Archive by Author

Quality Co-Teaching to Support Language Learning with Dr. Virginia Rojas, April 18-19, 2015

Workshop Overview:

Many schools have been on the journey of growing their capacity in the realm of co-teaching for supporting language learners. This is a huge undertaking and schools need support networks to continue to learn and grow. This conference will bring in multiple voices and perspectives to keep us all moving forward in our journey.

Dr. Virginia Rojas will share inspiring keynotes and guide us through several breakout sessions to hear from the viewpoint of students, mainstream teachers, ESL teachers, and administration on sustaining a co-teaching model and keeping it alive and growing.

Come to be inspired, share your journey with colleagues, grow as a learner, and discover more about what quality co-teaching looks like in schools that are really working to bring the vision and the reality closer together. Please also consider leading a break-out session or facilitating a collaborative discussion as guided by Gini. We hope you will join us for this event!




Elementary Reading and Writing Workshops in the Inquiry Classroom with Kathy Collins, Feb 14-15, 2015

ISM is very pleased to host Kathy Collins for this 2-day workshop to support elementary teachers with reading and writing in an inquiry classroom. We hope that you will choose to attend.

Workshop Overview:

For a great many teachers, an underlying tension exists when we strive to be well-planned, yet we also want to infuse our reading and writing workshops with an inquiry-mindset. On one hand, teachers may appreciate the instructional security of pre-imagined units of study to help guide their day-to-day teaching, yet on the other hand, they resist instruction that feels scripted, mandated, and meant for classrooms elsewhere. The challenge is to create conditions within our workshops so that children learn all they need to know to become engaged, strategic readers and writers, while also making room for them to pursue questions, projects, and interests that may arise.

This two-day workshop is designed for teachers who are developing reading and writing workshops in their classrooms but who also want to ensure that children’s experiences as readers and writers are filled with a spirit of inquiry and unforeseen possibilities. With the support of activities, demonstrations, and video, elementary grade teachers will consider these questions:

  1. How do we implement reading and writing workshops characterized by equal parts intention and joy?
  2. What are research-based best practices for effective whole-group, small group, and one-to-one instruction?
  3. How can we fit an inquiry mindset into our reading and writing curricula and balanced literacy components?

These sessions will be full of practical ideas and classroom strategies to help teachers find the sweet spot that exists between being well-planned and being highly responsive, between implementing reading and writing workshops and an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning.

The days will be divided into these portions:

  1. A wide-angled look at a comprehensive literacy approach that issues invitations to all learners
  2. A zoomed-in examination of best practices within workshop teaching
  3. A close-up look at ways to make room in the reading and writing workshop for inquiry-based teaching and learning
  4. A focus on supporting children’s engagement and intention as readers, writers, talkers, and thinkers





“Big Ideas & Practical Ideas for Math Instruction” – Steve Leinwand, Jan 17-18, 2015

ISM is very pleased to host Steve Leinwand for this 2-day workshop to support mathematics teachers. We hope you will choose to take part.

Workshop Overview:

This fast-paced, example-laden, interactive two-day workshop/seminar will blend the spirit of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics with the instructional practices required for successful implementation. We’ll begin with a series of web-available tasks to model and discuss the teaching and learning we envision and need to cultivate. On this foundation, we’ll briefly examine the benefits and challenges that arise from implementing the Common Core and then turn to a set of research-affirmed, easy-to-adapt instructional shifts that maximize accessibility to the mathematics we are teaching. For each instructional shift, we’ll model, discuss, and practice the shift. The workshop/seminar will end with an exhortation and practical ideas to build and use a range of collaborative structures that are essential for reducing professional isolation.

Come prepared to play, share, question and learn!




“Creating a Culture of Thinking” with Ron Ritchhart, Nov 8-9, 2014

Cultures of Thinking Workshop

The Cultures of Thinking Workshop is designed for teachers, administrators and school leaders across grade levels and subject areas who are interested in supporting and eveloping their students as thinkers and learners. During the seminar, we will focus on the practical and concrete ways educators can create a culture of thinking in their schools and classrooms, foster the kinds of thinking opportunities that lead to deep understanding of content, and how to look for evidence of student thinking and understanding. Participants will be introduced to a variety of thinking routines: what they are and how they can be used to create more thoughtful classrooms.

During the seminar, we will explore such questions as:

  1. What is a culture of thinking?
  2. How can the cultural forces that exist in each classroom support and further develop a culture of thinking?
  3. How can educators provide rich and meaningful opportunities for thinking and learning?
  4. What can we learn about student thinking at different ages and stages?

Day 1

  • Big picture overview and explaining the importance of having of a culture of thinking in schools
  • Establishing a common language
  • Cultural Forces that influence thinking in classrooms
  • Developing Thinking Routines for formative practice

Day 2

  • Visible Thinking Routines – Creating opportunities for constructing these experiences in classrooms
  • Constructing ‘Assessment Ladders’ around key thinking routines – sharing a protocol for developing assessment tools and feedback for supporting students in their journey toward becoming independent thinkers. This will include how to give students feedback to move them forward in their thinking. The Assessment Ladder begins with more support and scaffolding, then helping students see what this type of thinking looks like in practice, and then helping them to develop the habits of mind (or thinking dispositions) to become independent thinkers and to push them up the ladder.




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