The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) has chosen a group of educators from across the nation to be Lead and Learn Fellows at the Southern Regional Education Board’s (SREB) Networking Conference in Atlanta.
LDC Fellows will present sessions sharing their practices with a goal of enhancing learning for others. “It is a tremendous honor for Kentucky and for these educators to have been selected for this team,” said Kelly Philbeck, LDC instructional specialist for the Kentucky Department of Education.
Sharon Thurman, DCPS district literacy staff developer; and Kari Kinder, instructional coach at East View Elementary School, join six other Fellows on the national team and will post blogs about their work during the Atlanta conference, scheduled from July 13-15.
Thurman and Kinder will share their presentation twice at the conference and will also host a table at the literacy sharing session where conference attendees will be able to ask questions about LDC work in Daviess County.
Thurman and Kinder’s presentation, “The Challenge: NGSS Modules Worth Sharing,” will detail the process and the two modules developed for fourth-grade science Next Generation Science Standards by DCPS educators Shelly Hammons, Angie Howard, Christina Taylor, Melanie Duckwall, Sandra Tichenor, Kinder and Thurman.
“We will not only be able to share how Daviess County has used LDC modules to implement Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for content standards, but we will also be able to network with teachers and professional learning organizations from across the country to learn what other schools are doing to refine CCSS work in literacy and math,” Thurman said. “We can share this information with teachers in our district to strengthen instruction for all DCPS students.”
“Being named an LDC Lead and Learn Fellow is a great honor,” Kinder said. “I am excited to be part of a group of educators sharing methods of incorporating Literacy Design Collaborative modules and learning from other educators.”
Kinder said her participation as a Fellow will strengthen her contributions as instructional coach at EVES. “The knowledge gained in the different subject area and experience from attending this conference will help grow me as a teacher and instructional coach,” she said. “I will be able to share with other teachers and instructional coaches the strategies and knowledge that I gain at this National Conference.”
Most significantly, Kinder said, “Students will benefit from my participation in this conference because not only will I be sharing the work that we have been doing in the Literacy Design Collaborative, I will be learning from other educators in many different subject areas. This knowledge will provide instructional strategies that will increase engagement and levels of learning for many students.”
As the literacy staff developer for DCPS, Thurman said she is “constantly seeking to refine my knowledge and skills so I can be an instructional leader who partners with administrators to implement the intent of the CCSS literacy standards, which is to use literacy to teach content grades K-12. I provide literacy training, assist with finding and developing instructional materials, and coach teachers.”
“The LDC website, tools, models, and webinars are powerful resources,” Thurman said. “I have been trained as a national juror and use those skills to help our teachers refine their LDC modules. We have had two modules developed by our teachers recognized as exemplary, the highest rating given by the national jurying team. Being selected as a 2015 Lead and Learn Fellow will further my ability to work with DCPS administrators, instructional coaches and teachers so our students continue to receive quality instruction.”
In addition, Thurman and Jana Bryant, who serves as DCPS district math staff developer and is a Hope Street Group Kentucky Teaching Fellow, had a proposal selected for presentation at the conference. “LDC and MDC: Part of What We Do” will share how the DCPS district has scaled and sustained the Literacy Design Collaborative and Mathematics Design Collaborative programs by developing teacher leaders in all schools through training, modeling and ongoing support, Thurman said. “Since MDC implementation began in 2011-2012, training has emphasized best math instruction practices, increased rigor, building student conceptual understanding, and utilization of formative assessment to improve instruction. LDC work started with a 2010 pilot of two template tasks. Since that pilot, all K-12 teachers have been trained in module development and implementation. Our teachers have written and taught hundreds of modules and continue to refine, revise and replace based on state curriculum and local requirements. LDC/MDC is now, in the words of one of our teachers, ‘a part of what we do.’ ”
Following the Atlanta SREB conference, Thurman, Kinder and Bryant will travel to Raleigh, N.C., to present at the National Education Association’s Regional Summer Resource Institute.
“We were invited to share Daviess County’s MDC and LDC work at this institute, which is a regional opportunity for states to join together for professional learning and growth around College and Career Ready/Common Core State Standards,” Thurman said. “This is another opportunity Jana Bryant has been afforded in her work as a national common core advocate with Student Achievement Partners.”
In addition to the presentation on LDC work, Thurman has also been invited to represent the Literacy Design Collaborative at an information booth in North Carolina.