Professional Development Content Area Descriptions

  • Elementary English Language Arts (ELA)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ 

    Elementary ELA professional development for the 2018-2019 school year will  provide teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement Writing Workshop instruction tuiliziing the Lucy Calkins Units of Writing which are aligned with the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards.  Additional professional development topics will include implementation of Fountas & Pinnell Interactive Read Aloud (K-2), and guided reading.   Resources will be provided to support each of the topics presented.


    Middle School English Language Arts (ELA)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

    All middle school ELA teachers participate in professional learning communities (PLC) as well as county-wide professional development days throughout the school year.  The professional development focuses on reading and writing strategies to improve student achievement.  Teachers work with coaches in collaborative groups to study the latest research in literacy instruction.  Past professional development has included book studies and training, of the following:

    • Notice and Note Close Reading Strategies by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst for both fiction and nonfiction texts
    • Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher
    • Common Core Writing Book by Gretchen Owocki
    • The Common Core Companion by Jim Burke

    Teachers create and utilize quarterly curriculum maps aligned to the Maryland's College and Career Readiness Standards.   The curriculum maps are theme based and include a variety of instructional activities that serve to support the PARCC framework.


    High School English Language Arts (ELA)     

    All high school English teachers participate in job embedded professional learning opportunities as well as county-wide professional development days throughout the school year.  The professional development focuses on the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards with an emphasis on reading and writing strategies to improve student achievement.  Teachers work with coaches on an individual basis and in collaborative groups to build instructional strategies by examining current realities informed by data and reviewing the latest best practices in literacy instruction.  Professional Development focuses include:

    • Notice and Note Close Reading Strategies by Kylene Beers and Rob Probst for both fiction and nonfiction texts
    • Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher 
    • The Common Core Companion by Jim Burke
    • MY Access!, A cloud-based writing feedback program


    Elementary Mathematics  

    For the 2018-2019 school year professional development for elementary mathematics will continue to focus on enhancing our use of Everyday Mathematics 4.  Teachers will receive training on the effective use of these materials as they implement research based strategies in mathematics.  

    All elementary teachers will receive professional development on effective questioning, formative assessment, reasoning and modeling in mathematics as well as problem-solving.  We will continue to focus on methods to help all students learn mathematics conceptually.



    Formative Assessment                              


    Professional development workshops are designed to accelerate student achievement, strengthen cross cultural communications, and focus on strategies to build and sustain positive relationships with parents and students.  In addition, it is our goal to improve English Language Learners’ proficiency levels in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.  Specific strategies will be discussed to increase students’ oral language, literacy and comprehension skills.​​


    Secondary Mathematics

    Secondary mathematics professional development is designed to support teachers’ instruction of Maryland’s College and Career Readiness Standards.  Topics include specific instructional strategies such as bar modelling, as well as a focus on improving instructional delivery through higher order questioning, inquiry, and facilitating student discussion.  Teachers will have the opportunity to attend two days of Kagan Cooperative Learning workshops where classroom structures that promote student engagement will be shared.  Throughout the year, collaborative workshops will be offered which allow teachers to develop conceptual tasks, plan lessons, activities and assessments.  Our teachers are also fortunate to work closely with Salisbury University as several professors partner with us throughout the year.

     Music and Visual Arts

    To provide high quality professional development for Wicomico County Public School System Music and Visual Art educators in the areas of creativity to support and extend learning by developing personalized learning plans addressing arts integration methods of instruction, SLO development impacting the learning of their assigned students, subject area networking with other like subject area teachers (Many times they are the only visual art or music teachers in their schools therefore having no time to interrelate and discuss teaching strategies which other teachers of a similar level or subject.). This will be achieved through the development of subject and grade level PLC’s in Music and Visual Art.

    To provide high quality professional development for educators in the areas of creativity to support and extend learning by making arts integration methods of instruction an integral component of all curricular areas. The goal of Arts In Motion (AIM) is to develop a high quality, 21ST Century arts integration professional development program which will improve and sustain arts integration in Wicomico County Public Schools thereby helping K-8 students meet National Standards and improve achievement in both the content and arts areas. The vision includes facilitating solid communication and collaboration between teachers in arts and non-arts disciplines, and advancing partnerships with local artists and cultural organizations.


    Physical Education

    U.S. Lacrosse will be providing Professional Development and Lacrosse equipment for every elementary, middle, and high school in Wicomico County Public Schools.  Teachers will be integrating technology to enhance opportunities for students to improve academic achievement.  They will also be exposed to new activities that were presented at the SHAPE America National Convention and the Maryland Association of Health, Physical Educaton, Recreation, & Dance Convention.  SHAPE Maryland will be providing professional development across the State throughout the year.


    Teacher will be planning school wide events to help combat the heroin and opiod crisis.  They will also be attending opportunities across the state and nation related to sexual harassment and abuse prevention and education.  Fifth grade physical education teachers will be introduced to The Great Body Shop Curriculum and use this resource to deliver quality health instruction.

    Family and Consumer Sciences

    Teachers will be trained in Ever Fi financial literacy resources.  They will also be increasing knowledge in engineering standards and infusing this into the Foundations of Technology course in high school and providing similar opportunities that were presented at the American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences Conference in 2018.


    Science – Secondary and Elementary

    Secondary Science Professional Development activities will focus on the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, particularly related to:

    • Engaging students in the Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts (3-D instruction)
    • Use of phenomena to anchor daily and long-term instruction
    • Development and implementation of NGSS aligned courses

    Specific grade-level opportunities will be provided to support district-wide initiatives that are part of WCPS's plan for implementing the state-required Environmental Literacy requirements.

    Elementary Science Professional Development will also focus on NGSS implementation, and is supported by our two elementary science resource teachers and monthly Science PLC'S


    Social Studies- Middle and High School      

    Social Studies professional development for the 2014-2015 school year will continue to provide teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to implement the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards.   The C3 Framework focuses attention on three instructional shifts including:  Inquiry being at the center of social studies instruction; disciplinary integrity and interdisciplinary connections matter; and informed action and application of knowledge is clear and present.  In addition, teachers will have the opportunity to participate in three conference style half day sessions with teachers from science, English language arts, and special education.  Participants will self-select sessions geared to meet their individual interests.  Topics will include: technology, assessments, diverse learners, disciplinary literacy, writing, STEM, and vocabulary.

                            World Languages                                       

    All World Language teachers participate in county-wide professional development days throughout the year.  This year, they will continue the journey of individualized professional development.  Through reflection on personal practice, teachers engage in identifying and exploring and instructional area of need or interest.  This process focuses on one of three strands:

    • Authentic resources
    • Formative assessments
    • Instructional strategies

    CTE/Technology Education/Computer Education

    Professional Development for the CTE/Technology Education/Computer Education Teachers for 2014-15 will include examining the impacts and implications of the Career and College Readiness Standards and the opportunities for classroom instructional alignment and improvement.  Career awareness and College Transition for teachers as a means to better prepare students to become career and college ready.  Robotics training for technology education and computer science foundation courses.  Understanding “What is Rigor” and how to increase student achievement through classroom culture and teacher expectations.