Professional Development Content Area Descriptions
Elementary English Language Arts (ELA)
Elementary ELA professional development is focused on reading and writing strategies to improve student achievement. Teachers receive training on the research-based strategies to effectively implement reading, writing, and foundational skills. Working individually or in collaborative groups with Literacy coaches, teachers examine current data and review the best practices in literacy instruction.
Middle School English Language Arts (ELA)
All middle school ELA teachers participate in professional learning communities (PLC) as well as county-wide professional development days throughout the school year. The professional development focuses on reading and writing strategies to improve student achievement. Teachers work with coaches in collaborative groups to study the latest research in literacy instruction. Past professional development has included book studies and training, of the following:
- Notice and Note Close Reading Strategies by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst for both fiction and nonfiction texts
- Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher
- Common Core Writing Book by Gretchen Owocki
- The Common Core Companion by Jim Burke
Teachers create and utilize quarterly curriculum maps aligned to the Maryland's College and Career Readiness Standards.
High School English Language Arts (ELA)
All high school English teachers participate in job embedded professional learning opportunities as well as county-wide professional development days throughout the school year. The professional development focuses on the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards with an emphasis on reading and writing strategies to improve student achievement. Teachers work with coaches on an individual basis and in collaborative groups to build instructional strategies by examining current realities informed by data and reviewing the latest best practices in literacy instruction. Professional Development focuses include:
- Notice and Note Close Reading Strategies by Kylene Beers and Rob Probst for both fiction and nonfiction texts
- Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher
- The Common Core Companion by Jim Burke
Professional development for elementary mathematics will continue to focus on enhancing our use of Everyday Mathematics 4. In addition, teachers will receive on-going support for the newest online programs DreamBox Learning and Brainingcamp. Teachers will receive training on the effective use of these materials as they implement research-based strategies in mathematics.
All elementary math teachers will receive professional development on effective questioning, formative assessment, reasoning, and modeling in mathematics as well as problem-solving. 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. Curriculum resources are discussed in-depth as teachers collaboratively plan lessons and assessments. Teachers also discuss student performance data used while planning for interventions and extensions.
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 Washington Capitals lead Professional Development in Fall of 2021 and will provide equipment to all intermediate elementary schools and middle schools in Wicomico County. Teachers will continue to integrate technology to enhance opportunities for students to improve academic achievement and maximizing activity time in the gymnasium. Primary level teachers will continue to focus on integrating dance movements into daily instruction. SHAPE Maryland will be providing professional development across the State, throughout the year virtually, for all levels of instruction. Teachers are encouraged to become active members with SHAPE Maryland and SHAPE America.
All students in all grade levels within Wicomico County Public schools continues to receive health instruction. Wicomico County's Go Purple Team partners up with WCPS Teachers and staff throughout the entire school year to help prevent the use of opioids. Teachers will also be partnering with the Wicomico County Health Department to receive updated data so that instruction will continue to be aligned with needs of all students. In addition, all levels of instruction are aligned to state and national skills-based health outcomes and standards. Teachers are encouraged to become active members with SHAPE Maryland and SHAPE America.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Teachers continue to receive training utilizing Ever Fi's financial literacy resources. They will also be developing lessons to further support engineering standards. Time management and basic daily family skills such as cooking and maintaining finances will remain a focal point in middle school and high schools. Teachers are encouraged to become active members in the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences and The Maryland Association of Family & Consumer Sciences.
Science – Secondary and Elementary
Secondary Science Professional Development activities will focus on the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, particularly related to:
- Engaging students in the Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts (3-D instruction)
- Use of phenomena to anchor daily and long-term instruction that promote sense-making.
- Development and implementation of NGSS aligned courses
Elementary Science Professional Development will also focus on capacity building to implement NGSS aligned units developed by our elementary science curriculum writing team.
In addition, specific grade-level opportunities will be provided to support district-wide initiatives that are part of WCPS's plan for implementing the state-required Environmental Literacy requirements.
Social Studies- Middle and High School
Social Studies professional development 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.
Professional Development for World Language teachers will continue to focus on district wide Best Practices that address the domains of language development: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Opportunities to implement and teach toward district Scopes and Sequences will be provided. By exploring approved resources, teachers will target ACTFL language proficiency levels through comprehensible input and performance-based tasks.
CTE/Technology Education/Computer Education
Professional Development for the CTE/Technology Education/Computer Education Teachers 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.