More than 90 Calcasieu Parish school system teachers received national Literacy Design Collaborative training this week courtesy of the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy grant.
The school district is in its third year of the five-year, $10 million grant, which focuses on advancing reading and writing skills for all students.
Sandie MacKnight, district SRCL grant leader, said the literacy design training is designed to be a framework for English language arts, science and social studies teachers to incorporate literacy into their content areas. MacKnight said teachers in all subject areas are responsible for teaching their students reading skills.
“It is too big a job for just the ELA teachers,” she said. “It’s got to be a concerted effort. LDC culminates in a written product for the module that the teachers are working on within the content area that they are teaching. It takes them step by step through the process.”
MacKnight said all the teachers volunteered to attend the training, and that most schools in the district were represented. The teachers were instructed by two national trainers from Reach Associates who facilitated conversation and engaged teachers in understanding and creating of LDC modules, she said.
Jody Pittock, one of the national trainers, said the training is cross content and helps teachers align the LDC framework to the Common Core State Standards.
“It helps teachers really fine-tune what they already do well,” Pittock said. “Teachers have reported across the country that using the LDC framework and strategy have promoted an increase in students’ skills, strategy abilities and achievement overall.”
MacKnight said feedback from teachers in training has been positive. She said teachers like the training because of the professional development and because it helps them prepare lesson plans for the upcoming school year.
Carol Smith, an ELA teacher at Sulphur High School who attended the training, agreed with MacKnight.
“It produces a module of a lesson plan that is easy to follow, and when it prints it’s visually attractive,” Smith said. “I have to plan anyway, and now I have an entire unit finished that I am going to be able to use just from two days of training here.”