Preconference Sessions

Saturday Preconference Sessions

PC 101 | Taking The Lead

Joellen Killion, Learning Forward, Lakeway, TX

Cindy Harrison, Learning Forward, Broomfield, CO

Area of Focus: Leadership

Coaches and teacher leaders assume significant roles in schools and school systems today. Learn about the 10 roles described in the second edition of Taking the Lead: New Roles for Teachers and School-based Coaches, how the roles contribute to teaching quality and student learning, and the knowledge, skills, practices, and challenges associated with each role. Teachers, teacher leaders, coaches, principals, and district leaders will learn how to narrow the focus of coaching roles, assess the impact of each role, and address common challenges coaches face.

PC 102 | THE SKILLS OF MAKING STUDENT THINKING VISIBLE

Jonathon Saphier, Research for Better Teaching, Acton, MA

Area of Focus: Equity

Join us to hear about the concepts, embedded values, and operating principles of Making Student Thinking Visible. Explore these principles and practice creating a robust talk environment that builds student confidence and extends their capacity to manage discussions. Learn the skills needed to ignite student discourse, cultivate student-led learning, and guide students to articulate their thinking. Along the way, learn which teaching habits to change and about the preparation and planning needed to fully integrate this approach into your classroom.

PC 103 | THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF GRADING REFORM

Thomas R. Guskey, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Area of Focus: Data

What makes grading reforms successful? What typically leads to problems and difficulties? Join this session to hear about factors that research and evaluation reports have shown to contribute to implementation success and failure. Learn about the non-negotiables of grading reform that ensure meaningful communication between school and home. Examine procedures for implementing new reporting structures, including standards-based grading, as well as specific policies and practices that should be avoided because of their negative consequences for students, teachers, and schools.

PC 104 | UNPACKING THE STANDARDS FOR PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

Jacqueline Kennedy, Arlington Independent School District, Arlington, TX

Area of Focus: Implementation

The Standards for Professional Learning define the attributes and essential components of effective professional learning. This session will focus on what the Standards look like in practice. Deepen your understanding of the Standards and how effective professional learning leads to effective teaching practices, supportive leadership, and improved student results. Explore Innovation Configuration (IC) maps that identify and describe the major components of the standards in operation, and see how the Standards Assessment Inventory (SAI) helps measure the quality of your professional learning against the Standards.

PC 105 | UNLEASHING THE POWER OF POSITIVE DIFFERENCES

Jane Kise, Differentiated Coaching Associates, Minneapolis, MN

Area of Focus: Equity

Learn to examine new initiatives and strategies, such as nurturing growth mindsets or curriculum changes, for polarities — conflicting set of values that over time need each other. Understand how to map the values and concerns of various stakeholders. Experience using that information to plan professional development, determine action steps, and identify potential implementation imbalances. Hear how polarity thinking minimizes pendulum swings in policies by addressing competing needs and setting common goals.

PC 106 | Becoming A Learning Principal

Kay Psencik, Learning Forward, Cypress, TX

Dana Boyd, Ysleta Independent School District, El Paso, TX

Area of Focus: Leadership

School leaders matter. Next to the classroom teacher, the principal has the greatest impact on student achievement. Gain a deeper understanding of the ways that principals work with others in their schools, the expectations they have of students and staff, and their views of themselves as leaders of teaching, learning, and professional learning. See how all of those factors make a tremendous impact on principal success with all students.

PC 107 | COLLABORATIVE LEARNING: DISTRICT PARTNERSHIP TO DESIGN, SUPPORT, COMMUNICATE AND IMPLEMENT THE WHY, WHAT, AND HOW FOR STUDENT LEARNING

Deborah Childs-Bowen, Creative Mind Enterprise, Decatur, GA

Ann M. Delehant, Learning Forward, Webster, NY

Debra Lane, Lane Leadership Group, Fairfax, VA

Area of Focus: Learning Communities

Successful educators understand that collaborative professional learning strengthens educator practice and increases student results. We are, however, frequently challenged by how to make this collaborative culture happen. Learn how one district partnered with Learning Forward to design a districtwide system of collaborative learning focusing on professional learning communities (PLC) integrated with a deep coaching practice and supports. Hear how district and site leaders clarified their roles and ensured that support aligned with implementation efforts. Examine methods of building the capacity of PLC teams, coaches, and school and district leaders to implement these new practices. Walk away with strategies to support similar goals in your district.

