Professional Development Topics



Assessment and Evaluation for Teachers

Professional development assessment and grading are two critical components of education. Done correctly, assessments yield valuable information for students, teachers, and administrators. When done incorrectly, assessments can produce frustration and low morale for all parties...

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Classroom Instruction

In their Classroom Instruction That Works research, McREL and Robert Marzano identified nine strategies that can be applied in any learning environment and result in significantly increased student learning. When implemented consistently and correctly, these research-based strategies can provide average percentile point gains as high as 45% on student achievement tests...

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Classroom Management

Classroom management is one of the top issues on teachers’ minds. Poor classroom management strategies can yield a number of undesirable results, including an overly rigid classroom, a chaotic learning environment, and a focus on discipline rather than learning. A good classroom management plan produces an environment conducive to learning, exploration, and participation. Teachers who manage their classrooms well typically have students who achieve at higher levels and have more positive attitudes and perceptions about school. With our resources, your teachers can learn the best ways to organize, discipline, and manage their classrooms...

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Classroom Observation with Observation 360

Classroom observations are nothing new—educators have been conducting them for years. Too few educators, however, are enjoying the kinds of results that a careful, well-executed classroom observation can produce: from better classroom practice and teacher form, to improved student achievement, to warmer, more productive professional relationships.

With its premier classroom observation product, Observation 360, professional development leader School Improvement Network is taking the guess-work out of classroom observations, and empowering educators with every tool and form they could possibly need to conduct the most thorough, incisive, long-lasting classroom observations of their careers.

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Classroom Walkthroughs

Classroom walkthroughs are as essential to professional development as they are tedious. But with customizable tools and efficient reporting, classroom walkthroughs become effective again.

Classroom walkthroughs play an essential role in professional development for teachers. Though they are non-evaluative, classroom walkthroughs present a challenge to many administrators who struggle to properly record and then later convey the results of their time in a teacher’s classroom.

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Coaching and Mentoring

Research shows that when coaching accompanies training, teachers transfer 80 to 90 percent of what they learn into the classroom, compared to only 5 to 10 percent with training alone (Joyce and Showers, 1995). Teachers of all experience levels benefit from coaching and mentoring programs, which are cost-effective ways to make a vast impact on teacher quality and student achievement. Our research-based resources guide you through each step of developing an instructional coaching or mentoring program and training coaches in their work. From our experience in thousands of districts, we passionately believe that instructional coaching is the foundational element you need to successfully implement any school improvement initiative...

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Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated instruction is the key to ensuring that each student has the opportunity to learn and achieve. Students have a broad variety of backgrounds, skills, strengths, and learning styles, and teachers cannot possibly reach every student by using only one method of instruction. By using differentiated instructional strategies, teachers can identify the best way to teach each student. Most teachers have some knowledge of the theory of differentiated instruction, but most feel intimidated to actually implement it in the classroom because it seems like a nearly impossible task. The School Improvement Network offers several resources that show teachers how to effectively differentiate instructional lesson plans in the classroom...

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Diversity and Equity Training

No child left behind means every student, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, has the right to an education that encourages and allows him or her to achieve at high levels. Sadly, disturbing discrepancies exist between the academic achievement of white students and students of color, and between students of varying economic status. The reasons for achievement gaps are found within schools and districts and include problems like misunderstanding race, lowered expectations, and a curriculum that does not speak to minority experiences. Current federal laws mandate that gaps must be closed, but many schools and districts are unsure what to do and even doubt that eliminating gaps is possible...

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Educational Leadership

Effective educational leadership is one of the most critical aspects of school and district success. However, a NCREL study NCREL found that 70 percent of principals feel 'somewhat' or 'completely' unprepared to be educational leaders. Just as teachers need training to become their best, school and district-level administrators greatly benefit from leadership professional development designed specifically for them. Whether you are dealing with difficult teachers, establishing professional learning communities, or instituting a comprehensive reform policy, the School Improvement Network has resources to support you. Our education leadership library is the most comprehensive available and provides research-based learning for principals, aspiring leaders, district administrators, and other instructional leaders...

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Effective Common Core Implementation

Schools and districts across the U.S. are now taking the time to educate themselves about the Common Core State Standards as they prepare for Common Core implementation. While some may see Common Core implementation as an obvious and natural next step after Common Core Standards, not every approach to implementation may be effective.

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Instructional Strategies

As an educator, you know that consistently using research-based differentiated instructional strategies is essential to high levels of learning and achievement. There are hundreds of resources that explain various teaching instructional strategies; however, very few move beyond theory to actual classroom practice. At the School Improvement Network, we are committed to providing resources that show teachers what the best research looks like when it is transferred into practice. The following resources help teachers implement the best research-based, classroom-proven differentiated instructional strategies to increase student learning, engagement, and achievement...

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Mobile Professional Development for Educators

Mobile professional development for educators is the next step in building more talented teachers and improving the quality of classrooms. As professional development becomes increasingly prevalent in today’s teaching profession, educators need resources to fulfill professional development no matter where they may be. PD 360 was the world’s first on-demand professional development resource, bringing a greater numbers of experts, topics, and resources to educators than ever before.

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Professional Development

Professional development is at the heart of most education reform movements in the past fifteen years and stands as the crux of improving student learning.

In 1998, Richard F. Elmore and Deanna Burney  well-known study on professional development, “Improving Instruction through Professional Development in New York City’s Community District #2.”

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Special Education

The mandate for improved academic performance has been amplified in recent years for all students. Under the demands of current legislation, greater focus has been placed on bringing students with special needs to higher levels of academic achievement, requiring a higher standard from special education teachers. To help schools and districts support students with special needs, the School Improvement Network has produced several resources that provide teachers and administrators with special education professional delopment. These resources are research-based and are designed to increase student learning, drive implementation in the classroom, and build internal capacity...

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Using Data to Close the Achievement Gap

In today’s education climate, educators must access and use data to help close the achievement gap. By using data, schools can be sure that their decisions regarding school improvement are targeting the right issues in the best way. Without the use of data, schools and districts are left to unreliable guesswork that results in wasted money and time...

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