On August 7 and 8, the Guam Department of Education in collaboration with Guam CEDDERS, supported its State Systemic Improvement Project (SSIP) school sites with two professional development sessions. These sessions were part of SSIP’s: Continuous Improvement Road Map for Improving Reading & Math Achievement.

The first professional development session, “The Magic is in the Instruction,” focused on reading. This session was facilitated by Josephine Cruz, EdD, and Debra Whitt, Guam CEDDERS, along with consultants Nieves Flores, EdD, and June Quitugua. It was attended by over 100 teachers in grades K-3, including resource room teachers at three of the four SSIP Target school sites, M.U. Lujan Elementary School, Chief Brodie Elementary School, and J.M. Guerrero Elementary School, as well as the four SSIP Scale-Up school sites, D.L. Perez Elementary School, M.A. Ulloa Elementary School, Finegayan Elementary School, and Merizo Martyrs Memorial School. All participants met at the Dusit Thani, Tumon, for an all-day session that reviewed improvement science/Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSAs), the science of reading (the 5 essential components of reading), and the science of instruction that centered on Dr. Anita Archer’s “13 Elements of Explicit Instruction.” The Explicit Instruction framework reflects the I Do (teacher models), We Do (teacher & students do it together), You Do (student does it on their own)—teacher-led approach that provides lots of modeling, guided practice, and judicious practice with gradual release so that students are able to complete the task independently to mastery. Explicit Instruction observations and follow-up sessions at individual school sites by grade level are being planned.

The four SSIP Target schools participated in a second day of professional learning that was part of SSIP’s Continuous Improvement Road Map for Improving Reading & Math Achievement. This session focused on the topic of Supporting Essential Math Conceptual Development in the elementary grades and was conducted by UOG’s Dean of Education and Math professor, Dr. Alicia Aguon, at the Dusit Thani in Tumon. This second all-day event provided K-3 and resource room teachers with support in building students’ foundational math skills and concepts (i.e., number foundations, place value, and the concepts of addition and subtraction) using math manipulatives (Base 10 blocks and two-color counters) and other math resource materials. Math follow-up sessions with Dr. Alicia Aguon, at the four SSIP Target school sites by grade level are being planned for SY 2023-2024.