PC 108 | LEADING GROWTH: DEVELOPMENTAL STRATEGIES FOR BUILDING CAPACITY SYSTEMWIDE

Ellie Drago-Severson,Columbia Univeristy, New York, NY

Area of Focus: Learning Designs

The mounting imperatives of educational reform, social justice, collaboration, and leadership—as well as the promising connections between adult and student learning—underscore the vital importance of building capacity in our schools and systems. In this session participants will explore adult developmental theory as a lens for leadership and leadership development (internal capacity building) and learn about a developmental approach to collaboration and feedback. Collaborate with others to gain a deeper understanding about how to support growth by learning about adult developmental theory and its practical applications for building a growth-oriented culture, supporting authentic feedback and collaboration, and building growth-oriented cultures.

PC 109 | HELPING ONE ANOTHER: CULTURALLY RELEVANT AND RESPONSIVE MATHEMATICS

Desha L. Williams, Kennesaw State, Kennesaw, GA

Area of Focus: Equity

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has provided practices for doing mathematics and teaching of mathematics. These practices are good practices for all students. Yet, how can we examine them from a culturally relevant and responsive lens? Join this session and help one another to do just that: Engage students in culturally relevant and responsive mathematics, while ensuring the rigor recommended by the NCTM.

PC 110 | A NEW WAY OF BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS WITH FAMILIES

Luz Santana, Right Question Institute, Cambridge, MA

Area of Focus: Outcomes – Educator and Student Learning

Parents and family members can partner more effectively with schools to insure student success when they first develop key skills to support their children’s education, monitor progress, and advocate for them when necessary. Join us to learn how the Right Question Institute’s evidence-based strategy can help parents learn these key skills. Experience the strategy, explore the art and science behind the methods, and practice integrating them into your own work.

PC 111 | WAYS TO DEVELOP EVERY TEACHER AS A LEADER

Barbara Levin, UNC Greensboro, Greensboro, NC

Lynne Schrum, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Area of Focus: Leadership

Broaden and deepen your understanding of teacher leadership as we discuss what teachers and school leaders should know and be able to do to create conditions in which teacher leadership may develop and thrive. We include ways to engage and reward teacher leaders, and models for advancing and sustaining teacher leadership professional learning through policy development and advocacy. The audience for this session includes current and future teacher leaders and school leaders because both groups must embrace the complexity, challenges, and benefits of strong partnerships between administrators and teachers.

PC 112 | THE ART AND SCIENCE OF IMPLEMENTATION

Val Olekshy, Edmonton, AB

Area of Focus: Implementation

Students cannot benefit from the interventions they do not receive. See how planning for successful implementation requires an understanding of the characteristics of successful implementation, coherence among plans and priorities, and the intentional efforts by education stakeholders to collaboratively address the essential conditions. Develop an implementation plan that makes more efficient and effective use of time, human, and financial resources to ensure that students receive the interventions needed to support their learning.

PC 113 | DATA-BASED DECISION MAKING AND PROFESSIONAL LEARNING IN A CLINICAL EDUCATION SETTING

Mary E. Little, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

Taylar Wenzel, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

Marni Kay, University of Central Florida Orlando, FL

Area of Focus: Data

Learn to implement data-based decision making to enhance instruction and professional learning focused on student learning. This session will provide attendees with practical resources and examples to implement and support action research and professional learning within lesson studies and coaching. Specific examples from teachers and administrators will describe various methods of professional learning that are flexible, responsive, and individualized to district, school, and classroom contexts as well as student and teacher learning goals.

PC 114 | WHAT TEACHER TEAMS DO TO MAXIMIZE THE IMPACT OF FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT

Nancy Love, Research for Better Teaching, Acton, MA

Nina Smith, Research for Better Teaching, Santa Fe, NM

Robin Whitacre, Idaho Springs, CO

Area of Focus: Data

Formative assessment has the potential to effectively double the speed of learning, but only if it is understood and applied as a process, and not a test. Learn how to unleash the power of teacher teams by facilitating their deep learning and application of a four-step formative assessment cycle, in which teachers: 1) clarify learning targets and success criteria for themselves and their students; 2) infuse formative assessment practices throughout their instruction; 3) analyze formative assessment results frequently and in depth; and 4) provide timely, targeted feedback, reteaching, and extension. Experience activities for building teacher expertise in each of these high-leverage steps for increasing student achievement.

