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Boston Educators Collaborative

A partnership between the Boston Compact and Teach Plus

You are invited to join a dynamic professional learning opportunity -- the Boston Educators Collaborative. The Collaborative is a set of free teacher-led professional learning courses that connect you with fellow teachers from district, charter, and Catholic schools throughout the City of Boston. Together, you will share best practices and refine your instructional practice over five weeks.

What is the Boston Educators Collaborative?

  • These courses:
    • Are content/grade band-specific in disseminating best practices
    • Are led by current classroom teachers to promote Teacher Leadership 
    • Foster collaboration between teachers from across school sectors in Boston
  • Five 3-hour sessions (15 hours) 
  • Dinner is provided
  • Free
  • Qualify for PDP points (or UMass graduate credit with $110 fee)

Why participate? 

  • Immediate Impact: Sessions include hands-on strategies that you can immediately apply in your classroom. Time is embedded within each session to increase your knowledge around best practice strategies and build them into your lesson plans and student tasks.
  • Collaboration: Boston Educators Collaborative is teacher-created and teacher-facilitated.  This is an opportunity to collaborate with highly-motivated teachers and elevate the day-to day practice in your classroom.  
  • Delivered by Experts: Teacher Leaders will share what has revolutionized their classroom practice as they have made sense of the standards and best practices. It is entirely teacher driven and led by someone who understands your experience. 

The Boston Educators Collaborative was founded on the premise that empowering exceptional teachers -- from district, charter and Catholic schools in Boston -- and leveraging their content expertise, is integral to ensuring excellent instruction for all students.

Join a Boston Educators Collaborative Now: Full Course Descriptions Below

Course Descriptions


Courses Offered at Madison Park


Dates: Mondays from 5:00pm - 8:00pm, March 12, March 19, March 26, April 2 and April 9. Dinner provided. 


Supporting Students with Trauma: Establishing Safe, Healthy, Sustaining Classrooms Using Trauma-Informed Teaching (Grades K1-5)
Teacher Leader: Nina Leuzzi

 

As educators, we know that between half and two-thirds of school-aged children have experienced trauma, and we must prepare our classrooms to create environments that support and nurture every student’s physical, emotional and psychological well-being (BPS Essential 1). In this course, educators will gain knowledge about the ongoing effects of trauma in the body, how to cultivate trusting and authentic relationships, develop a classroom environment that elicits feelings of safety and community, and equip themselves with tools and strategies used to support students experiencing trauma. Using trauma-informed teaching, all teachers can create safe, healthy, and sustaining environments, remove barriers to learning, and ensure long-term student success. 


Reading to Learn: Building Comprehension Strategies for Lower Elementary (Grades K-4)
Teacher Leader: Kristin Constant

In this course, teachers from grades K-4th will learn a variety of research -based instructional strategies to help move students from teacher scaffolded thinking while reading, to independent text level analysis. Together we will explore basic principles of comprehension instruction, practice engaging comprehension strategies to use throughout all stages of reading (before, during, and after), and collaborate on how to effectively plan for and incorporate these strategies into your daily teaching. At the end of our five sessions, we will have concrete, applicable ways to help your students show gains in their reading comprehension. (BPS Essential 3)


Let's Talk about Race
Teacher Leader: Ulana Ainsworth 

In order to build equitable schools, we need to start by examining ourselves and talking about race and our identity (BPS Essential 1). We need to become more aware of how our our day-to-day interactions can reinforce systems of privilege. As a discussion based self-study we will think, reflect and talk about how our experiences shaped and influenced us and how to walk with more awareness of how to dismantle systems of privilege.  Educators will then plan and create an engaging environment to deliver meaningful discussions that demonstrate that in a brave space, it is the students who shape the curriculum, the conversation, and ultimately, the world. (BPS Essential 3) 


Culturally Relevant Teaching in ELA: Beyond the Buzzword 
Teacher Leader: Edverette Brewster

How can we create a culturally relevant environment for our students? Gloria Ladson-Billings states, “Culturally relevant teaching requires that students maintain some cultural integrity as well as academic excellence.” How then can we create such an environment for our students? In the course we will:

  • Explore how to create opportunities for students to experience success,
  • Discover ways to develop students’ cultural competence through coursework
  • Define and develop students’ critical consciousness.

By the end of the course, participants will have a framework and action plan to build relationships with students, while thinking critically about their classroom culture and environment. Participants will also develop a series of lessons that explore and affirm students’ identities through literature. (BPS Essential 1)


Social Emotional Learning in Early Childhood
Teacher Leaders: Stephanie Byrd and Colleen Mason

In this course, you will gain an understanding of how to implement Social Emotional Learning authentically without compromising your center-based, creative learning environment. Participants will learn how to plan for and embed the five core competencies of Social Emotional Learning (self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making) into a variety of meaningful learning experiences.  (BPS Essential 1)


Courses Offered at Phineas Bates
 

Dates: Wednesdays from 5:00pm - 8:00pm, March 14, March 21, March 28, April 4 and April 11. Dinner provided. 


