Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities for Educators

We are fortunate to have several National Writing Project (NWP) sites in Montana! The NWP provides excellent professional development for teachers to enhance their writing instruction. I hope you can attend one of these great opportunities:

  • Fire on the Page - The Yellowstone Writing Project invites Montana teachers and school leaders to it’s annual Fire on the Page conference. Held at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, the conference focuses on the way images inspire writing. Saturday, February 9, 2019 from 8:30-4:30. OPI Renewal units available.

  • Extreme Learning for Teachers - Each month this spring, you can join the Museum of the Rockies, Extreme History, and Yellowstone Writing Project for an educational evening. Each session starts with an optional tour of the museum, a lecture, a writing prompt, and a discussion about the lecture. Each sessions provides 3 OPI Renewal units, instruction, and light refreshments.

  • The Civic Imagination Workshop - The Elk River Writing Project is hosting this workshop on January 19 from 9 am - 4 pm at MSU-Billings. This one-day experience will use storytelling as tool for imagining our origins and imagining change and development in our communities. This workshop will focus on creativity, writing, and discussion as participants move through a four-part structure. OPI Renewal units are available. Contact Tami Haaland for more information.

  • Place-Based Education Workshop- On February 12, a two-hour workshop will be held at the Western Heritage Center, Billings, from 5 pm to 7 pm. This workshop will focus on argumentative writing strategies from the College, Career, and Community-Ready Writing Program from the NWP. OPI Renewal Units available. Contact Tami Haaland for more information. 

Preparing for Assessments

As winter becomes spring, teacher’s focus often turns to the summative state tests that students are required to take each year. Here are some helpful resources for supporting you and your students in preparing for these assessments:

  • EdReady Montana - Free for Montana students, EdReady Montana has recently expanded their offerings to include support for English Language Arts, including preparation for the ACT. If you have not already, check it out.

  • SBAC Interim Assessments - the interim assessments provide teachers an opportunity to see the type of questions students get on the SBAC, the rigor of the testing questions, can capture data on how their students perform, while also providing students practice in taking the SBAC tests. Simply log into the MontCAS Assessment System to find more information about the interims, or feel free to email Christy Mock-Stutz with questions.

For your Students

  • Student Podcast Challenge- the first annual Student Podcast Challenge is underway. For 5th-12th graders, this is an opportunity for students to write and produce a podcast. Contest runs January 1 - March 31, and winners will be announced in April and shared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
  • Montana Poetry Out Loud 2018-19 is underway statewide, and there is still time to involve your students! To gain valuable insight into the program’s benefits, and inspire your students’ participation, view the wonderful newly released mini-documentary on Montana Poetry Out Loud, created by MAPS Media Institute. For information on regional contests, contact Monica Grable at the Montana Arts Council, 406-444-6522.

  • New Montana Voices, a literary magazine dedicated to the relevance of Montana’s young adults to the vibrant cultural polylogue of today, is accepting poetry, prose, and photography for their upcoming publication. Cash awards for students and teachers are available! Find out more.

  • The Western Governor’s Association announces the 4th Annual “Celebrate the West” regional art competition that challenges high school students to create works of art inspired by their state. The entry deadline is April 28, 2109, and students are welcome to submit artwork used for other contests or assignments. Student’s artwork will be returned. Details here!

  • 2019 Sejong Writing Competition aims to introduce young adults to Korean culture through literature and poetry. The deadline is March 31, 2019, and is open to all students, regardless of ethnicity. Here is more information

Thanks for reading!

Christy Mock-Stutz  | English Language Arts & Literacy Instructional Coordinator

cmstutz@mt.gov   | 406-422-2185