Elementary English Language Arts (ELA)
Elementary ELA professional development for the 2014-2015 school year will continue to provide teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement instruction aligned with the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards. Topics include implementation of revised ELA units, guided reading, using mentor text in writing instruction, PARCC-aligned rubrics for scoring writing, instruction approaches for grammar and vocabulary, and manuscript and cursive handwriting. In addition, primary teachers will participate in sessions focused on strategies for effective early literacy instruction. Resources will be provided to support each of the topics presented.
High School English Language Arts (ELA)
High School ELA professional development for the 2014-2015 school year will continue to provide teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement instruction aligned with the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards. Topics include thematic planning, close reading, text dependent questions, research writing, PARCC-aligned rubrics for scoring writing, and instructional approaches for grammar and vocabulary. In addition, teachers will have the opportunity to participate in three conference style sessions with teachers from science, social studies, and special education. Participants will self-select sessions geared to their needs. Topics will include: technology, assessments, diverse learners, disciplinary literacy, writing, STEM, and vocabulary.
For the 2014-2015 school year professional development for elementary mathematics will continue to focus on successfully transitioning to the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards. For grades 2- 5 new instructional units, resources and assessments have been created and teachers will receive training on the effective use of these materials. Teachers in grades 3 – 5 will receive specialized training on Singapore Bar Modeling.
All elementary teachers will receive professional development on effective questioning, trans-disciplinary approaches to instruction and we will continue to focus on methods to help all students learn mathematics conceptually.
Professional development workshops are designed to accelerate student achievement, strengthen cross cultural communications, and focus on strategies to build and sustain positive relationships with parents and students. In addition, it is our goal to improve English Language Learners’ proficiency levels in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Specific strategies will be discussed to increase students’ oral language, literacy and comprehension skills.
Secondary mathematics professional development is designed to support teachers’ instruction of Maryland’s College and Career Readiness Standards. Topics include specific instructional strategies such as bar modelling, as well as a focus on improving instructional delivery through higher order questioning, inquiry, and facilitating student discussion. Teachers will have the opportunity to attend two days of Kagan Cooperative Learning workshops where classroom structures that promote student engagement will be shared. Throughout the year, collaborative workshops will be offered which allow teachers to develop conceptual tasks, plan lessons, activities and assessments. Our teachers are also fortunate to work closely with Salisbury University as several professors partner with us throughout the year.
Music and Visual Arts
To provide high quality professional development for Wicomico County Public School System Music and Visual Art educators in the areas of creativity to support and extend learning by developing personalized learning plans addressing arts integration methods of instruction, SLO development impacting the learning of their assigned students, subject area networking with other like subject area teachers (Many times they are the only visual art or music teachers in their schools therefore having no time to interrelate and discuss teaching strategies which other teachers of a similar level or subject.). This will be achieved through the development of subject and grade level PLC’s in Music and Visual Art.
To provide high quality professional development for educators in the areas of creativity to support and extend learning by making arts integration methods of instruction an integral component of all curricular areas. The goal of Arts In Motion (AIM) is to develop a high quality, 21ST Century arts integration professional development program which will improve and sustain arts integration in Wicomico County Public Schools thereby helping K-8 students meet National Standards and improve achievement in both the content and arts areas. The vision includes facilitating solid communication and collaboration between teachers in arts and non-arts disciplines, and advancing partnerships with local artists and cultural organizations.
The primary focus for this school year in the subject of physical education is the implementation of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program in all elementary and secondary schools across the county. This nationally-renowned initiative strives to keep students active for sixty minutes a day through a combination of school-based activity plays and healthy, nutritious food choices.
In health and family and consumer sciences, the teachers will be working on implementing revised curriculum and assessment materials to better help guide their instructional practices to meet the needs of all our students.
Science – Secondary and Elementary
Secondary Science PD will include the continuing implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, with a focus on student engagement in the Science & Engineering Practices and the use of the EQuIP (Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products) rubric for evaluation of instructional materials for alignment with NGSS.
Elementary Science PD will also focus on NGSS implementation, with an emphasis on the implementation of new curricula in Kindergarten and Grade 3 as well as preparation for new curricula in Grades 1 & 4 to come in 2015-16.
Social Studies- Middle and High School
Social Studies professional development for the 2014-2015 school year will continue to provide teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to implement the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards. The C3 Framework focuses attention on three instructional shifts including: Inquiry being at the center of social studies instruction; disciplinary integrity and interdisciplinary connections matter; and informed action and application of knowledge is clear and present. In addition, teachers will have the opportunity to participate in three conference style half day sessions with teachers from science, English language arts, and special education. Participants will self-select sessions geared to meet their individual interests. Topics will include: technology, assessments, diverse learners, disciplinary literacy, writing, STEM, and vocabulary.
Middle School RELA
Middle School RELA teachers will be involved in a conference style format for several professional development sessions this year. This design will include the content areas of social studies, science, English, and Special Education. This cross content opportunity will allow teachers to select from a variety of sessions, thereby allowing them to individualize their professional development. Some of the topic strands include: Technology, STEM, Reading, Writing, and Best Practices.
RELA teachers will also be provided additional professional development on the grammar initiative which was rolled out last year. Teachers will work in collaborative groups to create a grammar resource book that includes mentor text that can be used to teach integrated grammar lessons.
New curriculum maps will also be shared with all teachers. These maps serve as sample integrated unit plans that are aligned with the standards. The curriculum maps are theme based and include a variety of instructional activities that serve to support the PARCC framework.
Vocabulary instruction will be a professional development focus this year as well. Teachers will work with coaches in collaborative groups to study the latest research in vocabulary instruction. Following the study of research, teachers will be involved in developing strategies to teach vocabulary in their daily instruction.
World Languages professional development for the 2014-2015 school year will focus on ‘actualizing proficiency’. Building on the establishment of proficiency outcomes for each level of instruction, focused attention will be given to developing and enhancing best practices for proficiency based instruction. Recognizing the unique opportunity that world language study provides for real world and authentic connections to all other content areas, teachers will be working to enrich transdisciplinary approaches to instruction and content. Finally to better align assessment to this new framework for instruction, teachers will begin to infuse integrated performance assessments into their instructional repertoire.
CTE/Technology Education/Computer Education
Professional Development for the CTE/Technology Education/Computer Education Teachers for 2014-15 will include examining the impacts and implications of the Career and College Readiness Standards and the opportunities for classroom instructional alignment and improvement. Career awareness and College Transition for teachers as a means to better prepare students to become career and college ready. Robotics training for technology education and computer science foundation courses. Understanding “What is Rigor” and how to increase student achievement through classroom culture and teacher expectations.