School Improvement Services (SIS)

PURPOSE, GOALS, AND OBJECTIVES
The PREL School Improvement Services (SIS) program offers professional development opportunities to schools, districts and state departments of education. The institutes offer the opportunity to earn DOE credits specifically in English as a Second Language (ESL) and general education. Here is a list of the professional development courses PREL offers:

Past Work

Culturally Responsive Sheltered Instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs)
Participants learn about sheltered instruction which emphasizes making classroom content comprehensible for English Language Learners (ELLs). Participants will review FIVE FOCUS AREAS of Sheltered Instruction 1) Preparing a Lesson for the Classroom, 2) Acquisition of Prior Knowledge and Building Background, 3) Scaffolding, 4) Language Use in the Classroom, and 5) Review and Assessment. The course focus is on learning new strategies and activities for helping ELLs understand content across the curriculum. Participants write standards based lessons that are relevant for working with Micronesian and Pacific Island student population. They also learn to add to their teaching repertoire multi-modal strategies for helping students improve their vocabulary and comprehension.

Culturally Responsive Strategies for Micronesian Students (Understanding and Supporting Micronesian Students in Our Schools
This one- or three-day course is designed to help educators in Hawai‘i support ELLs and, more specifically, Micronesian students. There will be a focus on ESL strategies, such as differentiated instruction, building background, and teaching vocabulary explicitly. Participants will be introduced to resources such as books, films, maps, and information about the region (i.e., culture and art). Readings about cultural differences and commonalities will add to educators’ understanding of the Pacific and its people.

Supporting Chinese (Fujian) Parents in Their Children’s Education
This one- or three-day workshop will focus on helping Chinese (Fujian) parents become successfully involved in their children’s education. This workshop helps parents understand their role in the educational process. Acculturation, parenting responsibilities, roles, rights, school procedures, and requirements will all be covered in the sessions.

Supporting Micronesian Parents in Their Children’s Education
This one- or three-day workshop will focus on helping Micronesian parents to become successfully involved in their children’s education. This workshop helps parents understand their role in the educational process. Acculturation, parenting responsibilities, roles, rights, school procedures, and requirements will all be covered in the sessions.

Reading in the Early Grades
Participants will explore the early reading processes that build skills and develop a desire to read in young learners. This three-day course is designed to help educators in Hawai‘i support ELLs and, more specifically, Micronesian students. They will learn practical and effective strategies for use in the classroom in five areas of reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. Poetry and read-alouds are used to demonstrate early reading effective practices. Workshops focusing specifically on a single strategy are also available.

Writing in the Early Grades
Participants explore the developmental stages of young writers and different techniques to improve their writing skills. Participants also learn how to create new and exciting lessons aligned with the Hawai‘i Content & Performance Standards III (HCPS III). Assessments are correlated to each lesson, enabling participants to analyze student samples to improve their instruction.

Reading in the Middle Years
Participants will explore concepts and strategies that support striving readers, including ELLs, across the curriculum. Special attention is given to vocabulary and key comprehension strategies for informational texts found in science and social studies classrooms. The workshop will include how to teach strategies in classrooms where the needs of students are complex and diverse. Teachers will learn to use techniques such as flexible grouping and cooperative learning to ensure success for all students in the classroom.

Image to Word – Word to Image
By integrating art, language arts, and technology with content areas, participants learn to create personally and culturally relevant images for students to stimulate their reading, build their vocabulary, and encourage descriptive writing. Observational drawing is used to develop academic and foundational vocabulary. (This is particularly successful for ELLs.) This process results in rich, descriptive images and words that help the student detect patterns, draw using observational visual research, use new descriptive vocabulary, and combine unrelated ideas into something new.

Standards-Based Arts Education
Participants learn about standards-based arts education and design lessons that offer students a comprehensive arts education curriculum. All lessons focus on art production, art history, aesthetics, and art criticism. Participants are introduced to new and exciting arts education resources. At least eight different classroom art materials are demonstrated.

English Learners in Content Areas
This service is directed to teachers, and those who support teachers, with ELLs in their content classrooms. They will learn about the language demands of the specific content areas they teach and how to support newly arrived and/or not yet proficient English learners.

Language-Focused Mathematics Pacific Region Integrated Mathematics and English (PRIME)
This course consists of three professional development sessions that take teachers through a number of language-focused classroom activities designed to deepen and strengthen the mathematical understanding of their students in key areas of elementary mathematics. PRIME I focuses on developing some principles and practice in language-focused mathematics classrooms. PRIME II will introduce quantity of volume, and relationships between the quantities of area, volume, and length are explored with a focus on conjecturing and experimentation. PRIME III brings in the quantity of mass and concludes the study of quantities with activities, focusing on the measurement of all four quantities in non-standard and standard units.

Integrating English, Science, and Mathematics (ESM)
This course consists of three professional development sessions that take teachers through an interdisciplinary approach to teaching English, science, and mathematics. Content learning is presented through themed activities found in Hawai‘i’s Content and Performance Standards. The activities are designed to explore the natural links between English, science, and mathematics in ways that reinforce learning in the three subject areas. ESM I, Spheres in Space, introduces three basic principles and practices for integrating English, science, and mathematics in their classrooms: investigation, integration, and interaction. ESM II, Dealing with Data, extends teachers’ knowledge of the principles as they apply them to the theme of weather. ESM III, Changing Climate, builds on knowledge of the solar system and weather in the atmosphere and brings in the role of the ocean to understand climate change, especially global warming.

Picturing Science
Picturing Science is a project developed and created by PREL. This institute helps K-12 teachers combine image and word by utilizing digital camera photography, science research, creative writing, and interpretive art to create web-based student showcases of written and artistic works. Focus is on the scientific inquiry process and ways in which to use methods of art criticism to help describe, observe, and form hypotheses. Observational drawing is used to develop academic and foundational vocabulary. This process offers students opportunities to express what they know and have learned in a content area using alternative methods. The website (http://www.prel.org/picturingscience) includes lesson plans currently in use, as well as examples of student art and writing from all over the Pacific region.

Visit the website here: http://picturing-science.prel.org/