Summer Institute 2018: Student Inquiry in the Secondary Classroom (June 6-8)

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I’m happy to announce this year’s Summer Institute – Student Inquiry in the Secondary Classroom (June 6-8).

You may notice we are scheduled for directly after this year’s Tech Camp, which is focusing on student agency. That’s on purpose.

We’ll be examining your current standbys, things you’d like to build, and units you’d like to refresh for how we can build toward learning driven by student inquiry.

Also, I’ll be facilitating this year along with Diana Laufenberg who led professional learning for district principals during 2017’s Tech Camp.

So, come join us. June 6-8. Just like last year, this class is open and relevant to any 6-12 teacher and will be about building resources for your classrooms relevant to latest research and practices. You can find the course here –

As a taste of why this is important, check out this wonderful read on “What’s Going on Inside the Brain of a Curious Child” from KQED’s Mind/Shift. Plus, here’s a great piece from Diana on “Crafting Learning Experiences.” Okay, one more, Diana’s post on “Speed Learning: A Classroom Activity.”

Let’s Get Together – Elementary End-of-Year Check-In

Last Saturday, Ruth Hanna and I facilitated the last of our Saturday Mid-Year Check-In courses. Over the course of 4 Saturdays, around 50 elementary school teachers gave their time to sit down and reflect on their practice and plan together for the second half of the school year. Across each course, we had rich conversations about what it means to help support a culture of reading and writing at the elementary level and how to better help all students chart pathways to reading and creating complex texts.

While we were pleased with the turnout each Saturday, we also appreciate the sacrifice of giving a Saturday to plan for our classrooms.

If I’ve been to your classroom or school over the last few months, you may recall me saying this is the “what” year of implementing our new elementary literacy resources and next year is the “how” year. Well, we wanted to make sure there’s space for thinking about the “how”.

We invite you to join us Tuesday, May 30 from 8 – 4 at Timberline pK-8 for and end-of-year check-in. Folks from across the district will be sitting down together to reflect on the close of our year and plan for how to improve our practice and learning next year.

If you can manage it, I encourage grade-level teams to come together and take a day to say, “What do we want to remember for next year?”

The course is open for registration right now through OPD –

See you there!

Looking to Improve Your Instructional Practice in Reading?


Space is limited in this professional learning course taught by Sherri Platt and Michelle Pulley, so sign up now. An especially good fit for secondary teachers of all subjects, this course provides participants time to look at reading monitoring tools, reading strategies and the district’s digital library. Read the description below, and sign up here.

Savvy Tools for Savvy Readers Fall 2016
Target Group: Licensed teachers, grades 5-12. iPads recommended but not necessary. This class is designed for all content areas at the upper elementary through high school level. Participants will gain knowledge of book level, content level, and text complexity through an exploration of novels and/or non-fiction text. The class is a 8-week online class. There will not be any face-to-face meetings. Participants will be required to check in weekly for discussions and assignment submissions. Using the District Digital Library will be part of the class. iPad access is not required but is highly recommended. Requirements for the course:

  • Read 3 novels or 9 non-fiction quick reads or combination (3 non-fiction = 1 novel) that are content and age appropriate for your class
  • Complete text complexity rubric for each
  • Create a tool to monitor student independent reading
  • Develop a “Recommended Reading List” for your class from books that are in the District Digital Library or that can be found in your school’s library
  • Engage in the weekly discussion questions with a minimum of an initial response and at least one reply to another participant
  • Final course assignment