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Adolescent Literacy Project

October 23, 2014

ESU 10 is began the fourth year of our Adolescent Literacy Project on September 9, 2014. For the past three years, ESU 9 and 10 administrators and teachers have gathered to learn about improving the way they engage students and teach  vocabulary, comprehension, and text discussion skills. Our national experts, Dr. Kevin Feldman, Dr. Anita Archer, and Dr. Marcia Tate have trained 808 teachers and administrators in our Year 1 Participant workshop over the past four years. 449 teachers and administrators returned to receive a second year of adolescent literacy project training to learn additional strategies to increase student learning.

Our Teaching and Learning Team is extremely proud of the success of this project. It is the first training series where we have supported the implementation of strategies on-site. In between each training, the ESU 10 T&L staff has facilitated teacher learning walks. During the learning walks, we have observed teachers instructing students using strategies they have learned at the trainings. We provide feedback to the teachers on how the students are respond­ing to the teacher’s instruction. Administrators, teachers and our T&L staff have all agreed that the learning walk process has helped increase the utilization of strategies in classrooms across Central Nebraska.

We have announced to schools that this will be the final group of teachers to start the Adolescent Literacy Project.  The project will conclude during the 2015-2016 school year when the Year 2 participants complete their training series. The ESU 10 T&L Team is working on an Adolescent  Literacy Project Sustainability Plan to roll out to our districts in the spring of 2015. We want to continue the quality training that teachers have received and most importantly con­tinue the process of teachers giving and receiving feedback at their school sites. We have a sub­ committee working on a pilot project called “ALP Impact”. T&L department members under the leadership of Susan Evans are working with four ESU 10 school districts to investigate ways to keep the learning from the Adolescent Literacy Project thriving and expanding in their schools.

This year we will continue to facilitate learning walks in ESU 10 project schools. We are utilizing William Bolen, ESU 10 videographer, to capture master teachers in the project imple­menting strategies in their classrooms. Our goal is to make a quality video library showcasing ESU 10 teachers and having them explain the impact of the strategies they are implementing on student learning. We are excited to begin our training series and look forward to our continued work with schools through the learning walk process.

-by Denise O'Brien, Teaching and Learning Director