PC 115 | LEADING FOR TRANSFORMATION: LEVERAGING LESSONS FROM A SYSTEMIC CHANGE INITIATIVE

Sean McComb, Baltimore County Public Schools, Baltimore, MD

Jill Snell, Baltimore County Public Schools, Baltimore, MD

Emmanuel Andre, Baltimore County Public Schools, Baltimore, MD

Jordan Birnbaum, Baltimore County Public Schools, Baltimore, MD

Area of Focus: Implementation

One of the most pressing challenges facing school districts is the effort to transform learning, especially at the secondary level. This process is preceded by capacity- building for teachers because it often calls for improvements in mindset, culture, and pedagogy. This session will be led by a classroom teacher, a building-level coach, a central office resource teacher, and a teacher in a hybrid role, thus offering rare prism through which to analyze change. Beginning from a grounding case study of Baltimore County Public School’s initiative for a responsive and student- centered classroom, participants will gain tools, strategies, and perspectives to apply in their local context. We’ll engage in targeted learning on leading change initiatives and enacting structures, conditions, and professional learning for teachers to thrive. Finally, participants will be given the opportunity in-session to apply their learning to their own change initiative and receive support and feedback.

PC 116 | BUILDING A BLENDED LEARNING PROGRAM FROM THE GROUND UP

Clayton Christensen Institute, Redwood City, CA

Area of Focus: Technology

Effectively  implementing  blended  learning  is a process, not an event. In this session learn not only how to design a successful blended learning program, but also how to refine and improve your program. Leave understanding how to select a blended learning model based on existing resources, infrastructure, and core challenges; evaluate student, teacher, and technology learning needs when choosing a blended design.

PC 117 | MICROSKILLS FOR PRESENTING AND FACILITATING

Carol Brooks Simoneau, Thinking Collaborative, Derby, KS

Doreen Miori-Merola, Thinking Collaborative, Syracuse, NY

Area of Focus: Learning Designs

Increase your effectiveness as a presenter and facilitator.  Learn ways to promote your presentations, manage groups, effectively give directions, scaffold strategies for interesting presentations and effective facilitation. Extend your personal skills and repertoire for delivering important content and navigating group dialogues and discussions.

The opportunities to connect with others engaged in the same work were fantastic. These connections will help with our ongoing professional learning design and evaluation work.

— Krista Marshall

Sunday Preconference Sessions

PC 201 | BECOMING A LEARNING TEAM

Stephane Hirsh, Learning Forward, Dallas, TX

Tracy Crow, Learning Forward, Columbus, OH

Area of Focus: Leadership

Based on the latest book in Learning Forward’s “learning series,” this session focuses on the actions of the teacher team in the application of a cycle of continuous learning. The five-stage team learning cycle offers teacher teams the steps toward intentional, collaborative professional learning. Participants will explore case studies and learn ideas and actions that result in learning teams that experience and model high-quality professional learning that is long term, sustained, and standards driven; grounded in a cycle of continuous improvement; and capable of inspiring all to take responsibility for the learning of every adult and student in the school.

PC 202 | DEEP COLLABORATION: WORKING WELL TOGETHER FOR ALL STUDENTS' SUCCESS

Andy Hargreaves, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA

Michael O’Connor, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA

Area of Focus: Leadership

Lesson study, job-alike networks, professional learning communities, data-teams, peer reviews: what are the different ways for teachers to collaborate to improve student learning? Which ones are better or worse than the others? How do teachers collaborate differently across systems, countries and cultures? This engaging session explores Hargreaves and O’Connor’s research on collaborative practice in 2 US states and 6 other countries. Work with others to go deeper with your collaborative practice.

PC 203 | MAXIMIZING THE IMPACT OF MICRO-CREDENTIALS

Jim Beeler, Digital Promise, Washington, DC

Jennifer Cohen Kabaker, Digital Promise, Washington, DC

Area of Focus: Technology

Explore the educator micro- credential ecosystem and how it can be leveraged to personalize learning for professional educators in your school, district, or state. Learn about the theory of change supporting micro- credentials, examples and lessons learned from the field, and potential incentives for earning micro-credentials. Then, using the Challenge-Based Learning framework, design an implementation plan for micro-credentials to address a specific challenge or need in your school, district, or state.

PC 204 | COHERENCE AND DEEP LEARNING: LEADING TRANSFORMATION IN SCHOOLS, DISTRICTS, AND SYSTEMS

Michael Fullan, Michael Fullan Enterprises, Toronto, ON

Joanne Quinn, Quinn Consultants, Toronto, ON

Area of Focus: Leadership

Leaders who thrive in turbulent, complex times develop learners who can innovate, apply thinking to new situations, and contribute to the betterment of humanity. Explore a coherence framework for building your team’s capacity to deepen student learning. Consider the right drivers for leading coherent change: Focusing direction that gets you into the game; cultivating collaborative cultures to provide  a pathway for change; deepening learning as the core strategy for affecting student learning; and securing accountability that  is essential to measure growth and answer to yourselves and the public. This interactive session will use video, simulations, and case examples to examine strategies for developing learning cultures that support whole-system change. Drawing upon exemplars, the session will feature insights into innovation that transforms learning and leadership.