Designing Lessons for the Way Students Learn: Lesson Planning with the 5Es (Grades K-12)
Teacher Leader: Aaron Osowiecki

Our students come into the classroom with many incorrect preconceived notions about their world.  How can we connect to these ideas and help students build an accurate understanding of the world around them?  We will explore how the Biological Science Curriculum Study’s (BSCS) 5E Lesson Model helps students connect to prior learning, facilitates conceptual change, and provides many opportunities for formative assessment. In this course participants will investigate each of the 5E’s (engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate), see how they facilitate student learning, and design 5E lessons for immediate use in the classroom.  Applicable to all classrooms regardless of grade or content area. (BPS Essentials 2 and 3) 


Designing Data Cycles That Actually Work (Grades 3-8)
Teacher Leader: Mike Macchi

The Common Core Standards identify major ELA and math learning clusters at each grade level. Our goal as educators is that all of our students meet or exceed expectations of understanding of these learning clusters (BPS Essentials 3 and 4). How can teachers create learning cycles around these clusters to ensure that all students have equal opportunity to meet or exceed learning expectations? In this course, we will:

  • Identify major learning clusters in our respective grade and content area
  • Design formative assessments featuring cognitively demanding tasks that all students can access to use throughout the learning cycle to help measure progress towards proficiency
  • Analyze data collection tools to determine the best one for our cycle of learning
  • Develop a 6 - 8 week learning cycle around one major learning cluster 

Effective Co-Teaching to Better Reach All Learners (Grades K-5)
Teacher Leader: Molly Buckley

Districts are increasingly moving toward inclusion models resulting in general educators pairing with special educators. Rather than use a divide and conquer model, which is a common co-teaching practice, this course will guide teachers through developing expertise in a variety of co-teaching models (BPS Essential 2). In this course we will: 

  • Learn what co-teaching is and what different models look like
  • Explore co-teaching relationships and ways to plan and teach together
  • Learn how to use co-teaching to scaffold and differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all students
  • Plan for collaborative and cohesive learning environment 

Painting, and Physics, and Pianos, Oh My! How the Arts Naturally Integrate All Content Areas
Teacher Leader: Ana Teresa Black Veino

What if I told you that in nearly every elementary school building there’s an untapped secret weapon that has proven to: improve the acquisition of 21st Century Skills; grow foundational reading, writing, math, science, and history skills; and develop socio-emotional learning skills? Every time kids come to their Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual Art course they are unknowingly applying all of these things together (BPS Essential 2). With pointed planning and techniques, arts learning and traditional content learning can partner well both in the arts and self-contained classrooms. By the end of this course participants will:

  • Learn about the how and why of Interdisciplinary Learning techniques models used around the country (i.e. Expeditionary Learning, STEAM, OKA+ Essential Framework, & Arts Integrated Framework).
  • Find points of connection between one arts discipline and two non-arts disciplines taught at each school. 
  • Create, implement, and reflect on 3 concrete lessons that have been designed throughout the term of the course.
  • Promote the use of arts-specific pedagogical techniques in other classrooms around the school.
  • Advocate for the use of an arts integrated framework in their school. 

Courses Offered at the Academy of the Pacific Rim 
 

Dates: Thursdays from 5:00pm - 8:00pm, March 15, March 22, March 29, April 5 and April 12. Dinner provided. 


Putting the “A” in STEAM: Engaging All Students in ELA using the STEM Model (Grades 5-12)
Teacher Leader: Caitlin O’Leary

STEM educates students for success in the 21st century. How can we intentionally integrate ELA Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks into STEM lesson plans while still cultivating rich reading, writing, and language skills? In this collaborative we will explore ways to use the STEM model with the ELA Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks standards to create a positive and rigorous learning environment for all learners. Together, we will integrate ELA lessons into STEM lessons, and learn how to best utilize the Massachusetts ELA standards in Math, Science, or Engineering classes. (BPS Essentials 2 and 3)


Using Student Voice to Develop College Literacy Skills (Grades 6-12)
Teacher Leader: Talmadge Nardi

One of the best teaching strategies is to step back and make room for our students to speak. In this course, participants will learn how to better prepare students to do the “heavy-lifting” when it comes to reading, writing, and speaking in an academic context. Giving students greater voice in the classroom will give them important opportunities do to the critical thinking necessary to be successful in the college classroom. In this course, participants will learn and practice a variety of strategies including seminar, debate, mock trial, and peer-response groups. They will learn ways to support and facilitate student learning so that students are prepared to meet literacy demands. (BPS Essentials 1 and 2)


Growth Mindset and Access, Agency and Student Choice (Grades 1-5)
Teacher Leader: Sara Silverstein

As educators, we want our students to have agency, to take an active role and have ownership in their learning. Are you interested in creating a classroom culture focused on celebrating growth and effort? This course will explore how creating a classroom based on growth mindset and UDL principles can support students in developing agency. Together, we will revise and create lesson plans to incorporate instructional strategies that emphasize student choice, self reflection, scaffolding and growth mindset language. This course directly connects to BPS Essential 2: Access and Agency. 


