Summer’s Comin’!

It’s true, regular posts have gone out the window this year. We have a myriad of reasons: new curriculum resource adoptions, planning for NGSS implementation, facilitating learning walks and much more, but we’re not here to make excuses. As we ready ourselves for the end of the school year, we want to provide our annual list of Professional Learning opportunities, and new this year, some resources to consider over the Summer. Here goes:

English Language Arts:

At Lewis & Clark’s Graduate School of Education, Jennifer Burkhart offers Increasing the Rate of Progress for Struggling Readers for K-12 educators on July 25th. Register here.

Multnomah County Library is again offering their Educator Workshops. Gotta Read This! New Books to Connect With Your Curriculum is the Grade 6-12 offering and Novel-Ties for lit circle/book discussion groups is for Grades 4-8. Both workshops are offered online. Register by August 5th.

Teaching Writing in the Age of Common Core, August 15-17 and Argument Writing in the Age of Common Core, August 18-19 are the two offerings this summer by former GBSD Middle School Teacher and Literacy Coach, Lanny Ball. Register at Literacy Education Services; PSU Graduate Credits available as well.

Portland Reading Council offers their Summer Institute August 23rd. Two sessions are available: Writing and the Real World: Teaching the Source-Based Argument Essay for educators of students in Grades 6-12 presented by John Golden and Inspired to Write: Helping Students Write with Purpose, Elaborate on Ideas, and Use Powerful Language presented by Megan Sloan. Register at their website here.


Also through Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education, explore two courses, June 21-22, Physical Sciences Essentials for the Middle School Teacher  (register here) and/or Earth and Space Science Essentials for the Middle School Teacher, July 5 & July 7 (register here). Both courses are taught by Joe Minato, former Portland Jewish Academy MS Science Teacher and current Physics Teacher at Lincoln HS in Portland.

NGSS for Middle School Science Teachers                                                                                      Dates & Times: August 9th – 12th, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: Raleigh Hills K-8 – 5225 SW Scholls Ferry Road Portland, OR 97225
Grade Level: Middle School
Cost: $200
PSU Graduate Credit: Available

Biology for the Next Generation

Dates & Times: August 8 – 12, 2016, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm. Location: Southridge High School, Beaverton, OR.                                                                                                                                         Grade Level: High School

Chemistry for the Next Generation                                                                                                    Dates and Times: August 15 – 19, 2016, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm.                                         Location: Southridge High School, Beaverton, OR.                                                               Grade Level: High School.

Physics for the Next Generation  Two sessions available!

Dates and Times: Session 1: July 11 – 15, 2016, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm. Session 2: August 1 – 5, 2016, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm.                                                                                                                             Location: Southridge High School, Beaverton, OR.


Social Sciences:

The Gilder Lehrman Institute offers both online and Self-paced courses over the summer. Online courses are live and meet on scheduled dates. For self-paced courses, you purchase and watch/attend as it fits your own schedule.


Oregon Math Leaders (OML) Conference: Engaging Students Through STEM      Who: You and between 100-200 other Oregon Math Educators
When: August 5-7, 2016 (Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon)
Where:  Willamette University in Salem
Why:  Because you want to improve the math education in your classroom, your school your district, or across the state.  This gathering of teachers will be a prime time to continue to learn how to effectively teach mathematics for deeper conceptual understanding.

Registration is now open for this summer’s courses designed for elementary teachers and teacher leaders. They are called Reasoning Algebraically about Operations (June 22-26) and Measuring Space in One, Two and Three Dimensions (August 10-14)These courses are based on the Developing Mathematical Ideas, case-based professional development curriculum. The specific course descriptions, timing for the weeklong courses, and location are found herePlease note that these courses will not be held at PSU this summer, they will be held at a local school.


Katrina Ayers, whose name you may recognize from her contributions to “Your Monday Morning Sanity Boost” (PBIS tips) is facilitating a one-day workshop here in Portland on June 24th. Register for Classroom Strategies that Work! here.

The OEA has several links to Professional Development opportunities through its Center for Great Public Schools, the NEA, as well as offerings at Portland State University and Lewis & Clark College.

TINT or The Innovative NW Teacher offers several options for summer learning. In-person and online classes are available for both PDUs and/or graduate credit through Portland State University. Course titles include iPads In The Classroom, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Boys & Books: Strategies to Engage Male Readers and The Fully Engaged Classroom, to name a few. See the full list of classes and register at their website.

Superquest Summer Workshops are a highly collaborative technology training series designed specifically for K-12 teachers by K-12 and Community College teachers. The goal is to empower educators with the skills and classroom tools to build hands-on technology learning directly into their classrooms or afterschool activities. Workshops begin in June. Check out their website.

Resources: Beth has become a big fan of Book Riot, an edgy blog all about books and reading. Their newsletter which pops into my Inbox regularly–more regularly than I have time to read. When I do take the time, something always piques my interest. The following resources come from the “What’s Up in YA” newsletter, all about Young Adult lit:

We’re the People Summer Reading List – There are actually two summer reading lists; the 2015 list can be found here. These lists champion diversity in books. The contributors proudly claim their focus to be books “…written or illustrated by Native Americans or writers/illustrators of color that have withstood a critical review.”

1000 Black Girl Books Resource Guide – You may have seen 11-year-old Marley Dias interviewed on the talk show circuit. She’s the creator of the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign to find and share books with black female main characters (about 700 unique titles), and you can filter by broad reading level.

A Mighty Girl – Because we are two, and there are many more! Wish we had found this site earlier! The general site champions itself as “The world’s largest collection of books, toys and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls.” Follow them on Facebook where they post all kinds of lists (like “Mighty Girl Graphic Novels for Young Readers” or “Books about Mighty Girls who Love to Dance”); also enjoy their “Pick of the Day” posts and “This Day in Mighty Girl History” posts. They also have a newsletter and blog you can sign up for and follow.

SYNC Audiobooks for Teens – This is year six that the folks at AudioFile have released their SYNC picks for Summer 2016. These are FREE downloads of, you guessed it, audiobooks for teens! The downloads come in pairs. There are 15 weeks of titles, which is 30 books! The only catch is each pair is offered free to download for a week. If you get them in the week (Thursday to Thursday), they are yours to keep and listen to as much as you want! Download offerings began May 5th and continue through early September.

Last but certainly not least, the 2013-14 Civil Rights Data Collection First Look was released on June 7th. It is a survey of all public and charter schools in the U.S. which examines factors that impact education equity and opportunity for students. It’s a BIG deal! This is the report that identified the alarming gap in discipline referrals between students of color and white students when the previous report was released in 2012. Two articles: Five eye-opening figures from the U.S. Education Department’s latest civil rights data dump in the Washington Post and The Civil Rights Problem in U.S. Schools: 10 New Numbers on Oregon Public Broadcasting provide some sobering stats.

Our plan is to be back at it in September and renew our commitment to an informative blog-post a week. In the meantime, if you have other professional learning opportunities or resources to share for summer perusing, please leave a comment. Enjoy!

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