WIDA: Scaffolding Learning Through Language

March 18 from 9:00 a.m. – March 19, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
PaTTAN, Harrisburg, Pa.

Workshop is limited to 35 participants.

This workshop provides educators with a fresh look at how to engage multilingual learners in rigorous content area learning with a balance of challenge and support. The purpose of the workshop is to encourage educators to consider a dynamic set of classroom practices that support multilingual students as they move toward increasing independence and expertise in grade-level content. Participants will explore how rigorous, well-sequenced curriculum within the content of meaningful experiences contributes to rich classroom interactions that mediate learning. Topics that educators will explore are (a) valuing students’ resources for learning, (b) developing a strong community of learners, and (c) engaging students in rigorous curriculum.



Through participation in this workshop, participants will be prepared to:

  • Develop an understanding of scaffolding practices based on prior knowledge, new learning, and shared experience
  • Build awareness of macro- and micro-scaffolding practices that apprentice students into language use for content area learning.
    • Consider how students’ resources can support collaborative learning
    • Recognize the importance of establishing a collaborative community of learnings that moves forward and upward together
    • Examine ways to engage students in exploring language use for content learning



This workshop is designed for all teachers of multilingual learners. Teams of content teachers and ESL Specialists are encouraged to attend together. This workshop provides a great opportunity for teams who work with the same language learners to collaborate.



Kira Cunningham, WIDA Professional Learning Specialist

Kira Cunningham has spent the past two decades building relationships with culturally linguistically diverse students and families in U.S. schools. She is passionately committed to the academic success of multilingual students and to supporting the classroom teachers who play such a critical role in student confidence, agency, and academic achievement.

Cunningham has worked with at-risk preschools, Migrant Education, and as a classroom teacher in Title I elementary schools in both English and dual-language English/Spanish contexts. She also helped develop a co-teaching program in her district and worked closely with teachers to plan and deliver lessons focused on both language development and content learning. In addition to working in K-12 public schools, she has taught adult learners Spanish and ESL at the community college level.

Cunningham holds a B.A. in Social Work from Goshen College and a M.A. in Education from the University of Michigan.



8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Sign-in
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Workshop
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Lunch on Your Own
12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Workshop


Act 48

The Center for Schools and Communities, as a division of the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, offers Act 48 professional development credit for those with Pennsylvania teaching or administrative certificates. To receive credit, participants MUST attend session(s) from beginning to end and list their professional personnel ID (PPID) number on the appropriate Act 48 paperwork provided onsite at the conference registration desk. Retrieve your PPID number from PERMS and bring it with you to the conference.



6340 Flank Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17112
(717) 541-4960