Unraveling the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Mathematics

The mathematics standards outline what students should know and be able to do; however, in order to promote significant student achievement, the complexity of the standards require that teachers have expert knowledge of the nuances of each standard and a new generation of instructional materials complete with common instructional language and tools for building conceptual understanding. This workshop will prepare teachers to plan and provide targeted, explicit instruction perfectly aligned with the demands of the each standard for a wide range of student ability levels.

Unraveling the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

The Common Core Standards are the culmination of an extended effort to fulfill the charge issued by the states to develop and implement K-12 standards to ensure that all students are college and career ready by no later than the end of high school. This workshop will assist site-based (principals, department leaders, and teachers) leaders in developing an in-depth understanding of the mathematical content through a focus on conceptual understanding and eight standards for mathematical practice.

Qualifying Texts to Meet the Demands of Complexity

The Common Core Standards place a strong emphasis on the role of text complexity in evaluating student readiness for college and careers. This workshop will build teacher capacity to use quantitative, qualitative, and reader & task considerations to qualify and select appropriate texts for daily instruction.

Developing Action Plans for Teaching in the Tested Content Areas

Any given school year, schools inherit a population of students who are promoted to the next grade without having mastered foundational skills/concepts taught in previous grades. Consequently, these students enter the grade level at a disadvantage for acquiring mastery of new, grade-level skills/concepts and are at a greater risk for falling even further behind their grade-level peers. This workshop series will not only build your teams’ capacity to construct a detailed, annual action plan for the tested areas for each grade level and content area, but will also simultaneously build (a) students’ (b) teachers’ and (c) administrators’ procedural knowledge and conceptual understanding of skills/concepts with special considerations for complexity, frequency, and considerations for initial exposure and re-teaching opportunities.

Meeting the Demands of Common Core Writing

As a natural outgrowth of meeting the charge to define college and career readiness, the Common Core Standards provide expectations for what it means to be an effective writer. In fact, writing tasks will be used extensively to measure student understanding of the myriad of complex skills represented in the standards. This workshop will prepare teachers to build student capacity to compose coherent and well-structured argumentative, informative/explanatory, and narrative pieces with adherence to grade-specific expectations.

Using Manipulatives to Teach Abstract Concepts in Mathematics

Algorithms are not the panacea to student success in mathematics. To the contrary, conceptual understanding, over procedural knowledge, is the linchpin of mathematical fluency. Students who are given the instructional opportunity to develop a firm grasp on concepts prior to engaging in problem solving are exponentially more likely to demonstrate mastery of the content in the independent setting. This workshop will expose participants to the literature on the use of manipulatives in mathematics instruction and the how-to’s of matching specific mathematical concepts with appropriate manipulatives.

Disciplinary Literacy in Science, Social Studies & Technical Subjects

This wave of school reform from the middle grades to collegiate study requires that students are able to approach disciplinary-specific texts with the skill of a trained expert in the field of study. This workshop will build teacher capacity to make use of discipline-specific comprehension strategies and subsequently teach those strategies to adolescent readers.

Unraveling the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Reading and English

The TEKS outline what students should know and be able to do; however, in order to promote significant student achievement, the complexity of the standards require that teachers have expert knowledge of the nuances of each standard and a new generation of instructional materials. This workshop will prepare teachers to plan and provide targeted, explicit instruction perfectly aligned with the demands of the each standard for a wide range of student ability levels.

Ensuring Gains Among English Language Learners

Language acquisition and skill development can take place simultaneously. For that reason, students who speak English as a second language can be taught “how to read” and “how to read to learn” in concurrently without sacrificing either. This workshop series, for teachers of all content areas, will equip teachers struggling to meet the complex needs of the English language learner in a comprehensive classroom setting.

Meeting the Complex Needs of Students with IEPs

Although few will admit it publically, students with special needs are often educated in classrooms characterized by lowered expectations and diminished exposure to the curriculum through the pull-out/resource class model. Even in the inclusion model, students who need targeted support and explicit instruction are often recipients of diluted expectations. This workshop series will provide participants with research-driven approaches proven to bolster teacher efficacy and student success.