IU13 LDC National Peer Review Workshop and School Visit Recap
Pennsylvania educators and instructional leaders gathered on October 31st, 2016 for a three day workshop hosted by the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13. The goal was to further the objectives outlined in the Pennsylvania Keystones to Opportunity Grant by implementing a Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) Coach Certification initiative. Pennsylvania is a state comprised of twenty-nine Intermediate Units (IUs): education service agencies which function independently as a network, to provide opportunities and professional development support, interpret public policy, and act as advocates for their members. This kick-off gathering included coaches from various IUs across the state joined in their commitment to improve collaboration across their network infrastructure and focused on increasing the literacy expertise in the districts they support through a blended professional development model grounded in research and best practices.
“This was one of the most informative trainings I have had.”
The LDC certification process articulates a progression that is proven to yield not only improvement in quality instructional planning, but also in effective classroom implementation. The tools employed in this cause were designed to deliver the alignment needed in order to ensure that instructional practice provides the rigor necessary for effective, standards-based instruction, improving literacy learning outcomes and dramatically increasing reading achievement among Pennsylvania students.
A large part of this three day professional learning experience was specifically dedicated to an LDC National Peer Review Workshop facilitated by Kelly Galbraith, Terri Lewis, and Jennifer Bean of IU13, along with the LDC team. Teachers and coaches from Pennsylvania and beyond dove deep into aligning curricula with national LDC standards. In addition to learning how to align tasks with nationally vetted and calibrated peer review standards, participants gained a deeper understanding of how to create their own tasks. The Peer Review Workshop garnered rave reviews for LDC and our hosts at IU13: “This was one of the most informative trainings I have had,” said one attendee. “It was some of the best PD I have experienced in a long time,” said another.
“It was some of the best PD I have experienced in a long time”
The LDC team wrapped up their time in Lancaster by visiting two local schools where students and teachers have been actively implementing LDC practices with the guidance of IU13: Lincoln Middle School and Lafayette Elementary School. The team received a warm welcome from Principal Josiah Keene, Jeff Barninger, Wendy Moncak, and Deanna Mahlandt at Lincoln Middle School and Principal Wanda Suarez, Marissa Lewis, and Jody Charles at Lafayette Elementary School. It was an amazing opportunity to observe the hard work that these principals and teachers do on a daily basis. They opened their doors and classrooms, allowing the team to learn alongside them and see different parts of the LDC process; from the beginning stages of gathering information to the transition and finally to writing, where real students brought their skills to the forefront and were given the opportunity to shine. The four classrooms were all very different, but consistently reflected critical similarities such as teachers with infectious energy and students who were focused and engaged in their work. It was wonderful to see the powerful learning that happens in LDC classrooms!