PLL offers a variety of literacy courses that address foundational literacy information, current topics in research and practice, and literacy coaching to name a few.  We also can tailor courses to meet the needs of districts or schools. Our courses rotate throughout the year.  To keep informed of what our offerings are, visit our website often or sign up for our email updates

Joy Write: Time, Choice, and Response for Developing Writers, K-8

Credit: 3 graduate credits from Saint Michael’s College
When: July 6, 2022 – August 16, 2022       
Instructor:  Ellen A. Thompson. Ed.D.
Location:  Online – asynchronous
Intended Audience: Teachers of Students in Grades K – 8

This course is designed to take an in-depth look at writing instruction in the elementary classroom, K-8. Participants will read and reflect upon Joy Write: Cultivating High-Impact, Low-Stakes Writing, written by Ralph Fletcher while examining their own practices and the practices of other influential teachers of literacy.  Participants will explore many ways to integrate the teaching of writing strategies into their existing or proposed instructional programs.   This course will examine the set-up for a writers’ workshop as well as what is needed to teach and support student writers to become better writers as evidenced by classroom based and/or state assessments.  Much discussion will be spent on how to teach writing within an atmosphere that has as its outcome students who not only can write, but students who choose to write! The use of multiple assessments to inform practice will be shared.  Participants will be encouraged to share their own instructional successes and challenges in the area of writing development.

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Course Expectations:
This online course will require students to participate fully in all discussions.  Small group work will be led by the groups, resulting in a sharing to the rest of the class.  Staying current in the class work will be important to drive our learning from each other.  It is important to let the instructor know if you need more time within a module before that module is due.  

Required Text Materials:

* Joy Write: Cultivating High-Impact, Low-Stakes Writing, written by Ralph Fletcher, Heinemann, 2017
* A Teacher’s Guide to Writing Conferences, K-8, written by Carl Anderson, Heinemann, 2018.
* 1 choice book from: Poetry Matters, How Writers Work, Live Writing: Breathing Life into your Words, A Writer’s Notebook written by Ralph Fletcher
* Articles as provided by the instructor.

Course Design
Introductory Module (1): This module will help you get acquainted with your classmates while learning how to navigate the learning management system.

Learning Modules (4) : This course is designed around 4 learning modules. Each module requires reading, analysis and synthesis of new information, with a responsibility to add to and respond to others.   Module descriptions with specific expectations will be posted prior to the start date of the next module. Modules are “released” one at a time. Each module will be completed within a 7 day window of time and due dates will be given for each module.  

If you need more information prior to registering, please contact ellen.thompson@pllvt.org

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About Ellen Thompson

Young Adult Literature: Bringing relevant texts into our classrooms

Credit: 3 graduate credits from Saint Michael’s College
When: June 23, 2022 – August 11, 2022
Instructor: Sarah Miller, M.Ed.
Location: Online – asynchronous
Intended audience: Teachers of Students in Grades 7-10

Course Description:  In this course, teachers will read and analyze current, relevant texts for young adult readers.  It will address a range of genres, including historical fiction, realistic fiction, and nonfiction books that young adults read.  Participants can expect books in verse, graphic novels, and prose. It is important to note that the young adult texts in this course contain material that includes but is not limited to discussions of race, sexuality, gender, and addiction. This course values engagement in both online discussion forums.  There is an emphasis on practical applications of discussion and familiarity with current literature. Reading is a social act, and teachers will have the opportunity to engage with young adult text in a social as well as an analytical manner.

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This fully online course will allow participants to understand that we can provide our young adult readers with a range of texts and an opportunity to engage with those texts in a variety of ways. 

Date Reading and Online Discussion DUE
Thursday, June 23 – Thursday, June 30 The Downstairs Girl
Thursday, June 30 – Thursday, July 7 Hey, Kiddo
Thursday, July 7 – Thursday, July 13 The Black Friend
Thursday, July 13 – Thursday, July 21 Truly Devious
Thursday, July 21 – Thursday, July 28  Far From the Tree
Thursday, July 28 – Thursday, August 4 Choice
Final Project: Design an instructional plan for what you will bring back to your classroom. Provide connections to the CCSS ELA Standards, which can include Speaking and Listening in addition to Reading Literature and Reading Information.

