Reading and writing are fundamental skills that all students need to learn in order to succeed in school and in life. With a strong foundation in literacy, students are given the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Literacy skills allow students to seek out information, explore subjects in-depth and gain a deeper understanding of the world around them.
Meet Michelle Syverson, the Literacy and Writing Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for MBUSD. Her role since 2017 has been to provide support for teachers in reading and writing instruction, assessment, data analysis, and curriculum planning. Michelle helps bring cutting-edge practices to the classroom that ensure our curriculum keeps pace with the changing world.
One of the significant benefits of the TOSA model is providing integrated support for teachers without leaving the classroom. Michelle tailors her instruction based on individual teacher and site-based needs. She works with teachers one on one both in the classroom alongside students and outside the classroom reviewing strategies to improve their teaching technique and providing inspiring new ways to engage students.
Patti Ackerman, TK teacher at Pennekamp Elementary shares how Michelle has impacted her classroom, “Michelle is an invaluable resource for English-Language Arts support. She provides resources, curriculum, knowledge, support, guidance, and passion for reading and writing instruction. Her enthusiasm for reading and writing is infectious – both to me and my students. My TK students love Mrs. Syverson and always look forward to her visits!”
Focused on literacy and writing districtwide, here is how Michelle is bringing her expertise to each school:
- Model lessons, student conferences, grand conversations, classroom debates, and interactive read alouds for teachers who want to provide the most effective and efficient lessons and student interactions
- Plan reading and writing units integrated with core subjects
- Collaborate during grade-level planning and monthly district meetings
- Provide administrator support with professional development during staff meetings
- Offer student reading and writing data review and analysis with teachers to determine differentiated instructional steps to meet students’ individual needs
- Develop lesson sequences with teachers
- Locate and provide up-to-date resources for classroom and instruction support
- Administer, collect and aggregate district-wide student assessments
- Facilitate professional development for new teachers
- Coordinate classroom visits for teacher observations of other teachers
- Collaborate with English Department leads
- Plan differentiated reading and writing lessons with MBMS resource teachers
- Coordinate professional development for literacy intervention support
- Provide resources to support all learners
Michelle reaches beyond the classroom as well by offering parent workshops and talks to bridge home and school literacy support, all of which helps parents to better understand their student’s literacy and reading levels. The next parent workshop will focus on supporting transitioning readers in grades 3rd – 5th on December 3rd at 6:30 p.m. at the Pennekamp Café.