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Zaner-Bloser Professional Development. Open Minds. Unlock Potential.




Implementing the Common Core State Standards: Instructional Shifts That Matter

This course will take participants behind the scenes to examine the development, purpose, and benefits of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Strategies designed to develop instructional practices will be modeled and include hands-on practice, allowing participants to embed the CCSS into their daily lesson structure and their students to grow identified 21st century skills for college and career readiness. Course Number PD18

Writing to Master the Next Generation of Assessments

The CCSS and next generation of assessments aligned to the CCSS (such as PARCC and Smarter Balanced) are reshaping writing instruction, particularly as they stress the importance of writing across all curriculum areas. This course emphasizes process-based, trait-specific instruction (within the writing workshop framework); provides a guided analysis of prototypical Prose Constructed Response; and models how to develop performance assessments for classroom use. Participants will “unwrap” the standards and practice writing essential questions as a foundation for implementing the CCSS. Course Number PD25



Close Reading: Connect the Pieces to Deeper Meaning

During this course, participants will develop a step-by-step lesson structure and learn how to model a deep text reading, encourage group conversations to analyze text-based information, support students through multiple opportunities reading increasingly challenging texts, and facilitate writing to answer higher-level text-dependent questions. These close reading activities result in increased student achievement in conjunction with multiple opportunities for all students to productively struggle with complex texts. Course Number PD23

Defining and Teaching Complex Text to Meet the Common Core State Standards

The CCSS places a strong emphasis text complexity and its role in evaluating students’ college and career readiness. This course focuses on defining text complexity—both quantitatively and qualitatively—and matching readers to texts and tasks. Participants will learn instructional strategies to support students’ understanding of complex texts. Course Number PD19

Deep Comprehension

This course moves beyond comprehension skills to underscore the importance of deep comprehension. Strategies will be modeled and practiced so that teachers learn to engage their students in meaningful discussions; increase complex reasoning; develop rich speaking, writing, and listening vocabularies; and analyze literary texts in different genres and disciplines, as required by the CCSS. Course Number PD7

Weaving Together Literacy and Social Development

Through culturally diverse literature, participants in this course will focus on societal themes as the vehicle to teach literacy skills and address social development. Participants will learn how to foster a positive classroom culture that allows students to achieve academically and socially, explore diverse perspectives, and better prepare to master the CCSS for English Language Arts & Literacy. Course Number PD8

Guided Reading

This course will spotlight the steps in the guided reading process: selection of a text, introduction to the text, reading of the text, discussion of the text, teaching points, word work, and extending understanding. With the implementation of the CCSS, guided reading has shifted its focus to a deeper understanding of how readers build effective processing systems and an examination of the role of complex texts. When students have the opportunity of engaging in smooth, efficient processing of text with deep understanding, there will be an increase in their mastery of the standards of the Common Core. Course Number PD6

Differentiated Instruction: Helping All Learners Achieve the Common Core State Standards

This course is designed to empower teachers with strategies that vary instruction and student activities based on readiness, interest, and learning styles. Particular attention will be paid to the importance of assessment in not only driving the instruction but also in determining what scaffolding and differentiation is needed to support the student as they face the grade level standards of the CCSS. The focus will be on lesson planning, instructional delivery and student activities that result in classrooms where students are active learners, decision-makers, and problem-solvers. Course Number PD5

Nonfiction: Expository Text Everywhere

Examine best practices in teaching nonfiction by making connections to learning theory, relevant content-area instruction, and strategy instruction. The Reading Standards for Informational Text from the CCSS emphasize that students ask and answer questions, use text features and illustrations, compare and contrast texts, and recognize main ideas and supporting details. Participants will learn to teach nonfiction-reading strategies that students can transfer across the curriculum. Course Number PD10

A Focus on Anti-bullying Strategies

An essential goal for educators is to engage students through social-emotional concepts and themes in order to teach them how to negotiate conflict; respect varying points of view; and express personal opinions, thoughts, and feelings. Participants will learn anti-bullying strategies and activities that use carefully selected children’s literature to help students understand bullying issues, create a more positive classroom and school climate, and allow for greater academic achievement. Course Number PD9



