For the past few years, reading has taken center stage in PD—specifically because this is an area that has been deemed as being one that most of our students struggle with as evidenced by ISAT performance. For the past couple of years, teachers have been exposed to the concept of Reading Across the Curriculum. At first, Haugan received PD from an outside consultant and then last year, most of our PD was delivered on-site by our Master Teachers. This year, we are going full force with Reading Across the Curriculum and marrying it to the Differentiation concept—Haugan personnel will be the driving force behind the initiative; in terms of providing all PD ourselves. So far, we have delivered 4 PowerPoint presentations that have some type of literacy/differentiation element embedded into it: Ex: 1. Formative Assessment; 2. Word Maps to Build Comprehension; 3. Summarizing; and 4. Differentiation.
Word Maps to Build Comprehension: In having professional conversations about student needs, we know that in order to develop better readers, we need to ensure that we refine students’ academic vocabularies. By doing this, students will not only perform better on state tests but will have more academic success. In addition to the literacy element embedded in this technique, differentiation is interwoven in it since the method taps into the VAK (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) learning modalities. In selecting the most effective vocabulary teaching methods, we look for ones that tap into the VAK learning modalities because research has shown that this is the best way to maximize learning for everyone.