Intensives: High Impact Professional Development
Intensives are 1-3 day professional learning opportunities specifically designed to help your personnel improve their practice immediately. Unlike the typical workshop approach, in which participants tend to learn general practices and are left to implement them on their own, our professional learning model prioritizes learning, practicing, planning, and implementing of ambitious practice in your school, and for your students; Intensives also set your personnel up for further learning in their collaboration teams. (Click here for an overview of the Intensive model.)
As our current menu of Intensives below illustrates, our trainings are subject matter-, practice-, and/or role-specific; the content and our supports are differentiated for the specific content areas, instructional contexts, and students you serve. Furthermore, Intensives are embedded: materials (student work, teacher materials) used are derived from and/or targeted to your classrooms; professional learning activities happen in and from your classrooms. Customized Intensives can be developed to target your school or district’s specific needs; contact us to let us know what we can do for you.
Our Systems work pairs Intensives with coaching and learning team to address your school's most significant problems of practice (e.g., "What's best practice in teaching the block?") and help build and sustain teacher collaboration and leadership.
Rethinking Test Prep: Preparing Your Students for Next Generation Assessments:
How should your teachers attend pedagogically to the changes and demands of the new ACT, AP, SAT, PARCC, SBAC, and other college readiness assessments? The answer, as research has repeatedly shown, is not explicit test preparation; it is time for a different approach. In this 1-2 day workshop, we show you a better way through your existing content area instruction, emphasizing the building of background knowledge, skill instruction, and integrated assessment literacy in order to position students as literate practitioners of high-stakes tests. The training, customized to your assessment portfolio, features close study of the assessment design, student work, and curriculum materials; teachers will collaborate on plans to teach the critical skills called for by next generation assessments.
New Approaches to Teaching Literary/Rhetorical Analysis
What kind of teaching both helps students "read closely" complex literary and informational texts AND gets them excited about deep content study? This training, which can include science and social studies teachers, shows teachers how to increase both the rigor and engagement of text study by reframing the work as a form of argument, positioning analysis as a component of inquiry. Teachers will learn and practice an instructional model for conducting text-based inquiry in their class, leaving with initial plans to enact in their classroom.
Teaching the Thesis
What are “precise and knowledge claims” (CCSS.W.11-12.1a) and how do we teach and support students to craft them? This 1-2 day training dives into the core of argumentative writing, thesis/claim making, helping teachers translate the Common Core standards on argument into rigorous content area writing instruction for your students. The training consists of deep study of post-secondary composition demands and analysis of student writing; teachers will learn about what comprises a sophisticated claim and inquiry-based methods for helping students develop them. Teacher will leave with initial plans for teaching how to develop claims and ways of leveraging their learning communities to continue the work.
Beyond Text Complexity: Building Text Sets
Assessing text complexity is only the beginning of ensuring rigorous literacy experiences across your curriculum; coherence is necessary to ensure meaningful learning. Text sets, collections of grade-appropriate complex texts organized around a topic or theme, can be that link, helping teachers select and sequence texts and supportive instruction. This training guides teachers through the process of selecting and organizing texts and developing rigorous instruction to support their use.
Becoming a Professional Development Leader
Teacher leaders, ILT members, instructional coaches, instructional support leaders, and administrators are increasingly tasked to design and facilitate their colleagues' professional development, a practice that requires a significantly different skill set than classroom teaching. We can help! Utilizing an intensive cohort model, we'll build the professional development capacity of selected groups of teachers, coaches and instructional support staff, and/or even you and your leadership team through an ongoing support model of 1) on-demand 1-to-1 planning and coaching and 2) collaboration sessions in which participants do the work of planning and facilitating professional development.