Catalog: Rockland/Westchester Teachers' Center Institute

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The barriers that occur to learning can not be single-handedly removed. Unfortunately, one such barrier occurs when behaviors are disrupting the learning community. The climate of each school community is different. Therefore, a “one size fits all” approach is not as effective as interventions based on the needs of each school. Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture and needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional and academic success. A system focused on creating school-wide, classroom and individual supports improves academic and behavioral results. This course will assist teachers in creating a support system for their classroom that will help to increase behavioral and academic results. This course is appropriate for all regular and special education teachers.
This course will deeply analyze and develop strategies for improving classroom management. All strategies are evidence based and will help teachers improve their management of physical space, instruction, routine development, correcting behavior and issuing consequences. Teachers will develop proactive strategies that will improve student learning outcomes and behavioral outcomes. This course is appropriate for all K-12 teachers and assistants.

3. ONLINE: The Mindful Classroom (Offered by the Westchester TC Institute)

Location: Online Only (Online, )

Audience: Grade Level - All

Dates: 10/1/2018 to 10/31/2018

Helping students cultivate affective skills such as perseverance, emotional management, self motivation, and resilience are key to both their emotional well-being and their ability to engage reflectively with ideas and information. When teachers practice and model these skills, they can be more fully present and able to respond to their students' needs. "Studies show that grade school aged children who learn mindfulness and meditation are more focused and resilient," says Sarah McKay, an Oxford University trained neuroscientist and freelance science writer specializing in mind and brain. "It helps settle them down and improves concentration." This in turn allows for optimal student performance. For teachers, this means that in the midst of everything that goes on in a classroom, we remain aware of what's going on inside our minds and bodies, which can help us with our reactions to a situation and choose a kind and compassionate response. While the practice of mindfulness is never a "cure-all," research suggests that it is a powerful foundation upon which teachers can start to build their social-emotional skills and, in turn, improve their teaching. This course examines the historical and scientific research that has been done supporting the practice of mindfulness in education. Through reading, discussion and exercise, participants will explore how mindfulness can be used everyday with in and out of the classroom.
Every day teachers assume leadership roles in their classrooms, schools and district. However, being recognized as a leader can often be a challenge. In this online course, we will explore and share ways to become active participants in Professional Learning Communities, how to write a winning grant, how to engage parents and administrators, and how to become leaders among our peers. At the end of this course, you will have new leadership skills and strategies and a customized plan based on your individual needs and expectations that will take your leadership skills to the next level.
We often look at behavior as something that needs to be addressed before instruction can occur. Research shows that with the right instructional tools, we can limit those unwanted behaviors that interrupt the learning process. Educators in this course will examine dozens of research based strategies to address behavior through instruction. Each educator in this course will focus on specific behaviors from their classes and will utilize research based strategies for overcoming these barriers to learning.
English Language Learners are the fastest growing group of students that today’s schools services. This course will assist teachers in developing strategies and skills to understand ELL students’ backgrounds and how to establish and grow strong family relationships. Teachers will develop classroom skills to use in their classrooms and improve instructional outcomes. Teachers will examine belief systems and research based practices for serving diverse cultures and languages in the classroom. Teachers taking this course will analyze and implement methods for ensuring a positive classroom culture and climate.

7. Online: Creating Independent Problem Solvers (Offered by the Westchester TC Institute)

Audience: Teachers in grades K-12

Dates: 10/23/2018 to 11/23/2018

Location: Online

Fostering deeper thinking and greater understanding promotes increased engagement in the classroom. In this online course, we will examine question formulation and exploration as key parts of the problem solving process. In the real world, students will not have access to all the information they need to solve problems – they will be required to sort, decipher and gather it themselves. As class participants, you will focus on all curriculum areas and explore the best problem solving practices in math. Authentic challenges will be introduced as we look at problem solving in action and how your students can think and problem solve outside of the textbooks. With the tools you provide them, students will be able to work out solutions to complex problems that will lead to enhanced student learning and increased student engagement.

8. Online: Behavior Management and Lesson Plans: Planning for an Effective Year (Offered by the Westchester TC Institute)

Audience: K-12 Teachers and Special Teachers

Dates: 11/9/2018 to 12/10/2018

Location: ONLINE

Description: In this online course, we will be evaluating effective behavior management and planning techniques. We will examine current behavior management and design strategies and hands-on activities to make your classrooms more productive. We will also create positive behavior contracts and take a look at Class Craft and Class Dojo. We will explore the most useful websites for various disciplines and, by the end of the course, you will have new and creative activities in your tool box that will enhance your current lesson plans.

