Professional Development Update

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November PD Highlights

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Embedding Formative Assessment with Teacher Learning Communities - November 15 - SEATS STILL AVAILABLE $175 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

Dylan Wiliam


There is now a large and growing evidence base that helping teachers develop their use of minute-to-minute and day-by-day assessment is one of, if not the most powerful ways to improve student learning. However, adopting formative assessment, or assessment for learning as it is sometimes called, involves far more than adding a few “quick fixes” to teachers’ classroom repertoires. It involves a fundamental shift in focus, from what the teacher is putting in to the process to what the students are getting out of it. In this interactive one-day workshop, participants will learn:

•Why we need to increase educational achievement, what's been tried, and why it hasn't worked;

•Why formative assessment needs to be the priority for every school;

•What formative assessment is (and isn't);

•Practical techniques for implementing formative assessment; and

•How to sustain the development of formative assessment with teacher learning communities.



Why Forward Thinkers Engage in Transformational Change: Supporting Continuous Improvement

November 16 - $175 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

George Thompson and Mark Kessler


Conducted jointly by NWEA and the Schlechty Center, superintendents and their leadership teams will engage in learning and discovery focused on building capacity for both effective change and continuous improvement in the schools and districts they serve. Why do transformation efforts often fail? Sometimes efforts fail due to a lack of attention given to developing organizational capacity to support and sustain change. Initiatives are often started with a flawed assumption that there is a common understanding of why the initiative is needed. Dialogue in this session will include the relationship between accountability and answerability and the role that multiple measures of quality play in continuous improvement. Tools will be explored that can help deepen a shared responsibility for student learning as part of a district’s work and identify strategic actions needed to sustain continuous improvement.



Flipping Your Math Classroom and Standards-Based Grading


November 28 - $117 - 8:00 am - 2:30 pm

Tony D'Apice


It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Yet, this is what we tend to do in education. How can we feel empowered to challenge the status quo and change what's not working in our math classrooms? How can we get students more engaged and in control of their own learning?

In this session, participants will:

Become aware of mindsets that propel us forward or hold us back.

Learn about different models of flipped math classrooms (traditional flip and flipped mastery).

Understand the pros and cons of flipping and the logistics of HOW to do it.

Examine their current grading practices and long-held beliefs.

Comprehend the key ideas behind Standards-Based Grading and its advantages.

Grasp the logistics of HOW to make the switch to Standards-Based Grading.



Effective Phonics Instruction in the Early Childhood Classroom: How to Engage the Brain

November 29 - $117 - 9:30 am - 3:30 pm

Stephanie Smyka and Kristen Giuliano


Research shows time and time again that phonics instruction is a necessary component of early literacy instruction, but how do we ensure that our phonics instruction is strategic, intentional and fully engaging the brain? In this session, we will explore approaches to connecting phonics instruction with oral language development, fluency, and comprehension in order to promote intentional transfer.

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December PD Highlights:

Next Steps in Literacy: Families and Schools Working Together “Achieve the Reach”

December 6 - $55 - 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

Byron Garrett and Dr. Nicole Bosworth


This full-day, regional summit is aimed at supporting district and school leadership in reflecting on their existing district/school level action plans and goals for literacy instruction, and will provide them with a deliberate and concentrated process to maximize students' literacy achievement. Participants will learn key literacy, family and community engagement, and professional learning strategies that will give them the tools and inspiration needed to support student and teacher achievement, and to create a lasting culture of literacy in their communities.


Making Time for Science

December 7 - No Cost - 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Nancy Shellenberger

With the current instructional emphasis on ELA and Math, elementary teachers too often struggle to find time for Science and Social Studies. In December 2016, New York State adopted new Science Learning Standards. The successful implementation of these standards requires that teachers make time for Science. This workshop will provide a venue to share ideas about time in elementary school, research on improving ELA performance (particularly with ELLs and struggling learners) and integration of Science with Social Studies.


Using Greek & Latin Roots to Build Students' Vocabulary in the Classroom- Grades 3-6

December 13 - $58 - 8:30 am - 11:30 am

Stephanie Smyka

Are you looking for effective instructional approaches to help students discern the meanings of words? Did you know that 90 percent of English words with more than one syllable are Latin based and most of the remaining 10 percent are Greek based? During this session we will explore how leveraging root words can help unlock word meanings for students in grades 3-6 and support literacy development and understanding across the content areas.