Home Grown Institutes

For the past few years, the Reading & Writing Project’s staff developers have joined with districts and schools to plan and lead institutes across the country, in sites as diverse as Los Angeles, CA, Palm Beach, FL, Seattle, WA and Chicago, IL, and in far flung places in other nations, including Dubai, Singapore, Israel, and Jordan. These institutes serve as many as 10,000 teachers, and our numbers continue to grow.

Home Grown Institutes are one of the most effective ways to galvanize the Reading & Writing Project’s work across a school or district. These 4-5 day on-site institutes are tailored to a district or school’s needs, assessments, prior knowledge, and hopes. That is, they are designed to help educators in a particular community invigorate their own unique professional learning culture. The course of study created for a Home Grown Institute will vary, too, depending on a school’s involvement with the Project and its experience with Reading and Writing Workshop teaching.

Typically, home grown institutes include large group sections coupled with small, interactive sections. Some institutes are staffed exclusively by Project leaders and some are also staffed by local educators who have worked closely with the Project.

Topics of study cover the following:

Home Grown Reading Institute (Grades K-8)

  • Building a reading culture
  • Foundational reading skills
  • Toolkits to support strategic reading
  • Writing about reading
  • Flexible, responsive small group work
  • Using read-aloud to support higher comprehension
  • Partnerships and book clubs

Home Grown Writing Institute (Grades K-8)

  • Teaching that fosters independence
  • Genre studies in writing essays, narratives, research-based arguments, and informational texts
    • Developing classroom and school cultures that value self-assessment
    • Using mentor texts to lift the level of student work
    • Potent feedback

For further information about our national and international work, and to establish a Home Grown Institute for your school or school district, please contact Kathy Neville at kathy@readingandwritingproject.com

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