Focus on Handwriting Instruction: A Foundational Literacy Skill

Participants will learn practical applications and strategies for integrating handwriting instruction across the curriculum, focusing on the relationship between handwriting and literacy. This course features the most current research and interactive activities designed to advance neurological development through perceptual and motor skills practice. Participants discover how handwriting fits within the CCSS and how to use technology to provide consistent, daily instruction. Course Number PD12

Fine Motor Skill Activities for Early Literacy (Prewriting) Development

Designed to support occupational therapists (OTs) in their role as direct service providers and to reduce referrals, this course ensures that both teacher and OT participants are prepared to partner with each other and implement strategies that incorporate motor activities into everyday classroom instruction. This course features a variety of auditory, visual, and kinesthetic activities to develop appropriate pencil grasp, line production, hand strength and dexterity, and fine-motor and visual-motor skills. Course Number PD1

Enrich Vocabulary to Meet the Common Core State Standards

Participants will learn about the important relationship between vocabulary instruction and comprehension; strategies to help meet the demands of content-area reading and the CCSS; grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots; and the important role vocabulary plays in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Participants will focus in-depth on CCSS Language Standards for Vocabulary Acquisition and Use. Course Number PD11

Writing to Communicate: Using the Six Traits in the Writing Process

This course will explore the traits and their relationship to the writing process. Participants will learn a wide variety of writing strategies to support mastery of the CCSS and will address trait management using supplied exemplar models and genre-specific rubrics, focusing on argument, informative/explanatory, and narrative writing. This course also teaches participants how to use technology to promote student interaction and collaboration with others. Course Number PD14

Writing to Meet the Common Core State Standards

Participants will focus on helping students meet the rigorous CCSS Writing Standards and achieve the writing sophistication needed to be college and career ready by doing a good deal of their own writing in this course. The facilitator will provide strategies and activities that students can use to write argument, informational/explanatory, and narrative pieces that are clear and coherent; to develop writing using the writing process and technology; to conduct research, gather relevant information, and draw evidence from texts to support position; and to gain stamina to write for extended periods of time. Course Number PD3

The Role of Spelling in the Common Core State Standards Classroom

The CCSS Language Standards stress the critical connection between spelling and reading and spelling and writing. In this course, participants will review the research that supports the assertion that good spelling ability is not merely memorization of spellings, but an acquisition of increasingly complex aspects of word knowledge over time. Participants will learn strategies that students can use to internalize and retain valuable spelling knowledge and to transfer that knowledge to daily reading and writing work. Course Number PD13



Creating 21st Century Learners: Technology Infusion to Master the Common Core

Through interactive, hands-on activities, participants will develop a deeper understanding of the CCSS for English Language Arts & Literacy that support technology use. By exploring specific examples in Reading (Literature and Informational Text), Writing, and Listening and Speaking, participants will learn powerful ways to infuse digital resources to actively engage all learners. Research-based and aligned to leading technology frameworks and standards, teachers will leave this course with methods for creating technology-rich learning environments that foster communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation. Course Number PD20

Project-Based Learning: Inquiring Minds Engaged in Hands-On Learning

Project-based learning involves meaningful inquiry that engages students’ minds and supports the CCSS anchor standards. Using this method allows students to demonstrate independence; build strong content knowledge; respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline; comprehend as well as critique; value evidence; use technology and digital media strategically and capably; and understand other perspectives and cultures, as outlined in the CCSS. By completing an inquiry project of their own, participants will learn this innovative way to increase student learning and achievement, first by learning how to choose and plan projects, then by learning how to implement and manage projects that promote 21st century learning skills and how to assess the success of each project. Course Number PD21

The 7 C’s of 21st Century Learning: Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, Cross-Cultural Learning, Career & Civic Learning, and Computing

The focus of this course will be on creating rigorous, relevant, student-centered learning environments that better prepare all students for the 21st century. Participants will brainstorm and discuss creative solutions to meeting the needs of learners with a goal of providing education in a 21st century context. This course will review CCSS requirements and ways that teachers are seamlessly incorporating 21st century skills into daily instructional practices. New strategies that motivate students and transform learning environments will be modeled and practiced. Course Number PD22

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