  • Book club texts, and implementing book clubs
  • Book talks, book trailers, book recommendations
  • Discussion questions

FORMAT:

  1. Discussion forums, weekly
  2. Reflection and Instructional Applications:
    How will you engage your students with current, relevant young adult texts? Develop an instructional plan that you can use.
    What methods will you use in your classroom?
    Which text resonated the most with you?  You can consider your personal lens as a reader, or through the lens of a young adult reader.

If you need more information prior to registering, please contact: smiller@pllvt.org

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About: Sarah Miller

Middle Grade Literature: Bringing relevant texts into our classrooms

Credit: 3 graduate credits from Saint Michael’s College
When: Dates: June 22, 2022 – August 3, 2022
Instructor: Sarah Miller, M.Ed.
Location: Online – Wednesday 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Intended audience: Teachers of Students in Grades 5-8

Course Description:  In this course, teachers will read and analyze current, relevant texts for middle grade readers.  We will address a range of genres, including but not limited to historical fiction, realistic fiction, and nonfiction books that middle-graders read.  Participants can expect to read books in verse, graphic novels, and prose. This course values engagement in both online discussion forums and participation in discussion protocols during virtual meetings.  There is an emphasis on practical applications of book clubs, discussion protocols, and familiarity with current literature. Reading is a social act, and teachers will have the opportunity to engage with middle grade text in a social as well as an analytical manner.

This fully online course will allow participants to understand that we can provide our young readers with a range of texts and an opportunity to engage with those texts in a variety of ways. For participants, this includes weekly discussion forums and a Google Meet/Skype/ or Zoom to talk about new learning, how texts can be used in the classroom, and modeling of routines.

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Middle Grade Text Readings:

Date Reading and Online Discussion 
Wednesday, June 22  – Wednesday, June 29 Show Me a Sign
Wednesday, June 29 – Wednesday, July 6 When the Stars are Scattered

The Joy of Reading TBD

Wednesday, July 6 – Wednesday, July 13 History Smashers: The American Revolution

The Joy of Reading TBD

Wednesday, July 13- Wednesday, July 20  The Parker Inheritance
Wednesday, July 20 – Wednesday, July 27  Starfish

The Joy of Reading TBD

Wednesday, July 27 – Wednesday, August 3  Choice

The Joy of Reading TBD

 

Additional Required Reading:

English-Language Arts Common Core State Standards Common Core State Standards Initiative
The Joy of Reading* to be released 5/3/2022 Donalyn Miller and Teri S. Lesesne

 

Final Project on August 3: Design an instructional plan for what you will bring back to your classroom. Provide connections to the CCSS ELA Standards, which can include Speaking and Listening in addition to Reading Literature and Reading Information.

  • Book club texts, and implementing book clubs
  • Book talks, book trailers, book recommendations
  • Discussion protocols
  • From The Joy of Reading

If you need more information prior to registering, please contact: smiller@pllvt.org

REGISTER

 

About: Sarah Miller

Reading Instruction: A Vital Balancing Act, K-6

Saint Michael’s College
Credits: 3 graduate credits
Dates: January 24 – May 18, 2022
Contact Hours: 60+ online hours
Intended audience: teachers of grades K-6
Instructor:  Ellen A. Thompson, Ed. D.
Cost: $1,450 with 3 credit $850 without credit

Are you a teacher of literacy in grades K-6?  Have you been worried about how to fit it all in?  Do you wonder what is most important for your students to become successful in literacy?  Then this course:  Reading Instruction:  A Vital Balancing Act is the course for you.

This fully online course will enable a deeper understanding of  the necessary components of a comprehensive balanced literacy approach for the teaching of reading. The use of an  intentional design, purposeful learning materials, evidenced based reading instruction, along with the strategic groupings of students based on data combine to create powerful learning experiences for all students. Using the text, This is Balanced Literacy, K-6, written by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Nancy Akhavian, we will begin to develop the high impact learning experiences needed to push our readers into that deep thinking mode.  The text will provide much knowledge on how to increase student understanding and use of voice without eliminating the joy that real reading can bring. 

