Writing Workshop 2016-2017
The 2016-2017 school year inaugurated a multi-year initiative in the Trumbull Public Schools to expand our students' capacity to be the best writers they can be, starting in kindergarten and proceeding all the way through twelfth grade.
We continue to build upon our Belief Statement, developed in October 2015, for Writing in the Trumbull Public Schools.
Beginning in the spring of 2016, a sustained, systematic effort was begun to train all K-5 classroom teachers, literacy consultants, and principals in Trumbull in the premises of writing workshop, in particular as developed by Teachers College, Columbia University. To date, over one hundred of our classroom teachers have participated in writing institutes led by experts from Teachers College; eighty of those enthusiastically participated in a four-day Summer Writing Institute in Trumbull held during August 2016.
Subsequent to the August 2016 Writing Institute, grade-level teams of teachers worked to develop Draft for Pilot curricula for implementation during the 2016-2017 school year. Those curricula were brought to the Board of Education Curriculum Committee in late August 2016; they were then updated during the summer of 2017 based upon the pilot year of implementation, and then brought to the Board of Education for proposed full approval for the 2017-2018 school year.
To support teachers instructionally during the 2016-2017 school year, teachers across schools participate in regular grade-level after-school meetings to share best practices related to writing workshop; they also participate in visit teams to observe colleagues across all grades and schools in implementing writing workshop.
Literacy consultants and the K-5 Program Leader for English Language Arts assist teachers in implementing consistent standards of student assessment related to writing workshop. Trimester 1 Units of Study, for all grade levels, were focused on Narrative Writing. Grade-specific rubrics were used to evaluate student work:
Trimester 2 and Trimester 3 Units of Study bring students into Information Writing and Opinion Writing. Grade-specific rubrics continue to be used to evaluate student work:
In reporting students' work for the Standards-Based Report Card, teachers were provided a Rating Scale for converting student rubric scores into report card scores.
Parent Information Sessions related to Writing Workshop were held on November 17, 2016, for grades K-2 parents and December 1, 2016, for grades 3-5 parents. Additional resources for parents wishing to support their children in writing are available here (particularly appropriate for grades K-2 parents) and here (particularly appropriate for grades 3-5 parents).
Highlighting Trumbull's successful approach to ongoing curriculum development and professional development linked to Writing Workshop, on March 9, 2017, District and school administrators and teacher-leaders presented "Strengthening Teacher Feedback Cycles with School-Based Consultants and Principals" at the Connecticut State Department of Education's Moving from Compliance to Coherence Conference.