Olivia Wahl has been an educator for seventeen years. She provides PreK-5 staff development in literacy instruction, focusing much of her time in school districts in New York, New Jersey, Indiana, North Carolina and Washington. Olivia has participated in coaching groups with the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City. She has led institutes for teachers nationwide. Institutes have focused on helping teachers establish structures and routines needed for a successful launch of the reader’s and writer’s workshops in addition to teaching within a balanced literacy approach, conferring and assessments, matching students to texts, and planning for a gradual release of responsibility.
Olivia holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and has most recently been working on backwards planning and mapping out curricula. Her curriculum work involves considering the reading/writing demands of various genres and understanding how national standards align with the gradual release of responsibility and the balanced literacy approach. Olivia creates baseline, formative and culminating performance tasks for rigor with supporting lessons, based on Hess' Cognitive Rigor Matrix, Bloom's Cognitive Process Dimensions, and Webb's depth of knowledge (DOK) levels *Webb, Norman L. and others. “Web Alignment Tool” 24 July 2005. She ensures curricula is spiraled to maintain consistency across grade levels and aligns mentor texts with established curricula to support purpose and engagement. Olivia works with educators, crafting concrete to more abstract series of lessons within units of study based on data analysis and planning for immersion work considering various components of balanced literacy to prepare students for independence in reading and writing workshop.
Olivia provides quality professional development that directly impacts best teaching practices while collaborating with principals, supporting their work in cultivating powerful learning communities. Evidence supporting the work can be seen through lessons with students in lab site settings, examination of student work and planning for learning experiences. Her work with school districts across the country entails working with Superintendents, Principals, Literacy Coaches and Teachers to design and implement curricula focused on nurturing students within a balanced literacy framework.