Goals:

As a result of active participation in this course, students will:

  1. Consider and discuss the merits and facets of a comprehensive balanced literacy approach.
  2. Explore and learn more about evidenced-based reading instruction.
  3. Reflect and discuss the role of the literacy components within a balanced literacy approach.
  4. Consider the implications this work has on classroom practice to map out a strategic plan for classroom-based applications.
  5. Develop a deep understanding of how the literacy strands within the ELA CCSS interact and support this type of reading instruction.
  6. Collaborate and reflect with colleagues to develop a community of learners to support  current reading/writing policies and practices.
  7. Use the understanding of a balanced literacy approach to create a meaningful unit of study, investigation, and/or research best practice to promote deeper student understandings for reading instruction.

Required Readings:
This is Balanced Literacy, K-6, written by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Nancy Akhavian
ELA Common Core State Standards
Articles/visual media: supplied by instructor

This is an online class.  It is important that all course participants make good use of the discussion forums.  Increased understanding will be generated through the connection between the assigned readings/tasks and your ability to tease out important information for each other and yourself.  The instructor will read and monitor the discussions to highlight important points and to turn conversations in new and deeper directions. 

PLL offers several courses on a ROLLING ENROLLMENT basis. We often have participants from our partner schools wanting to take one of the courses together, but we encourage others to reach out to see what courses may be scheduled by contacting info@pllvt.org 

Rolling Enrollment Course:

Course Title: Explorations in Literacy Instruction…what every teacher needs to know to help all learners be successful.

3 graduate credits: Saint Michael’s College
Rolling Open Enrollment
Contact Hours: 7 modules,  50+ online hours
Intended audience: teachers of grades K-8
Instructor of Record:  Ellen A. Thompson, Ed. D.

Contact PLL at info@pllvt.org for information on how to register for this rolling enrollment course.

Course Description:  This learning exploration is designed to reawaken what we know to be best practices for the teaching of literacy.  It will uncover the critical components needed for a comprehensive and balanced literacy approach. Of great importance will be the discussion of the multiple types of small group instruction, their various purposes and uses within the classroom instructional plan. Participants will also look at how these components are organized in a real classroom with real learners on a daily basis. It is critical that these best practices are connected within a relevant and purposeful instructional stance.  What our students read and write matters.  How much they read and write matters.  What they do with what they read and write matters!

As teachers are experiencing literacy instruction in new and differing ways this year, much discussion will be on creating both face-to-face as well as hybrid teaching experiences for our learners.

This fully online course will allow participants to understand more completely what the expectations are for their teaching of literacy within the context English-Language Arts Common Core State Standards (ELA CCSS).  All participants will use a cloud-hosted Learning Management System to gain new content information, contribute to large group and strand discussions, hand in and share assignments, and discuss readings, slide shows, & videos.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of active participation in this course, students will:

  1. Explore deeply reading instruction for elementary/middle level students.
  2. Understand the importance the literacy components have on assuring our students read well.
  3. Explore the organization of the literacy block, in ways that better support all learners.
  4. Reflect and discuss in ways that disrupt our own thinking, challenging us to grow as teachers.
  5. Consider the implications this work has on classroom practice to map out a strategic plan for classroom-based applications.
  6. Research the multiple grouping strategies that allow teachers to provide the most responsive instruction for all students.
  7. Collaborate with colleagues to develop a community of learners to support this new learning
  8. Reflect and discuss the many issues related to the teaching of reading/writing/assessment/CCSS shifts.
  9. Engage in dialogue concerning current reading/writing policies and practices

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Participants will understand the components of comprehensive literacy instruction, beginning with the content and moving into instructional practices
  2. Participants will explore the big ideas of literacy instruction with other colleagues adding to their deeper understandings
  3. Participants will understand the differences within small group instruction to maximize both student learning and engagement.
  4. Participants will explore digital technologies to incorporate into their teaching that support reading that matters instruction

Rolling Enrollment Course:
Leadership in Literacywhat every administrator needs to know to help all learners and teachers be successful in literacy.

Saint Michael’s College
Credit: 2 graduate credits:
Contact Hours: 5+ modules,  40+ online hours
Intended audience:  School Leaders of Grades K-6
Instructor of Record:  Ellen A. Thompson, Ed. D.

Course Description:  This learning exploration is designed to take a broad look at literacy instruction across an elementary school.  We will explore the types of experiences all children need if they are to be successful in their literacy achievement.  Time will be spent visiting quality classrooms through videos and reading.  We will take note of what the learning environment looks like and sounds like. We will dig into the evidence of learning through the lenses of both joy and rigor.

