Instructional Strategies

Blended Learning Series: Introduction to Blended Learning What is Blended Learning?

  • iNACOL’s Blended Learning Teacher Competency Framework 
  • Profiles of Emerging Models
    Custom Blended Learning Online Course

    • Three topics to focus (can be tied to Blended Teaching Competencies).
    • Each week teachers go through content, activities and discussions facilitated by an educational specialist. Sessions are asynchronous with designated office hours arranged to assist as participants work through the content.

Creating Content for Blended Learning

Curating and Creating Content

  • Learning Management Systems
  • Open Educational Resources
  • Tools for Curation and Creation

Pedagogy and Best Practices for Blended Learning

  • The Role of a Blended Teacher
  • Building Community
  • 21st Century Skills
  • The Flipped Classroom
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Assessment

My Blended Learning Journey: Weaving Together Technology & Tradition

Many teachers are feeling increasing pressure to teach 21st century students without easy access to 21st century tools. The idea of blending online work with face-to-face engagement is daunting. Learn how to go from traditional low tech classroom to a blended learning model by capitalizing on students’ connectivity and the technology they bring into the classroom.

Teachers will be encouraged to build their own technology tool belts to create a blended learning model that works for them. Weaving together technology and tradition can make educators more effective while improving learning outcomes for students. Explore how technology can be used to empower both teachers and students in an increasingly digital world.

Blended Learning: Tools, Techniques and Resources

The goal of this workshop is to empower traditional classroom teachers with the tools and techniques needed to effectively blend active learning online with dynamic learning in the classroom. Participants will leave with the skills needed to cultivate a community of inquiry online to complement and enhance the work done in the physical classroom. Explore the 1) power of discussion as a learning tool, 2) techniques for using mobile devices to encourage problem solving, research and collaboration, 3) flipped classroom as a vehicle to create time and space in the classroom and 4) strategies for weaving instructional mediums together.

Educators will leave this session confident being able to use the flexibility of the online space to extend learning, differentiate instruction, give every student a voice, and tap into the collective intelligence of their students while still maintaining their valued role as the teacher.

The session will provide participants:

  • Support materials and concrete strategies to aid teachers in creating a community of inquiry online.
  • Discuss how to establish and maintain a virtual safe space, build an online community, supportstudents in saying something substantial, and choose a realistic facilitation role for work done online.
  • Tips for designing discussion questions, assignments and online tasks that will produce dynamic conversations, engage higher-order thinking skills and empower students to drive their own learning.
  • Opportunities to explore the flipped classroom model (with emphasis on engagement around content) and brainstorm how teachers can create student-centered learning opportunities to build on work done online.
  • Time to explore project based learning in a blended model.
  • Hands-on practice with QR codes and mobile devices, Google docs, Collaborize Classroom, Linoit, and Socrative!

21st Century Learning Skills and Strategies

Discover how 21st Century Skills can be integrated into instruction in meaningful and effective ways to promote college and career readiness. Exemplars as well as practical strategies will be shared that teachers can start using the next day.

In Class Modeling

  • Series Kickoff – 4-6 Hour Workshop
    This event lays the foundation for concepts that will be demonstrated during in-class coaching. There is also time dedicated for team meetings to plan for in-class coaching sessions.
  • In-Class Coaching – Number of days and frequency varies based on needs, topic, size of staff, budget, etc.
    3-4 in-class coaching sessions can fit into a typical school day with 45-75 minutes per session
  • Series Wrap-Up – 4-6 Hour Workshop
    This event provides educators time to debrief on experiences and plan for next steps.Add-Ons
  • Online Coursework
  • Virtual Team Support (e.g. Video conference and email) Additional Face-to-Face Workshops

Differentiated Instruction

Providing students with effective, engaging and varied teaching materials and approaches is key in making sure each student is actively engaged, regardless of their individual learning styles.

In this workshop, participants will:

  • Learn how to maximize engagement by incorporating research-based best practices into a framework for high levels of learning for all students
  • Explore techniques to reconfigure the classroom for academically diverse students
  • Receive materials to help maximize student achievement
  • Discover strategies that maximize classroom engagement
  • Incorporate research-based strategies for processing, constructing and developing differentiated teaching materials
  • Receive robust, technologically-rich materials for immediate classroom application

Connected! The New Science of Better Collaboration, Team Learning, and Improved Student Achievement

Just putting teachers into teams isn’t enough! Thanks to technology and innovations in brain research and the study of human performances, we can employ strategies that help every school work more effectively! This session isn’t just about teaching teams to get along. It’s about using tactical, research- based strategies to unleash the untapped individual and team brain power available in every school! Get connected, get creative, and innovate! This session is highly interactive, and leaves the audience with easily applied tools they can implemented immediately.

School Culture for Deeper Learning: How the Right Learning Conditions Can Improve the Performance of Students and Teachers Alike

Research indicates there are proven strategies to create improved learning for teachers and students. This session isn’t just about building a positive school culture; it’s about developing strategic, actionable practices that align with what we know about the science of learning to increase the learning capacity. The workshop is highly interactive, and leaves the audience with easily applied tools that can be immediately implemented to improve the learning environment.

