12/9 Zoom Chat: A Framework for Truly Excellent Professional Learning

Brian Kingsley, Janise Lane, and Robin McClellan were spotlighted in a recent report by the Carnegie Corporation of New York on high-quality professional learning, and we think it makes an excellent conversation-starter!

Our teams describe the professional learning aspect of our curriculum work as incredibly empowering and enlightening. Elements of Curriculum-Based Professional Learning explains How and Why this is the case.

It invites readers to consider a model for “inquiry-based teaching” that has teachers  examine their craft in the same way students are asked to tackle new academic standards – by challenging prior ways of doing things, actively embracing new instructional practices, and deepening content knowledge.

Our PLN regularly touches on these Elements – curriculum, equity, beliefs, leadership, coherence, collective participation – in our blogs and events. We look forward to a conversation with the broader community about how this approach enables better teaching & learning – in real and lasting ways.  

Please join us for this discussion at 8pm on December 9th.   

Carnegie’s website has some nice overviews and even an animation, for those wanting to do some pre-reading.

12/3 Webinar: The Shift From Reading Workshop to Research-Aligned Curriculum

With renewed attention to concerns about the Teachers College Reading Workshop Program, many districts are considering a switch to materials that better align to reading research.

Given the popularity of the workshop model with some educators, we often hear common questions about this change, including: How can I persuade teachers who are fond of the workshop model to embrace a different approach? When districts do change, how are new materials received? What kind of professional learning is best?

Two of our colleagues are midway through year one of a move from Reading Workshop to high-quality ELA curriculum. By popular demand, we’re hosting a webinar on December 3rd in which they will share their respective journeys alongside a leader in professional learning. We’ll speak to the above FAQs, as well as questions from the audience. 

Register and submit questions here.


Moderated by curriculum superfan Karen Vaites.

Webinar: How We Brought the Science of Reading into Practice

Our districts have been on a multi-year journey to bring the ‘science of reading’ into practice, and to move away from balanced literacy approaches.

Today, our students receive daily and systematic phonics instruction in K–2, acquire knowledge and vocabulary from texts in each grade, and all work with texts at grade level.

How did we get there? Where did we start – and what did we do in years 1, 2, and 3? Which came first, the PD or the new curriculum? How did we persuade the balanced literacy devotees to change practice?

We answered all of these questions in a conversational webinar on October 29th.


Moderated by curriculum superfan Karen Vaites.

Watch a Recording: 

Zoom Chat: Our First Social Hour

We have never needed our friends more than in 2020!

Our ‘squad’ has been convening for check-ins, which have been a mix of social and professional. It always starts social, but as we get into sharing, we find ourselves swapping resources and advice which are beneficial in our work.

As the community around high-quality curriculum grows, we’d like the opportunity to connect with additional educators, to build our professional learning networks. So…

Please join us for a Social Hour on October 6th at 8pm ET!

Our Squad will share a bit about the work in their districts, and we’ll have an opportunity to swap excellent resources and discuss potential areas for cross-district collaboration.

Host: Robin McClellan, joined by the our Squad of district leaders

SIGN UP to receive a Zoom link.

Hope to see you!

Webinar: Instruction Insights, Synchronous vs Asynchronous

When we met this summer to collaborate and swap ideas, we kept returning to the same topic: synchronous versus asynchronous.

How would we optimize instruction across these two modalities, given our different (and evolving) school reopening plans? Which forms of teaching and learning were friendliest to each approach? These are essential questions as we shift our ELA and math work to remote and hybrid contexts.

In this webinar, we’ll discuss our early learnings and reflections, with plenty of time for Q&A.

This webinar was held on September 17th at 8pm EST.