbook, Grades K-12: Teaching for Engagement and Impact in Any Setting by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Hattie
GoalEffectively teaching developmentally appropriate reading in the remote setting using the Google Suite and complementary apps
improving the capacity of teachers to provide meaningful instruction to students reading below grade level
Group MembersStudy Group Leader: Lindsay Wesner
Study Group Members: Joanna Felsenstein, Sarah Nelson, Norma Williams
GoalThe goal of our study group was to improve the capacity of teachers at our school to provide meaningful instruction to students reading below grade level. Our professional text provided examples of multiple strategies to assess and address student need in the areas of inferencing, comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, spelling, and reader-confidence.
building student connection and collaboration
schoolNew Field Primary School
Group MembersStudy Group Leader: Tiffany Welsh
Study Group Members: Megan Francomb, Katy Spore, Lauren Tauber
TextThe Distance Learning Playbook Grades K-12: Teaching for Engagement & Impact in Any Setting by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie and Connecting with Students Online – Strategies for Remote Teaching and Learning by Jennerifer Serravallo
GoalOriginal Goal – Create effective instruction that includes an intentional balance of engaging student-led and student-centered tasks in addition to teacher-led instruction (goal: closer to 50/50 teacher-led to student led learning)
Final Goal (changed mid-year based on student and teacher identified needs) – Learn about and implement strategies to increase student-to-student collaboration digitally (e.g. in discussion, groupings, project-based learning, etc.).
While working toward our original goal, we dedicated much of our thinking around building student independence, which was critical in the beginning months of the school year. As the school year continued, our priorities and focus shifted to building student connection, collaboration, and talk amongst one another.
Incorporating culturally responsive teaching
schoolWalt Disney Magnet School
Group MembersStudy Group Members: Caroline Mahon, Mary Bush Port-Ginn, Aletha Edwards, Melissa Albarran
GoalIncorporating culturally responsive teaching into literacy instruction and pedagogy.
Increasing the level of student engagement in online classes
schoolHibbard G. Elementary School
Group MembersStudy Group Leader: Stephanie Michl
Study Group Members: Emily Barnoswky , Sora Lim, Bridget Heneghan, Jessica Hodges, Jin Dokko
GoalIncrease the level of student engagement in our online classes.
deepening comprehension of nonfiction texts
schoolMount Vernon Elementary School
Group MembersStudy Group Leader: Mrs. O’Neal
Study Group Members: Mrs. Runaas, Ms. Ma, Ms. Pender-Bey
GoalAs a study group, we want to teach specific reading strategies to deepen comprehension of and provide access to nonfiction texts.
best practices for Remote Instruction
schoolSidney Sawyer Elementary School
Group MembersStudy Group Leader: Abbi Eichhorn
Study Group Members: Erica Hernandez, Niamh Burke, Maggie Steber, Jennie Vazquez
TextThe Trauma-Sensitive Classroom: Building Resilience with Compassionate Teaching by Patricia A. Jennings
GoalTo learn about the best practices for Remote Instruction and ways to incorporate SEL into our instruction.