The February Mini-Institute
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th Street
New York, NY
(212) 678-3104

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This institute will help K-8 educators develop the curriculum and methods necessary to ensure that students reach the rigorous new standards for content area literacy embedded in the Common Core. Come join us to hear new thinking about how to ramp up the level of rigor and engagement in the content areas. Participants will learn about small group work and collaborative inquiry as well as exciting new work around creating multi-media centers where students can engage in exploring topics and research in the company of others.

In addition, you will learn a repertoire of skills for teaching readers to think and read analytically about nonfiction texts, including the skills of reading for central ideas, synthesizing, and comparing and contrasting. You will leave with concrete methods to support students in note taking and you’ll develop a repertoire of practical strategies for revving up their abilities to do this critical work, helping them observe, sketch, sort and categorize notes. Then too, you will leave with ideas and methods for involving whole classes in closely reading grade-level complex texts.

The institute will focus not only on nonfiction reading, but also on nonfiction writing, with an emphasis on writing quick content area essays. You will learn ways to help students write fluently across the curriculum, using writing as a tool for analytical thinking. This week will equip you with the knowledge of content area instruction that can push students to the highest levels of achievement. You will draft action plans aimed at revising curriculum in social studies (grades 3-8), science (grades K-2) and language arts, and develop and use performance assessments to track students’ progress in some of the higher-level comprehension skills inherent in the CCSS. These performance assessments can help you ramp up the level of comprehension.