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.

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

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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.

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, presentation.

Professional Inquiry Groups

Teachers read and discuss a significant professional text. All text selections complement ELA 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.

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.