Sauk Trail staff attend biliteracy institute

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Five Sauk Trail teachers attended the 2018 Teaching for Biliteracy Summer Institute in Chicago this week.

Kindergarten teacher Kari Buer, first-grade teachers Paige Bessick and Kristina Mendiola and second-grade teachers Leeana Garcia and Jeanette Widerhoeft attended. They are all members of the school's K-2 Two-Way Immersion team. Kindergarten teacher Maria Elena Garcia Peterman along with Director of Bilingual Services Mandi Sersch attended last summer.

The institute ran from June 25-29.

Sauk Trail has made attending the institute required training for all TWI classroom teachers, Bessick said.   

Mendiola said developing instructional strategies that are most effective for developing bilingual students was one of the team's goals by attending the institute. Wiederhoeft added the team also wanted to learn how teaching for biliteracy is different from the the way literacy has been taught in the past.

"We have learned so much this week,'' Bessick said. "But one thing that has really stuck with us is the importance of planning and going slow in that planning process to be able to build a strong foundation for the program and refining our vision, pedagogy and the systems that benefit our developing bilinguals and all that are involved with the two-way immersion program.''

The institute was sponsored by the Illinois Resource Center. Visit the IRC website to learn more.