Improving lesson plans, teachers work collaboratively in small groups to design classroom materials and analyze results in short learning cycles – the engine of change. After this work, a delicate balance of factors will have determined whether or not an individual teacher reached a readiness threshold to try something new.
Preston Webster has refined an approach to professional development that addresses the common barriers to improvement. The right combination of strategies, processes, and tools, leverage research-based strategies to improve teaching content, reading, and writing, often simultaneously.
Participants develop their own teaching materials, customized for their needs and style, aligned to specific objectives, and ready to use in classrooms. At the end of the program, teachers walk out with materials that bridge the gap between the professional development sessions and classroom instruction.
Teachers use their materials to facilitate quality teaching, assess learning, and provide student feedback. Students use the materials to articulate clear ideas, build understanding, correct and revise, make connections, and study. All stakeholders benefit from seeing and discussing evidence of teaching and learning. Finally, teachers use this evidence to conduct a collaborative analysis of student work. The process, strategies, and tools create ongoing cycles of improvement.
Challenge - Readiness and relevance: When teachers learn about new standards or strategies, they often do not find enough time and support to assimilate what works into classroom practice.
The solution: Beyond lesson plans, teachers need to adapt and align actual classroom teaching materials - this prepares them for new teaching. Change is relevant and achievable.
Challenge - Time vs. the capacity to align and adapt: We run out of time working on the “what" and "when” of curriculum before adapting classroom materials that define “how” to teach.
The solution: Quick and effective processes and tools build the capacity to adapt and align curriculum whatever the need in the time available. Teachers become learning teams (rapid responders) producing results in hours: results ready for teaching, generating evidence, and assessing what works.
Nonfiction Literacy, Lesson planning, Organizers, Vocabulary Tools, Note Taking, Leveraging Research-based Strategies and Conducting Student Work Sample Analysis