PC 205 | THE MYTHBUSTERS GUIDE TO EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH

Doug Reeves, Creative Leadership Solutions, Boston, MA

Thomas R. Guskey, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Area of Focus: Data

What do we know, and how do we know it? This interactive session will consider the use of alternative educational research  methods and explore how educators’ beliefs can be reinforced or undermined by a rigorous multi-method approach to the research. Explore a variety of methods, including quantitative analysis, case studies, qualitative methods, meta-analyses, and syntheses of meta-analyses. Engage in a case study addressing a problem of practice through the lens of alternative research methods. The session will explore how participants can become better advocates for the best available research and, along the way, be willing to challenge some of the prevailing myths of education.

PC 206 | IGNITING THE LEARNING ENGINE: ACCELERATING TEACHER EFFECTIVENESS AND STUDENT GROWTH THROUGH“CONNECTED PROFESSIONAL LEARNING”

David Rosenberg, Education Resource Strategies, Watertown, MA

Genevieve Green, Education Resource Strategies, Watertown, MA

Area of Focus: Resources

With the introduction of rigorous college and career-ready standards like Common Core, teachers must radically improve student learning and their own professional growth. Findings from PISA, Learning First, and others included clarity on what strong professional development looks like in practice, but few U.S. systems have effectively tackled the challenge. However, some systems are dramatically improving instruction and student achievement by fundamentally re- thinking the basic structures for teacher professional learning. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ERS has studied not only what is happening in these systems, but also how system leaders have re-organized scarce resources to enable high-impact“connected professional learning.”

PC 207 | GUIDING TEAMS TO EXCELLENCE WITH EQUITY

John Krownapple, Howard County Public Schools, Fulton, MD

Franklin CampbellJones, CampbellJones & Associates, West Friendship, MD

Area of Focus: Equity

Despite well-intentioned efforts, schools continue to suffer from persistent inequities. Move beyond good intentions by developing what it takes to guide the transformation of a school or district into one that is inclusive, equitable, and excellent for students in all demographic and identity groups. Explore the shift in mindset required to achieve excellence with equity. Increase your effectiveness as a culturally proficient facilitator of professional learning and organizational change.

PC 208 | MAKING DECISIONS WITH DIFFERENT KINDS OF STUDENT ASSESSMENT DATA

Susan M. Brookhart, Duquesne University, Helena, MT

Area of Focus: Data

Increase your effectiveness in using data to make decisions about instruction, professional development, and resource allocation. Examine different kinds of data available in schools, focusing on a framework for considering the relationships among different kinds of student achievement data because understanding the balance among different kinds of data is critical to good decision making. Experience a process for moving from reviewing data to framing questions to making decisions about potential solutions. Finally, examine a process for evaluating the impact of these decisions to inform continuous improvement.

Participants are invited to bring their own school data (on paper or in digital format) so that teams can work with their own data.

PC 209 | BETTER CONVERSATIONS: THE BELIEFS AND HABITS THAT HELP ANYONE DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE AS A COMMUNICATOR

Jim Knight, Instructional Improvement Group, Lawrence, KS

Area of Focus: Leadership

Much of our joy and sorrow in life, and our success and failure at work, are the direct result of our relationships. Our relationships flourish or fail depending on how well we communicate. Learn how to listen and communicate with empathy, find common bonds, and build emotional connections. Develop the beliefs and habits that lead to better conversations and more life- giving conversations.

PC 210 | FACILITATION AND PRESENTATION STRATEGIES THAT IMPROVE ADULT LEARNING

Valerie Mitrani, Center for Advancement of Jewish Education Miami, Miami, FL

Julie Lambert, CAJE Miami, Pinecrest, FL

Area of Focus: Learning Designs

Explore practical strategies that support leaders in creating collaborative professional learning processes through more effective facilitation and presentation skills. Improve the quality of meetings and decision-making on your teams by exploring strategies and tools for designing effective agendas; preparing and following norms; designing adult learning experiences; having difficult conversations; and overcoming resistance.

