Preparing Teachers for the Common Core State Standards

How will students learn the 21st Century skills they will need to be college and career ready?  GVWP teacher consultants have been implementing effective approaches and strategies for reading and writing a variety of texts for the past two years.  Participants at our workshops can expect to see teachers' strategies in action and view student writing samples. Learn from history, art, science, math, and career-tech education teachers how and why their approaches to teaching and learning develop critical literacy skills. Experienced GVWP teacher leaders provide ready-to-use reading and writing strategies that support all students. 

Listed below are a few of the workshop topics taught by classroom teachers:

  • Explore writing in math, science, English, history, physical education, and other subject areas with experienced secondary teachers
  • Design reading and writing assignments that promote deeper thinking and learning in all content areas
  • Integrate the arts into STEM courses
  • Discover how writing increases student understanding and achievement
  • Identify critical literacy skills necessary to complete CCSS performance tasks
  • Examine K-12 reading and writing anchor standards progression
  • Download our flyer here: GVWP Common Core Workshops
  • For more information regarding Common Core Workshops, please contact our office    667-3490 or email the GVWP office at

Contracted Professional Development for Schools & Districts

GVWP tailors professional development programs to the needs and interests of individual schools and districts. We invite superintendents, principals, professional development coordinators to talk with us about designing a program, one that will continue over time, that will focus not only on strategies and approaches but on building rubrics, looking at student work, and coaching teachers as they return to their classrooms. Please read below for a small sampling of the programs available. Review funding sources.

No program has done more to jump start our writing program than GVWP. Our student scores went from almost 0% proficient to over 72% in one year! Our teachers feel like they had a handle on how to teach writing and are constantly looking for ways they can share their own ideas with each other.

--Allan Petersdorf, Principal, Discovery Bay Elementary School

Share Your GVWP Story

Improving the Writing and Learning of English Learners

Find ways to provide explicit writing instruction to English learners to help them succeed in class and on state and district writing assessments. Teachers will learn how to build writing fluency, develop voice, and introduce audience and purpose using scaffolded instructional approaches demonstrated by experienced classroom teachers.

Teacher consultants lead Young Writers Academies for EL students integrating best practices in EL writing and literacy instruction. See evaluation summary.pdf of 2009 YWAs.

Professional Learning Communities

Teacher communities support and guide professional development throughout the year in analyzing data, setting goals, and implementing strategies for improved teaching and learning.

Writing Every Day with State Adoptions

Learn to build upon the strengths of adopted materials and gain proven strategies to help all students meet California state standards for writing. Explore key classroom practices that promote student success in all types of writing including: letters, reports, narratives, and persuasive essays.

Traits of Writing

The traits of writing framework is a powerful way to create a common vision and common language for what "good" writing looks like. Teachers and students can use the trait model to pinpoint areas of strength and weakness as they continue to focus on continued writing improvement. The traits are: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions.

Professional Inquiry Groups

Teachers read and discuss a significant professional text. All text selections complement E-LA content standards and CSTP professional growth standards. Participants select a text tailored to their site's needs.

Educators using book studies for professional development.
Education Week (5/16, Keller) reported that "two trends" have "move[d] 'book study' far up the list of the way teachers spend their professional-development time." First, many educators and "observers...are convinced that teachers are obligated to upgrade their classroom skills." Second, "the most effective way to do that, according to a growing chorus of educators and experts, is through work on practice located within schools, conducted among colleagues, and, above all, well integrated with teachers' day-to-day work." As a result, book studies have become increasingly popular, as t hey are "easily localized and collegial, hugely adaptable," and inexpensive. "For example, the Ann Arbor school system, in cooperation with neighboring University of Michigan, is using study of the book series Young Mathematicians at Work prepare teachers from across the 17,000-student district for summer school classes targeted at students who have fallen behind." One educator said that the "beauty of book study is can foster new insights and change even among the most guarded teachers."

Content-Area Writing

This series of workshops provides teachers with ways to engage students and save valuable instructional time using writing strategies. Workshops focus on teaching student writers to build connections and demonstrate knowledge using quick, exploratory and extemporaneous in-class writing. Discover how time spent writing in math, science, history, PE and electives promote deeper thinking and learning in all content areas.

Successful Primary Writers

Emergent writers need daily instruction in writing and practicing putting their ideas into writing. Demonstrations include spiraling instruction in decoding and encoding, building sentences, and writing.

EL Young Writers Academies

For five consecutive summers GVWP has collaborated with Migrant Education and local school districts to offer Young Writers Academies for English Learners.  This summer program provides migrant and other English learners who wish to participate, the opportunity to actively engage in research-based, highly motivating writing instruction exemplifying best practices in teaching EL language arts.  To enhance student motivation, engagement, and literacy skill retention, the emphasis throughout the academies is focused on the social dimension of learning.  The goal is creating a culture of learning that students find exciting and meaningful.   Students, who were at first tentative to write and reluctant to share, soon became delighted in the academies' writing activities.  Language became a means, not of individual isolation and fear, but rather of personal and social power'of active participation in a classroom culture.  Read more about the features of EL Young Writers Academies.pdf

Possible Funding Sources:

As affiliates of the National Writing Project, the Great Valley Writing Project is:
authorized under NCLB, Title II, Part C as providers of standards-aligned professional development for teachers and administrators.

Eligible for funding under:

  • Title I, Part A -
    • professional development and mentoring programs for Title I school and teachers.
  • Title II, Part A -
    • professional development for helping teachers meet NCLB teacher requirements.
    • professional development in subject-matter knowledge, improving teaching skills, assisting teachers to use California's academic content standards and student achievement standards, and state assessments to improve student achievement.
  • Title II, Part D -
    • professional development focused on enhancing education through technology.
  • Title III, Part A -
    • professional development focused on improving instruction for English learners.
  • Title VII, Part A -
    • professional development focused on improving instruction of Native American students.
  • ELAP
  • EIA
  • SB 472
  • Gear Up
  • ASES
  • QEIA


Points are awarded solely at the discretion of each school district. GVWP is authorized by the California State Board of Education to provide professional development. Teachers may complete GVWP courses to earn HOUSEE points.

Units Available

One unit of California State University, Stanislaus Extended Education credit is available for every 15 hours of professional development at $40 per unit.