A Focus on Literacy Instruction
Baltimore City Public Schools recognizes that strong literacy skills provide the foundation for academic success across all content areas. As a reflection of this priority, all BCTR Residents must participate in literacy seminars through TNTP Academy. These seminars are taught by highly effective literacy instructors and are organized around the Big Ideas and Great Teaching in Literacy curriculum, which provides successful literacy strategies Residents can apply in their classrooms regardless of what subject or grade level they teach.
Part I of this literacy program is integrated into the summer Pre-Service Training experience; all Residents then continue literacy coursework as part of their TNTP Academy experience. There are 13 sessions in Part I of the adolescent literacy course, and 12 sessions in Part I of the elementary course. During the school year, there are 13 sessions (2.5 hours each) for secondary teachers, and 18 sessions (2.5 hours each) for early childhood and elementary teachers. The school-year sessions will meet in the instructor's classrooms after the school day has ended, on weeks alternating with scheduled Teaching for Results seminars.
All Residents must successfully complete the Big Ideas and Great Teaching in Literacy coursework along with their other TNTP Academy program requirements in order to be recommended for a Standard Professional Certificate.
Big Ideas in Great Teaching in Elementary Literacy
Big Ideas and Great Teaching in Literacy (Grades K-6) is a year-long teacher training course designed to address the theoretical underpinnings of effective literacy instruction and the practical implementation of those practices in urban classrooms. The course consists of three sections. Parts I and II are organized around a set of principles reflecting the developmental progression of literacy acquisition between grades K-6. While a set of literacy acquisition concepts and strategies is identified for each developmental level (K-2, 3-6), the course emphasizes the interconnectedness between these learning stages. Part II is devoted to the period when students move from learning-to-read to reading-to-learn. During this critical transition, the concept of reading comprehension takes center stage and is the focus of your literacy coursework. Part III focuses on diagnosing students' current levels of literacy acquisition, setting goals for individual students based on their individual needs, and monitoring the effectiveness of literacy instruction in relation to those goals.
Big Ideas in Great Teaching in Adolescent Literacy
In part one of Big Ideas and Great Teaching in Adolescent Literacy, participants examine the specific needs of the adolescent reader in relation to motivation, fundamental language acquisition, and comprehension. In particular, the program helps teachers translate these principles into literacy instruction that furthers content knowledge. Content-area teachers will explore research highlighting the value of integrating literacy instruction into their lessons while studying exemplars showing how to achieve that goal successfully in their own classrooms. The second part of the Adolescent Literacy course focuses on teaching writing across the curriculum.