PC 211 | FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT IN THE BRAIN-COMPATIBLE CLASSROOM

Marcia Tate, Developing Minds, Inc, Conyers, GA

Area of Focus: Data

Whether they are called multiple intelligences or gifts, students come to class with many different ways of knowing. Gain strategies that help move you from deciding what you want students to know and be able to do to knowing when they have mastered essential learning. Consider both traditional and more authentic forms of assessing a student’s way of knowing; leave with product ideas and strategies for assessing student learning

PC 212 | SUPPORTING TEACHER LEADERSHIP SYSTEMS FOR TRANSFORMATIVE RESULTS

Alesha Daughtrey, Center for Teacher Quality, Carrboro, NC

Area of Focus: Leadership

Teacher leadership is an innovative idea for leveraging the capacity within schools to drive professional development, fill leadership pipelines, diversify career pathways, and build collective efficacy. But how do you turn those ideas into impact? Learn research-based approaches to design and support teacher leadership aligned with—rather than separate from—other leadership efforts. Experience guided practice in using tools to plan for, assess, and communicate about teacher-led work to fuel continuous improvement and show return on investment. Hear how districts are using these processes and tools to improve teaching, learning, and leadership and leave with a plan to transform your teacher leadership work.

PC 213 | LET’S TALK ABOUT IT: HOW TO FACILITATE MATH CONVERSATIONS THAT IMPROVE LEARNING AT ALL LEVELS OF THE SYSTEM

Lucy West, Metamorphosis Teaching Learning Communities, New York, NY

Area of Focus:

Have you seen the avalanche of books, articles, and research reports advocating the importance of student discussion in the mathematics class? Are you finding that many of the teachers in your school are willing to increase student discourse but they don’t know how to? Or perhaps they believe that student discussion will slow them down so they can’t cover the curriculum? If these questions sound like challenges you face at your school or in your district, then join us for a day-long exploration into how to deepen and expand the kinds of conversations that improve learning for students and teachers. Examine how to generate robust discourse among adults and students. Understand that how educators and students talk with and listen to one another in math class lies at the core of improved learning. Using video clips of classes in different grade levels and at varying stages of development, analyze and consider ways to improve mathematics teaching and learning through talk.

PC 214 | FROM DOING PROTOCOLS TO USING THEM

Thomas Van Soelen, Van Soelen & Associates, Lawrenceville, GA

Area of Focus: Learning Designs

Using protocols in schools isn’t a new concept, but it has become more commonplace in the past few years. Unfortunately, many users of protocols have been protocoled in a district or school gathering and the residual effect isn’t positive or productive. Experience well-facilitated protocols and leave with the necessary skills to match the purpose with the protocol to better serve the group’s needs.

PC 215 | ADVANCING PROFESSIONAL LEARNING: LESSONS, UPDATES, AND NEXT STEPS FROM THE STUDY OF PROFESSIONAL LEARNING IN CANADA

Carol Campbell, OISE, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Pamela Osmond-Johnson, University of Regina, Regina, SK

Brenton Faubert, University of Western Ontario, Toronto, ON

Audrey Hobbs Johnson, Learning Forward, North Vancouver, BC

Area of Focus: Emerging Issues

Join us as we continue the conversation and provide updates related to the study of the status of professional learning in Canada, which was launched during the 2016 Learning Forward Conference in Vancouver. Explore details of some promising practices we found around the country. Engage with a panel of practitioners from Canadian jurisdictions to hear about their challenges and successes of professional learning. Learn how jurisdictions and educational organizations around North America and beyond are engaging with our report. Share your own stories of opportunity and consider how this research can inform the future of professional learning in your own context.

PC 216 | ASSESSING THE IMPACT AND COHERENCE OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

Nick Morgan, Learning Forward, Boston, MA

Area of Focus: Learning Communities

Strengthening the measurement of the impact of professional learning and increasing its coherence and relevance are essential to a comprehensive professional learning system. Assess the current state of your professional learning system and learn to make decisions based on impact measures and evidence that can lead to abandoning those initiatives that distract or dilute focus. Consult with members of the Redesign PD Community of Practice who have been working on these specific problems and explore possible goals as you reimagine the possibilities.

PC 217 | CREATING MASTERPIECES: ART OF DESIGN THINKING FOR EDUCATORS

Nader Twal, Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach, CA

Amy Pendray, Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach, CA

Jennifer Crockett, Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach, CA

Area of Focus: Implementation

Implement high-impact systems and site-based reforms by listening first and designing second. Experience the power and transformative potential of Design Thinking (Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test) in a simulation designed to help internalize design mindsets and processes. Innovate applications for your district/site by learning how LBUSD applies design principles to key district initiatives and lessons learned along the road to adaptive change.

I had taken part in Learning Forward trainings through my Hope Street Group Fellowship and wanted to show leaders in my district the incredible work of Learning Forward and introduce them to top-notch, international professional learning that stressed the importance of the teacher leadership movement. They were blown away! We’ve already put in for more teachers and coaches to join us in Orlando!

— MeMe Ratliff, Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, KY