Colored Design Pattern for TALA Site

Principles of Effective Professional Development

As part of 2016 Summer Institute planning, Write for Texas staff engaged with colleagues from all 27 project sites in a process to define best practices for professional development (PD).  A series of face-to-face and virtual discussions were facilitated using question prompts designed to generate discussion on the topics of professional learning, content, and logistics of PD delivery.  These principles will continue to be developed and refined. 

 

The "Five Principles of Effective Professional Development" developed by Write for Texas participants are presented in expandable sections below.  Click on each principle to view how the approach is being implemented in regional 2016 Summer Institutes.

2016 Summer Institute Implementation 

Examples of authentic instructional materials that Write for Texas regional institutes incorporate include: student & teacher writing samples, informal and formal writing activities, annotated mentor texts, writers notebooks, lesson plans, metacognitive questioning strategies, cross-curricular thematic unit plans, think-alouds or write-alouds, and district literacy plans.

2016 Summer Institute Implementation

Write for Texas regional institutes are designed with gradual release as the goal, where strategies are first modeled, then applied, and finally used independently by participants.  Additionally, participants provide each other with feedback to revise and refine skills learned.  Examples of supported practice embedded in Write for Texas regional institutes include skill development (e.g. text type analysis), preparation and delivery of write-alouds and think-alouds, practice writing short answers, facilitated reflection on student work, role-play of delivering feedback.

2016 Summer Institute Implementation

The length of Write for Texas regional institutes range from single or multiple day conference (either consecutive or with a planned subsequent follow-up) to 4-week “courses” delivered via a hybrid model of face-to-face and virtual sessions.  Summer Institutes will serve as a foundation for continued onsite coaching opportunities (one-on-one or group), and engagement with a professional network where artifacts are shared and refined.  Additionally, summer institute participants will reference the Write for Texas online resources for continued support of instructional strategy development and classroom activities that integrate writing instruction.  

2016 Summer Institute Implementation

Write for Texas regional institutes are designed in response to observed training needs, and for various target audiences.  In some cases, this means offering sessions in “strands,” such as tracks for administrators, or teaching English language learners, or technology applications.  In many instances, participants will self-select into sessions based on interests, grades taught, or prior knowledge of writing instruction.  Delivery formats include: keynote speakers, guest authors, breakout sessions, demonstration lessons, panel discussions, roundtables, EdCamp (or “unconference”), book studies, and immersive writing workshops.  

2016 Summer Institute Implementation

Each Write for Texas regional institute balances delivery of specific content with the expectation that participants will interact with one another.  In addition to facilitated dialogue and reflection on learning, time is intentionally allocated for campus and district teams to plan together.  For some regions, the institute will serve as an opportunity for teachers and administrators to approach planning a year with writing at the center.  For others, summer professional development will be a springboard for coaches and teachers to set learning goals and be strategic about professional growth for the coming year.