Educating Teachers

Seattle Pacific SPIRAL Distance Learning Educator Courses

The following courses are distance learning format and students have up to a year to complete.
Please register through Seattle Pacific SPIRAL

Teachers are Writers Too: Writing the Short Story
(5 Credits)
This course offers teachers an opportunity to learn the craft of writing a short story. Although the course focuses on teachers as writers, classroom teachers will find the lessons to be applicable to young writers too. The course focuses on constructing a short story from personal experience. Topics for creating the short story include, developing strong characters, story structure, and revision.

Teachers are Writers Too: Writing the Picture Book
(5 Credits)
This course offers teachers an opportunity to learn the craft of writing a picture book. The course focuses on teachers as writers; however, educators will find the lessons very applicable to the teaching of writing. The course focuses on learning to identify three types of picture books: Storybook, Concept, and Informational Picture book while exploring writing techniques used in picture books such as; character, structure, and the use of poetic language. Participants will write their own picture book but do not need to be an artist! This course looks at writing the text of picture books.

Beyond the Newbery: Discovering Excellence in Children’s Literature
(5 Credits)
We want our students to read excellent literature. However, besides knowing about the Newbery and Caldecott books, how do you, the educator find high quality children’s literature to share with your students?

In this course, we’ll explore some of the different awards given to both children’s literature and their authors. We’ll look at children’s book awards such as: The Jane Addams Book award, given to books that foster a better understanding of the world. The Dolly Gray Award, given for books which recognize high quality children’s books that portray individuals with developmental disabilities, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, given to a children’s writer or illustrator whose books have made a lasting contribution to literature for children. The course also includes information on current blogs, websites, and publications that profile excellence in children’s literautre. The course is geared toward educators in grades 4-10 and would be especially helpful for librarians or other reading specialists.

Writing to Change the World: Giving Meaning to Our Writing Assignments
(5 Credits)
We want our students to foster appreciation for the written word and be life-long learners. However, besides asking students to write for a test or an assessment, how do you encourage them to write with meaning and voice? How do we create assignments and writing opportunities which teach the writing process, Traits of Writing, and at the same time encourage our students to write for a variety of purposes using a writing voice directed to real-world audiences? In this course, we’ll explore Mary Pipher’s text, Writing to Change the World. We’ll explore how giving to others gives us something to write about and look at examples of others who are making a difference in their communities by studying stories in the text, Stone Soup for the World. Educators will complete a variety of writing exercises including poetry and narrative essay and examine how to use these ideas in their classrooms. They will use the writing process to compose a letter, speech, or expository essay written for a real-world audience. The course is geared toward educators in grades 4-10.

Writing with Boys
(5 Credits)
This course will identify the boy writer, look at how to overcome their resistance to writing as well as explore how things such as art can play a role in encouraging boys to write. Participants will create a portfolio of writing assignments and student samples which will engage and empower the boy writer. This course is geared toward educators teaching grades 4th-12th.

Books for Boys
(5 Credits)
This course will examine picture books, middle grade fiction, graphic novels/comic books, non-fiction, and poetry books with a focus on books that are high interest for boy readers. We will examine how to integrate the books into the classroom or library as a means of encouraging, inspiring, and providing role models in literature for our male readers in grades K-8. Each learner will create a personal bibliography of books for boys based on the needs of their educational setting and student ability level as well as a PowerPoint presentation to be shown to parents and/or other educators.