9. Online Managing ADHD and LD in the Classroom

Dates: 11/12/2018 to 12/17/2018

Location: Online

There is no teacher that hasn’t come across a student in their class with ADHD or a Learning Disability. This course will allow teachers to examine current research geared at helping all teachers work effectively with students with ADHD and learning disabilities. Teachers will understand the impact of ADHD on a student’s performance, the difference between male and female students with ADHD and be made aware of basic instructional strategies to implement in their classrooms

10. Online: Character Education (Offered by the Westchester TC Institute)

Dates: 11/12/2018 to 12/17/2018

Location: Online

Character education provides guidance for youth to understand their abilities, to strive to reach their fullest potential, to care for others and enables all youth positive self-development. Schools can foster this development in and out of the classroom by focusing on intellectual, social, emotional, and ethical character in students. Implementing character development programs that focus on these needs give students the optimal chance at success. Character education is a primary prevention tool used to promote positive youth development, academic achievement, and character development.

11. Online: Students at the Center of Learning (Offered by the Westchester TC Institute)

Audience: K-12 Teachers and Special Teachers

Dates: 11/19/2018 to 12/20/2018

Location: Online

In this online course, we will design lessons to refocus our teaching so our students can become more active learners and critical thinkers. In turn, we, as teachers can become more effective facilitators and empower our students to find their voices to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge of the subject at hand. We will examine our current teaching styles to see how we can achieve these goals. We will also make some changes to our current assessment tools and create meaningful assessments that will effectively measure student learning. At the end of this course, you will have a better understanding of the components of a student-centered classroom and the tools you need to put it into practice.

12. Hybrid: Genre Study

Audience: K-8 classroom teachers, literacy coaches, reading specialists, AIS teachers, ENL teachers, special education teachers

Dates: 12/5/2018 to 1/23/2019

Location: Springhurst Elementary

What makes a biography a biography? What makes a fantasy a fantasy? If you know the genre of a book and know the characteristics of that genre, you know what to expect when you begin to read it. As adults, we know how to use our background knowledge about genres, but how do we teach our students to do this? In this workshop, we will explore how to use an inquiry approach to explore different genres. This process allows for students to really interact and experience different text types as they think, talk and work with them in an analytic way. Using the information from “Genre Study: Teaching with Fiction and Nonfiction Books” (2012) by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell, participants will build their own expertise in understanding specific genres and their characteristics, understand an inquiry process that can be used with students to study the characteristics of any genre and learn how to help students apply their knowledge of genres in talking, reading and writing. *Outside class work (either 4 to 5 hours) per session may consist of assignments that are to be done with students, watching videos and answering questions, and/or reading articles and commenting on them through a digital platform. Assignment will be posted week of November 19th to do before the first class.

13. Online: Brain Based Learning and Student Engagement (Offered by the Westchester TC Institute)

Audience: Teachers in Grades K-12

Dates: 1/7/2019 to 2/7/2019

Location: Online

In this online course, we will explore the human brain and examine how it works. You will hear the most up to date theories on how students learn and how best to engage them in the classroom. We will look at how to incorporate group work and peer collaboration in the classroom to foster engagement and how to give students the opportunity to take the lead while still adhering to specific curriculum guidelines. At the end of the course, each participant will be asked to share a classroom plan that lists specific strategies and lesson plan ideas that will put their students in the center of learning.
A teacher’s use of formative assessment techniques is essential in ensuring he or she is meeting the learning targets for a unit. Teachers need to know “who knows what” before moving on. Formative assessment is nothing new - our teachers were administering formative assessments to us when we were in school many years ago. In today’s digital world, we are lucky to have so many more tools to assist us in our formative assessments. Teachers in the class will review the research on formative assessment as well as explore dozens of instructional tools that can be used for formative assessments. Teachers will leave this course with concrete and easy to use examples for embedding more formative assessments into their lessons.
English Language Learners (ELLs) need to have access to K-12 curriculum and be able to achieve the same level of success as their english speaking counterparts. This course prepares teachers to effectively understand ELLs’ backgrounds and to differentiate their instructional approach. By providing the skills to differentiate their instruction through multiple modalities, this course gives a practical, classroom ready application of new learning to improve instructional practice. This course is appropriate for both regular and special education teachers.
In this online course, we will focus on incorporating the NGSS into our curriculum. These standards mark a change in how we must think about classroom science instruction. We will use a variety of online resources to develop instructional and assessment strategies that address NGSS focusing on K-5 and 6-12 while developing an understanding across grade levels. We will explore how: K-12 science education should reflect the real-world interconnections in science. Science concepts build coherently across K-12. THE NGSS focuses on deeper understanding and application of content. Science and engineering are integrated in science education K-12 Science Standards coordinate with Common Core Standards in English language arts and mathematics. We will use visit NGSS webinars that address this topic and look at sample standards to learn how to read the key to various elements. At the end of this course, participants will have a deeper understanding of the expectations and how they should b applied at each grade level.