Advancing Educators


Course Description


  1. Curriculum Mapping/Unit Design
  2. Lesson Planning
  3. Promoting Student Engagement
  4. Protocols and Processes for Effective Collaboration
  5. Effective Instruction
  6. Formative Assessment
  7. Developing Students’ Thinking Skills
  8. Transforming Teaching Through Coaching
  9. Creating Inclusive Classrooms
  10. Modelling & Developing the Growth Mindset

1. Curriculum Mapping/Unit Design

Ensuring our teachers are well-resourced with the best curricular materials we can find, requiring them to use research-based standards as a starting point for unit and lesson design & building collaborative planning time into their schedules are all important ways to support effective curricular planning, but these are just the beginning. Curricular planning, done effectively, is arguably the most complex work required of teachers. Given the effort it requires it is no wonder that teachers are sometimes tempted to use curricular resources , especially good ones, as instruction manuals to be followed in a lock-step manner rather than as resources to draw from as they design units and lessons. While nothing can eliminate the challenging nature of curricular planning much can be done to understand and manage it. This course offers frameworks and processes for unit design; guidance on how to unpack and sequence curricular standards; practice mining curricular content for essential questions and ensuring understandings and tools for designing all three types of assessment.

2. Lesson Planning

Often even teachers who have been trained in effective unit design still struggle over how to approach the planning of individual lessons. Like unit planning, lesson planning is high stakes. Done well, it can minimize or eliminate behavioral issues, motivate students to persist in the face of difficult tasks and increase student achievement. This course examines each layer of decision-making involved in lesson planning and guides teachers through the design of a lesson’s various components. Teachers have opportunities to share their best lesson planning practices and to analyze and evaluate examples of lesson plans before applying their new understanding to the planning of a current or upcoming lesson plan.

3. Promoting Student Engagement

“You can lead a horse to the water but you can’t make him drink” has been one response to the task of motivating students in our classes to do the work, especially the most resistant ones. This course will show teachers how to “sweeten the water” by giving them a better understanding of what lies behind a student’s unwillingness to engage with class work. So much of a student’s resistance to learn does still lie within a teacher’s sphere of influence. We will examine the most effective levers to motivate students, from influencing students’ beliefs about their capacity to learn to improving the frequency and kind of feedback that we give students. Teachers will leave better equipped to analyze and appropriately address the root causes of students’ resistance to learning.

4. Protocols and Processes for Effective Collaboration

Teaching is complex work with important consequences for students. These two characteristics would drive professionals in any field to work collaboratively. So what keeps teachers from working collaboratively more often? Misconceptions are partly to blame; collaboration is not...

  • a matter of personal preference based on personality-types
  • a practice primarily suited to primary school grade level teams
  • the desire of hyper-enthused new teachers brimming with the desire to share and swap ideas
  • an inefficient use of limited planning time
  • Research on the impact of collaborative work on student achievement and examples of a variety of forms that collaboration can take will help teachers see where and how they can benefit most from collaboration. Poor or non-existent processes for collaborative work are also largely to blame for teachers preferring to plan in isolation. This course trains teachers in the use of protocols that bring professionalism and productivity to collaborative work.

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