Lynwood – An intense summer seminar gave teachers hands-on experience using digital classroom tools while also providing an opportunity for them to share diverse teaching methods to improve reading comprehension, teach computer coding through Minecraft and add a graphic spark to their lesson plans.

The sixth annual Lynwood Unified Summer Teacher Institute hosted about 170 elementary teachers, 100 secondary teachers and 30 administrators Aug. 8-12, allowing educators from throughout the District to come together and compare notes on what teaching methods work best and learn new tactics and software from workshops hosted by instructional coaches.

“We want to give our educators every opportunity possible to strengthen their skills so they can be prepared to introduce new technology and software into their own classrooms,” LUSD Superintendent Paul Gothold said. “So many careers require workers to be technologically savvy in many areas, so we are exposing our students to technology and software they will encounter in the future.”

Lindbergh Elementary fourth-grade teacher Anita Riviera said her favorite workshop taught her new tools and techniques to help strengthen her lessons on close-reading skills, which use tools such as thinking maps to help students understand literary works through organization of themes and story ideas in an online chart.

“I have used close-reading strategies before, but this workshop really helped me take my lessons to the next level,” Riviera said. “I appreciate that the District offers so many professional development opportunities that allow me to teach my students the best lessons possible.”

This year’s Summer Teacher Institute was run by the District, building upon techniques learned through the District’s collaboration with Principal’s Exchange, which provides technical assistance, professional development and coaching for teachers and administrators, and develops software tools to enable the use of data to drive student performance.

Technology and software sessions focused on teaching students to use computer coding through Minecraft, creating infographics to make lessons more engaging, and using Turnitin software and Google applications to hold students accountable for writing samples and other projects.

After attending a variety of workshops and presentations throughout the week, teachers from each grade level grouped together to begin preparing their lesson plans for the first two weeks of class.

“It is so important for our teachers to stay up-to-date with engaging teaching practices and to get connected with fellow teachers throughout Lynwood Unified,” Board President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “It is our responsibility as a District to make sure our teachers have every opportunity possible to learn about these new developments and to make sure they are equipped in preparing our students for college and careers.”


090116_LUSD_TEACHER1: Lynwood Unified secondary teachers discuss their upcoming lesson plans together during a workshop at the sixth annual LUSD Summer Teacher Institute on Aug. 12.

090116_LUSD_TEACHER2: Lynwood Unified elementary and secondary teachers pack into the Lynwood Middle School auditorium to listen to closing remarks during the sixth annual LUSD Summer Teacher Institute on Aug. 12.