Weekly Feature

2018-10-11 / Education

Central teachers give update on K-8 Writing Conference


This past summer, the Cheektowaga Central School District held a writing conference for teachers and administrators from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Director of Learning Maureen George invited a few of those teachers to Tuesday’s school board meeting to share some experiences from that conference and what valuable information was obtained from that.

“A few years ago, the district adopted the New York state modules, which were stated to be the model of rigor in learning,” George said. “What we quickly realized is what was missing from those modules was opportunities for our students to write. Through class performance and performance on state assessments, we realized our students struggle with writing.”

This was a four-day conference over the course of the summer, and during that time, the teachers talked about conferencing with students, creating lesson plans and objectives and developed a calendar for the 2018-19 school year.

“The first thing we really wanted to do was make sure everyone was aligned K through 8,” said Union East Elementary School teacher Rachael Burke. “So when the kids get to middle school, it’s not the first time they’re seeing the writing process. Another one of our goals was to make sure the quantity and quality of the writing went up for our students.”

That aforementioned writing process features the following steps: pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing and publishing.

“I’ve been in teaching here for 20 years, and this conference was one of the most amazing experiences because you got to talk with teachers from every grade level about writing,” said middle school teacher Jillian Orlowski. “When we left that room, you got the feeling like our kids will benefit so much going forward.”

This group of teachers will be meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 6, to talk about the start of the school year and focus on the writing progress of their students.

The next Cheektowaga Central School Board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the high school board room, 3600 Union Road, Cheektowaga.

To learn more about this and other district related news, visit www.cheektowaga k12.org.

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