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Third grade teachers collaborate on writing program

More than 23 third grade teachers and Literacy Coaches from across the Lake County School District came together this month at Astatula Elementary as part of the District-wide pilot for the Developmental Studies Center (DSC) writing curriculum, Being A Writer.

According to DSC’s website at, the Being A Writer program has two goals: to develop the creativity and skills of a writer, and to develop the social and ethical values of a responsible person. It uses high-quality trade books for genre immersion and author studies, and easy-to-teach mini-lessons to reinforce the skills and conventions taught in the program. Writing instruction, regular community-building elements, and guided partner work are integrated to develop in students a sense of autonomy, belonging and competence.

Dr. Taylar Wenzel, DSC consultant, facilitated this professional learning opportunity for teachers from Eustis Heights, Treadway, Lost Lake, Leesburg and Astatula elementary schools. Teachers collaborated and reflected on the second year of Being a Writer implementation with third grade students. Successes and challenges were shared, teachers were able to observe a model lesson taught in a third grade classroom, as well as participate in a writing conferencing experience with students.

“I thought the training was very beneficial to the teachers,” said Dawn Elliot, a third grade teacher at Astatula Elementary. “It was great to see a lesson modeled with the class. I appreciated having the opportunity to observe an individual writing conference [modeled by Taylar Wenzel], and then get the opportunity to practice a conference with a student myself.”