Composing Rigorous Teacher-Generated Assessments

The demands of formative assessments should be aligned with the demands of the quarterly, end-of-course, and annual standardized assessments. Too often, site-based generated assessments fall short of the rigor threshold. This workshop will prepare teachers and teams of teachers to develop challenging assessments aligned with both the nuances of each standard to be assessed, but also with the language, structure, and complexity associated with high-stakes testing.

Composing Higher-Order Performance Based Objectives

Daily objectives and instruction that merely requires students to think at the lowest possible level—rote recall of factual information is insufficient to promote high levels of student achievement and fails to meet the needs of classrooms populated by students with varying ability levels. This workshop will equip teachers and school leaders with the capacity to compose meaningful, performance-based objectives designed to ensure that students, regardless of prior performance have daily access to rigorous instruction characterized by cognitive pluralism.

Using Relevant Data to Drive Decision-Making

Many schools/school systems are data wealthy, but are challenged by the process of utilizing data analyses to directly address the widening achievement gap between and within student groups. This session will equip teachers and school leaders with tools necessary to promote a school-wide/district move beyond using data to inform and toward using data to perform.

Building Professional Learning Communities

The efforts of educators can have a significant impact on student achievement. In fact, educators who: (1) focus on learning, rather than teaching; (2) recognize the dynamic power of collaboration; and (3) judge their effectiveness based on results will become the teachers and leaders that our schools deserve. This workshop will equip teachers and teams of teachers with the tools and framework for building and sustaining high-functioning, reflective, results-oriented teams.

Promoting Common Instructional Language Across Content Areas

The bedrock of student achievement is the intentional and consistent use of common instructional language across grade levels and content areas. Unintentionally, students are being exposed to key concepts through divergent and often, erroneous instructional language which inadvertently perpetuates underperformance. This workshop will expose teachers to the power resident in and the practice of common instructional language as a tool for driving student achievement.

Infusing the Habits of Mind into Daily Instruction

To be successful in college and career is an independent problem solver researchers have identified and defined a finite number of habits that every student should demonstrate in the classroom. This workshop will build teacher capacity to foster a learning environment that values and expects a student-centered approach to teaching and learning.

Developing Worthwhile Mathematical Tasks

A myopic focus on teaching algorithms or a step-by-step, procedural fluency approach to solving mathematical problems is insufficient to transfer the most valuable approach to teaching mathematics to mastery: conceptual understanding. This workshop will build teacher capacity to link concepts to be assessed to engaging, meaningful, real-world mathematical tasks.

Operationalizing Close Reading

The demands of the Common Core Standards require that students have the ability to engage in careful, sustained interpretation of a variety of texts. This workshop will build teacher capacity to model for students the process of reading with a greater emphasis on the particular over the general with strategic attention to individual words, syntax, and the order in which sentences and ideas unfold as they are read.

Long Term Planning and Backward Mapping

Textbooks and curriculum guides are not a substitute for long term instructional planning and beginning with the end in mind (backward mapping). Individual teachers and teams of teachers need a succinct roadmap to effectively plan the scope & sequence of instruction, choose appropriate strategies; and identify “best-fit” materials of instruction. This workshop will equip teachers and content leaders with the tools necessary to plan for and accommodate outcome-based learning with formative and summative assessments in-mind prior to facilitating a single lesson.

Unraveling the Common Core Standards for English, Language Arts, & Literacy in Social Studies, Science, and the Technical Subjects

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 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 content and skills integrated across grade levels and content areas.