Designed for: schools that are already doing teaming or PLCs and are looking for strategies to help make their collaboration deeper and more meaningful. It is designed for schools attempting to improve academic achievement and student outcomes.

The Brain Game: What to Think in Today’s Schools

Our students will live in a world quite different from our own. Knowledge of content will not be enough for them to find success in life. Thinking, problem-solving and communication are required skills for students to survive and thrive in changing times. How will this kind of preparation and instruction change the look of teaching and learning in our classrooms? Presenter will lead participants through a fresh look at Bloom’s Taxonomy and the differences between inductive and deductive teaching approaches. All of this will be accomplished within the framework of nine powerful instructional strategies that have maximum impact on student thinking and success. Real-life examples and humor will illustrate the power of these strategies.

Student Engagement

What are the qualities of engaging student work? What should teachers look for when documenting student engagement? Research tells us that the facets of learner engagement are simultaneously intellectual, academic and egocentric. The workshop takes us on a journey through the latest brain research in a humorous, interactive session that integrates strategy, thinking and engagement—truly a 3-dimensional approach.

Rigor: The Power of Cognitive Engagement

Student learning is the product of three factors: 1. What the teacher brings to the classroom, 2. What the students bring in terms of schema and background, and 3.The actual content of the lesson. These come together in the student work or task. How do teachers plan tasks that maximize learning? What are the components of a powerful task? Workshop addresses the nagging question, “What does rigor look like?” While the work is complex, It will help simplify the design process and use humorous anecdotes to illuminate the construction of optimal learning activities.

Sit & Get Won’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Professional Learning Strategies that Engage the Adult Brain

Visualize the worst presentation that you have ever been a part of as an adult learner. Now, visualize the best one. No doubt, there is a considerable difference between the two professional development opportunities. This workshop is designed for administrators, staff developers, teacher leaders, instructional coaches and coordinators, college and university professors, business and community leaders, and anyone else who teaches the adult brain. In fact, many presenters to adult audiences do not realize that having participants sit and get information is not the most effective way to ensure that the information sticks to their brains. Adults don’t retain information simply by sitting and viewing multiple PowerPoint slides and being read to what is contained on them. Participants in this workshop are engaged the entire time while they learn the answers to the following three basic questions:

(1) What are 20 strategies that I can use to make my professional development experience unforgettable?
(2) What are techniques that appear to result in sustained adult behavior change?
(3) What are 10 things that keep adults living well beyond the age of 80?

Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Instructional Strategies that Engage the Brain

Have you ever wondered why some students cannot understand or recall important content after a 24- hour period? If students are not learning the way you are teaching, then you must teach students the way they learn! Experience 20 instructional strategies (based on brain research and learning style theory) that maximize memory and minimize forgetting. Increase learning for all students when drawing, metaphor, movement, music, and storytelling are used to teach curriculum objectives and meet international standards. Explore research that shows why these strategies are preferable to others. Ensure that brains retain key concepts, not only for tests, but for life!

Shouting Won’t Grow Dendrites: 20 Techniques to Detour Around the Danger Zones

Have you ever noticed that the louder reactive teachers get when reprimanding students? The result is the louder the students become. Learn ways to proactively manage a brain-compatible classroom without raising your voice. Alleviate at least 50% of your behavior problems just by getting to know each student, setting up the physical environment and delivering engaging lessons; another 40% by developing a comprehensive management plan; and the most challenging 10% by using techniques for chronic behavior disorders such as oppositional or conduct disorder. This highly-engaging and practical session has been called both professionally and personally life changing!

From Art to Science: Best Practices from the Old School and the New School

What’s the latest trend in education? The newest fad? This seminar for teachers and instructional leaders looks at trends in education as the field moves from an art to a science. Participants will recognize that best practices represent a blend of the art of teaching and the science of learning. Presenter will share high-yield strategies that guide curriculum alignment, instructional alignment, and classroom practices, showing various ways teachers and administrators have made best use of the meta-analysis work on instructional strategies by educational researchers and specialists: Marzano, Pickering, and Pollack.

Journey to the Land of Oz: Teaching Thinking with Heart and Soul

Have you lived at that moment when test scores whip in like a tornado and leave you feeling as if you’ve been suddenly transported to a brand new world—a world that definitely is not a place you want to call home? This presentation takes a humorous, yet thoughtful, look at the “next steps” districts must take to build thinking models for students. Participants will examine systemic changes that successful schools are making to effect change in student achievement and higher test scores. Special focus will be on the research of Marzano, Pickering, and Pollack, and the work of Bloom and Associates.

