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The Literacy Cooperative’s 6th Annual Teacher Academy
In November each year The Literacy Cooperative holds our Teacher Academy. We bring together educators to learn new ideas and best practices from each other. This year, we had 20 teachers present on a range of topics from the benefits of Math Games to the concept of Looping.
One of the great parts of the Teacher Academy is being able to meet and network with fellow teachers from different schools and districts. We always start each Teacher Academy with a icebreaker to allow everyone some time to get to know one another.
Breakout Session 2 was presented by Katie Kwiatkowski and Carrie Rump, 1st grade teachers from Berea City Schools. Their presentation was titled “Hop onto the Writing Express.” They spoke about how they use pre and post assessments to guide instruction for the writing process.
The 3rd breakout session option was “Building Fluency, Confidence and Joy in Struggling Readers,” presented by Heather Lemmerbrock, a K-2 Title 1 Reading Teacher from Warrensville Heights City School District. She spoke about different fluency techniques and provided resources for teachers to be able to use in their classrooms.
Another breakout out option during Session 1 was “A Toy Story: How STEM Can Help Show that Opposites Attract -Like Woody & Buzz!” This session was presented by John Bottar & Mario Valente, K-3 Teachers from South Euclid-Lyndhurst School District. The session explained how to show students the engineering and science process involved in designing a toy, based on principle of magnetism.
The last breakout session for Session 1 was presented by Laurie Switzer, WVIZ/PBS Ideastream Professional Learning Coordinator, PreK-16 Outreach & Special Projects. Her session was titled “Book Flix and Early World of Learning: INFOhio Resources to Support Early Literacy.” It was a hands-on session that introduced the educators to free digital resources that could be integrated into instruction in the classroom or accessed in a child’s home.
For Session 2 Shannon Maher, a 3rd Grade Teacher from Garfield Heights City Schools presented on “Implementing the Daily 5 Math and How it Provides Opportunities for Student Engagement & Teacher Effectiveness.” Teachers were taught how to transform learning centers into engaging, effective math instruction with built-in interventions and enrichments for all students.
The second breakout option in Session 2 was “Foldables-Using Paper to Enhance Learning” presented by Cristina Lukanc, a 2nd grade teacher with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. She taught teachers how to make foldables as a way for students to learn and keep information organized.
For the third breakout session option Rebecca Kidwell & Kelly Grist, 1st and 2nd grade teachers from South Euclid-Lyndhurst School District, gave their presentation “Stay in the Loop!” Their session focused on the concept of looping and how it has helped their teaching and student learning as well as teacher/parent/student relationships.
Michelle Reese, a 1st grade teacher from East Cleveland School District gave her presentation titled “It Takes a Village.” She explained ways to involve the community to provide authentic learning experiences.
Michelle Reese 2nd session presentation on how it takes a community to teach a child. #TLCTA2016
The last session option was another presentation by Laurie Switzer entitled “PBS Learning Media and Ready to Learn.” It provided the teachers with free access to early literacy digital media assets that could be integrated into classroom instruction.
Session 3 had four breakout options. The first option was led by Michele Badowski, a 1st grade teacher from Parma City Schools. Her presentation was called “Lifesaver Daily Writing- ALL Kids can Achieve!” She presented on how to develop daily writing that would not only meet the Common Core, but also improve student confidence as well.
The second breakout option was “Having It All-How to Integrate Content Areas Across the Curriculum” presented by Mary Vaughn & Colleen Petruzzi, 2nd and 3rd grade looping teachers from Fairview Park City Schools. Those who attended this session were presented with an example of an integrated social studies, reading, writing and math unit.
Carla Mandato & Tami Arthur, Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers from Berea City School District presented on “Diggin Classroom Dojo.” They spoke about Classroom Dojo, an online behavior management system that encourages positive student behaviors and provides a means for teachers and parents to communicate frequently.
The last breakout session offered for Session 3 was “Math Games Galore!” This presentation was given by Michelle Ita and Melissa Toppings, 1st grade teachers from Maple Heights School District. They gave examples of math games that help students build number sense and place value knowledge in the primary grades.
One of the options for the final breakout session was “iTech University,” presented by Nicole Crum and Katie Kellner, Kindergarten teachers from Fairview Park City Schools District. They gave examples of some fun, kid-friendly apps that are easily implemented in the classroom.
Laura DiRienzo & Maryanne Ratka, 3rd and 1st grade teachers from Garfield Heights City Schools, gave their presentation titled “An Exploration of Comprehension Connections-Bridges to Strategic Reading.” The presentation explored the highly effective and popular book Comprehension Connections by Tanny McGregor.
Another breakout session option in Session 4 was” Dare to do Developmental Spelling!” presented by Kovi & Penny Humphrey, K-2 Literacy Coach & 1st grade teacher from Euclid City Schools. Their session walked teachers through assessing student’s developmental spelling levels and implementing word study.
The last breakout session option of the day was another session presented by Michelle Ita & Melissa Toppings, titled “Math Routines.” They took teachers through daily routines that could help students build number sense and place value knowledge in the primary grades.
The Teacher Academy is always a great day of learning from fellow teachers. It would not be as successful or as informative without all the fantastic presenters who share their time and experience with their fellow teachers.
The Teacher Academy would not have gone as smoothly as it did without the fantastic support from the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County staff especially Donna and Gail. We would like to extend a big thank you for their assistance each year!
The Literacy Cooperative staff (pictured below left to right, Christine Lee, our Consultant for Professional Development Training who is head of the Teacher Academy, Brittney Rzucidlo, our Social Media Associate, Lynn Foran, our Reach Out and Read Coordinator and Elaine Yeip, our Program Assistant ) would like to extend a big thank you to all those who attended and presented for our 6th annual Teacher academy and we look forward to next year!