More than 800 pre-K through fifth-grade teachers attended HISD’s Elementary Literacy Summit on Saturday, Jan. 10 to participate in sessions on quality reading and writing instruction and hear presentations by national literacy experts.
First-grade teacher and author Maria Walthers, author Lester Laminack, and literacy expert Judy Wallis offered advice and insight to help teachers improve their students’ reading and writing skills. Breakout sessions on read-alouds, small group instruction, independent reading, and writing were facilitated by HISD teachers and staff and geared around the district’s Literacy by 3 initiative that aims to have every child reading and writing on grade level by third grade.
“This will help me back at campus because it gave me some new strategies to introduce to my small group,” said second grade teacher Alexandra Simms.
“I have so many things to go back and use in the classroom,” added third-grade English arts teacher Ashley Shupe. “I have a better understanding how to make my plans better and to make my plans more rigorous.”
Basic training for Literacy by 3 began last summer. Throughout the school year, teachers and staff have been practicing and coaching each other.
“So, this was an opportunity to take our literacy teachers, not as novices, but as practitioners, and move their work forward to the next level,” said Cindy Puryear, HISD Director of Literacy, “to be expert literacy teachers.”