Benjamin, Bob, and Madeline in the Age of ESEA and Janet Jackson

What do Benjamin Bloom, Robert Marzano, Madeline Hunter, and Janet Jackson have in common? This presentation answers that and other questions about what’s happening in classrooms across the nation. Participants journey through an integrated model of strategy, thinking, and student engagement while sampling instructional planning that requires students to take control of their own learning. Specific attention is paid to moving the work from teacher to student control. Applications of the research from Marzano, Pickering and Pollack’s meta-analysis in Classroom Instruction That Works will be shared, along with specific strategies for modeling higher order thinking through use of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Preparing Your Child for Success in School and in Life: 20 Ways to Increase Your Child’s Brain Power

Since the most rapid period of growth for brain cells is zero to four years of age, that would make a parent a child’s first and best teacher! Yet, there are few manuals which are given to parents to show them exactly how to perform this all important job successfully. Participants in this workshop will learn techniques which can help them get their children off to a healthy start, build relationships with them throughout their lives, equip them with the necessary structure for healthy brain development, and assist them in increasing their academic achievement. Instructional strategies which parents can use to address the visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic modalities of their children will be modeled throughout. Many parents have stated that this workshop and the accompanying book should be a required experience for everyone who calls themselves a parent!

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey has been on the New York Times best-seller list since the 1980s because the content contained in this book is just as valuable today as it ever was! This workshop is based on that book and acquaints participants with seven principles which effective people attempt to practice daily in both their personal and professional lives. While actively engaged in the workshop the entire time, you will learn to be proactive, not reactive; to identify and prioritize your life with the things that really make the most difference; to improve your ability to understand where others are coming from so that you might help them to achieve goals which are mutually beneficial to you both, and to work for mental, spiritual, physical, emotional, and social balance in your life. You will walk out of this workshop a person changed for the better!

The Engagement Cube: What Captivates Today’s Learners

The standards are aligned. The teacher is a content wizard. The classroom is well managed and runs smoothly. Yet, the students seem to be simply “going through the motions.” How can teachers plan for student engagement? What are the qualities of engaging student work? What is the relationship between engagement, levels of thinking, and effective instructional strategies? Applying the concepts of Phillip Schlechty’s Working on the Work and using video vignettes of master teachers’ classrooms, participants will discover eight qualities of student work that lead to higher levels of engagement.

Making Sense of the Standards

Understanding the standards is a critical first step in the mapping process. Participants in this session will learn strategies they can use with their colleagues to help them make sense of the standards by examining the organizational structure, unpack the standards to determine the non-negotiables, and translate the standards into user-friendly and precise language that can be integrated into unit maps. By Laying the Foundation, schools are able to easily transition to high-quality unit or core maps.

Leading the Mapping Process: Strategies and Tools to Get Started

Whether you are just getting started or well into the process, this session will highlight the critical components leaders and leadership teams need to target to ensure successful implementation. Strategies will be shared and tools leadership teams can use to:

  • Identify the support structure needed to implement the process
  • Clarify the roles and responsibilities of the team
  • Determine possible entry points
  • Set realistic short and long term goals
  • Unpack the goals to determine training needs
  • Connect it with other initiatives

Strategies for Developing High Quality Unit Maps

How can you develop high-quality integrated units? How can you use the process to integrate the standards, strengthen alignment and upgrade units for 21st century learners? During this interactive session, design strategies will be shared that you can use to develop high-quality, integrated unit maps in regular classrooms. So bring your computer and unit ideas, and let’s map!

Upgrading Your Units: Instructional Strategies and Digital 2.0 Applications

During this session, participants will engage in activities to review instructional strategies that positively impact learning and how to increase rigor. Session will present research-based instructional methodologies and strategies, criteria for selecting the best strategies, and digital 2.0 applications that support instruction. Teachers will be asked to bring a unit they have taught to use during this session.

Thinking Through Your Unit Activity: Aligning Strategies and Activities for Maximum Benefits

During this hands-on session, learn how to rethink your units and align the “best” instructional strategies and activities. Teachers are encouraged to come with a unit they would like to rework or a unit they would like to begin to develop.

Aligning Instructional Strategies to Teacher Unit Maps

How can you strengthen the alignment in your units? How can the “right” instructional strategies help you ensure rigor in your units? Engage in several activities in the alignment process and learn how to rethink your units and align the “best” instructional strategies.

Participants will:

  • Align instructional strategies to classroom units
  • Use criteria to ensure the “best” fit
  • Learn about specific strategies that can support vocabulary development
  • Learn about resources they can access as they work on their own units
  • Integrate instructional strategies to upgrade units and increase rigor

Teachers are asked to bring their laptops or tablets with a unit of study to align and/or to rework.

Teaching with the Brain in Mind

This session focuses on practical brain-compatible strategies and brain research that increase student academic achievement. All teachers can positively influence students to increase their academic potential. Learn what it takes for students to acquire complex learning and achieve at their highest level of performance. Explore the essential rules on how the brain works. The workshop will provide practical instructional strategies that can be immediately implemented in the classroom.

Upgrading and Enriching the Student Brain

We all know that the brain can change, but what can be done to target specific changes to accelerate student improvement? Learn what the academic and social changes will enrich the brain in positive and lasting ways. Discover how to design your school or classes so that every student moves forward…every day in every class. How much do arts matter and which arts matter the most? Find out what instructional strategies will turn struggling students into academic stars.

12 Principles of Brain-Based Education

How can we possibly learn about brain-based education in a short time? This forward-thinking session explores the cutting edge principles that have “real world implication”. Learn the latest in brain research. Much of what we were taught is no longer true. Find out what’s new in the future for educators. Learn specific strategies you can use to improve student achievement.