Thursday, December 1, 2016

Lucy Professional Development

I spent the last 3 days, facilitating professional development with our K-5 staff around Lucy Calkins Units of Study in Writing. It can be very difficult for teachers to be out of their classrooms, so I tried to make the learning environment as productive as possible.

3 Things that are important parts of the writing units of study are the following:
  • Professional learning for writing development
  • Assessment system
  • Units of study around writing and individual lessons

We focused on the first two pieces this week. Our teachers began the day by reading the unit overview for their next unit and getting to know what it is their students are expected to do by the end. It is good to orientate yourself to the unit prior to teaching...good to know where the flash drafts are, where the revisions take place, and where they finally pick their piece to take to completion. This prevents the teacher from feeling frantic all through the unit.

We have multi-age in our building. Our primary multi-age teachers teach grades 1, 2 and 3. They found the time very purposeful in seeing similarities between the 1st and 3rd grade informational UOS and then made a decision to move the 2nd grade informational UOS to align with their science topic.

After this, we normed the on-demand preassessment piece they gave their students prior to meeting. I blogged about norming here previously. This process is so valuable in that teachers are having rich conversations around student writing. One teacher explained, "I really don't like this process as it is very time consuming, but I really am getting to know my writers and seeing strengths I typically would have overlooked, based on other areas of weakness." Another teacher realized her Kindergarten students were more developed as writers than she thought. Many teachers commented on how they could clearly see where their students were moving into grade level expectations and where they needed more support.

The teachers are seeing echos of their previous lessons in their student writing and seeing strengths and areas of growth. Immediately teachers began to see purposeful groupings for small group work and got a feel of what skills their students are bringing to the unit.

We found this spreadsheet helpful to record scores. It was adjusted based on grade level scaled scores.

I work with such amazing staff and it was so uplifting to be part of their conversations that were centered around kids and moving their writers forward.

Have any other coaches been involved in leading Lucy PD?


  1. I like your spreadsheet! Thank you! We are just in the beginning stages of Lucy. I will be looking to you for your guidance! :)

    1. I just love Lucy UOS for writing. So much great PD built right in. It is like you are watching a classroom as you work through the lessons. I'd love to help any way I can. Are you going to the reading and writing project's one-day conference in Milwaukee Dec. 12? I hope to learn more there.