School-level leaders will come away from this course with solid knowledge of what to look for within the literacy instruction of individual classrooms and across multiple grade levels.  A focus of the work will be to better understand the 5 attributes of schools that are successful in strong literacy attainment goals.

Attributes:

  • Systemic Supports
  • Opportunities to Read
  • Teacher Expertise
  • Assessment practices
  • Responsive School Community

All participants will use a cloud-hosted Learning Management System to gain new content information, contribute to large group and strand discussions, hand in and share assignments, and discuss readings, slide shows, & videos.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of active participation in this course, students will:

  1. Consider the multiple areas that define a successful school literacy program
  2. Understand the basics of quality literacy instruction using a best practices approach
  3. Explore the organization of the literacy block, in ways that better support all learners.
  4. Understand the varying types of literacy assessments and their uses in a literacy classroom.
  5. Explore the use of assessment data within collaborative structures in the school.
  6. Engage in dialogue concerning current reading/writing practices using the CCSS, ELA
  7. Understand the multiple grouping strategies that allow teachers to provide the most responsive instruction for all students.
  8. Apply new learning to your school environment by using instructional walkthroughs using literacy “look fors”

Class Design:

This is an online class.  It is important that all course participants make good use of the discussion forums.  Increased understanding will be generated through the connection between the assigned readings/tasks and your ability to tease out important information for each other and yourself.  The instructor will read and monitor the discussions to highlight important points and to turn conversations in new and deeper directions. 

Rolling Enrollment Course:

Course Title: Explorations: High Leverage Practices to Build Understanding…what every teacher needs to know to help all learners be successful.

Three graduate credits: Saint Michael’s College
Rolling Open Enrollment
Contact Hours: 7 modules,  50+ online hours
Intended audience: teachers of grades 6-12
Instructor of Record:  Ellen A. Thompson, Ed. D.

Contact PLL at info@pllvt.org for information in this rolling enrollment course.

Course Description:  This learning exploration is designed to reawaken what we know to be best practices for the teaching of understanding of what we read and write.  It will uncover the critical components needed for learners to deeply understand content. Of great importance will be the discussion of the high level practices, their various purposes and uses within the classroom instructional plan. Participants will also look at how these practices are organized in a real classroom with real learners on a daily basis. It is critical that these high level practices are connected within a relevant and purposeful instructional stance.  A large part of the discussion will wrap around the importance of equity of access to content learning for all students. What our students read and write matters.  How much they read and write matters.  What they do with what they read and write matters!

This fully online course will allow participants to understand more completely what the expectations are for their teaching of literacy within the context English-Language Arts Common Core State Standards (ELA CCSS).  All participants will use a cloud-hosted Learning Management System to gain new content information, contribute to large group and strand discussions, hand in and share assignments, and discuss readings, slide shows, & videos.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of active participation in this course, students will:

  1. Explore deeply literacy high leverage instructional practices for middle/high school level students in all content areas.
  2. Understand the importance that literacy practices have on assuring our students read and write well.
  3. Explore the concept of equity as it pertains to the ability for all students to access new content learning independently. 
  4. Explore the organization of the instructional block, in ways that better support all learners to develop as inquisitive, curious learners with agency.
  5. Participants will consider the tenets of Universal Design for Learning: Engagement, Representation and Action and Expression in our discussions of high leverage practices
  6. Research the multiple grouping strategies that allow teachers to provide the most responsive instruction for all students.
  7. Reflect and discuss in ways that disrupt our own thinking, challenging us to grow as teachers.
  8. Consider the implications this work has on classroom practice to map out a strategic plan for your classroom-based applications.
  9. Collaborate with colleagues to develop a community of learners to support this new learning.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Participants will understand the high leverage practices for developing understanding and how this impacts instructional practices.
  2. Participants will explore the big ideas of literacy instructional practices with other colleagues adding to their deeper understandings of how to support all students.
  3. Participants will examine their instructional block design to incorporate opportunities for students’ voice and choice.
  4. Participants will understand the differences within small group instruction to maximize both student learning and engagement.
  5. Participants will explore digital technologies to incorporate into their teaching that support reading and writing that matters.