Creating Culturally Responsive Learning Experiences (Grades K0-5)
Teacher Leader: Caridad Lopez

The Common Core State Standards aim to provide each child with the same educational opportunity. How can we teach the common core standards while considering the students’ culture and individual needs and our own biases? In this course we will explore how one’s culture programs the brain to affect learning relationships, recognize bias exists within us, in education and our curriculums and reduce bias by identifying bias in classrooms and supplementing curriculum to create a safe and healthy sustaining learning environment for all learners of all backgrounds. (BPS Essentials 1 and 3)


Best Practices for Teaching and Addressing Unfinished Math Learning (Grades 1-5)
Teacher Leader: Caroline Jones

How can we address math learning that is unfinished?  How can we finish math learning for students who need it in order to access the grade level curriculum? In this course, participants will gain a working knowledge of how to scaffold grade level content without sacrificing instructional pacing and rigor. Participants will learn to identify and address unfinished math learning, while encouraging productive struggle and a growth mindset in the math classroom. Together, we will develop an understanding of what unfinished math learning looks and sounds like, and how to appropriately and authentically address it.  As we develop strategies and unpack best practices, we will also have opportunities to experiment with grade level performance tasks to strengthen our students’ critical thinking skills. (BPS Essentials 1 and 3)


10 Week Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI) Course at the Mary Lyon
 

Dates: Thursdays from 5:00pm - 8:00pm, March 15, March 22, March 29, April 5 and April 12. No class during April break. April 26, May 3, May 10, May 17, May 24. Dinner provided. 

Making Meaning for Operations: In the Domain of Whole Numbers and Fractions (Grades K-8)
Teacher Leader: Lisa Nguyen

Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI) is a professional development program designed to help teachers of mathematics think through ideas of K–8 mathematics and examine how children develop those ideas. In this course, Making Meaning for Operations, participants will explore the types of situations modeled by addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and the ways that children come to understand these operations. It includes an in depth focus on models, representations, and strategies that are explicitly identified in the MA Frameworks for Mathematics through the Number and Operations in Base Ten (K-5) and the Number and Operations with Fractions (3-5) domains that will be an important part of the mathematics content of Grades 3 - 6.

Throughout this course, teachers will engage in a process of understanding students’ mathematical thinking and the thinking of one’s own students in particular. In this course, we will:

  1. Discuss print and video case studies of student thinking
  2. Discuss and explore mathematical questioning
  3. Investigate the mathematical thinking of their own students
  4. Analyze lessons from innovative curricula
  5.  Read and discuss essays from related research
  6.  Recognize yourself and the children you teach as mathematical thinkers
  7. Deepen your understanding of the core ideas of the 2017 MCF for Mathematics and explore how children develop those ideas through strategies
  8. Reflect on your own experiences to analyze the process of learning and rethink your teaching practice
  9. Reflect on your learning in relation to the 2017 MCF for Mathematics, the BPS Essentials, MCAS expectations and your adopted math curriculum program

Courses Offered at Boston Collegiate
 

Dates: Tuesdays from 5:00pm - 8:00pm, May 8, May 15, May 22, May 29, June 5. Dinner Provided. 


Breaking it Down: Making Writing Accessible for All Students (Grades 3-8)
Teacher Leader: Erica Shipow

Do you feel like teaching writing often falls by the wayside in your classroom? Do you want to support your students as writers, but feel overwhelmed by the challenges of teaching writing to students with different needs and abilities? In this course, we will focus on breaking down the act of writing into concrete, manageable tasks that are both accessible and highly engaging for students. You will walk away from this course with strategies for students of all levels and language backgrounds to use when planning and revising their writing across the three major writing strands of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks (narrative, persuasive, and informational writing). Together, we will work to help all students find their voice as writers. (BPS Essential 2)


Best Practices for Teaching and Addressing Unfinished Math Learning (Grades 1-5)
Teacher Leader: Caroline Jones

How can we address math learning that is unfinished?  How can we finish math learning for students who need it in order to access the grade level curriculum? In this course, participants will gain a working knowledge of how to scaffold grade level content without sacrificing instructional pacing and rigor. Participants will learn to identify and address unfinished math learning, while encouraging productive struggle and a growth mindset in the math classroom. Together, we will develop an understanding of what unfinished math learning looks and sounds like, and how to appropriately and authentically address it.  As we develop strategies and unpack best practices, we will also have opportunities to experiment with grade level performance tasks to strengthen our students’ critical thinking skills. (BPS Essentials 1 and 3)


Creating a Culturally Responsive ELA Classroom (Grades 4-8)
Teacher Leader: Julie O’Neil

At this moment in our world, it is more important than ever for students across the city of Boston to have access to literature that reflects their experiences and opens their eyes to the experiences of others. During this course, we’ll dig into research on incorporating culturally responsive practices into our teaching (BPS Essentials 1 and 3). We will learn about the benefits of culturally responsive education and research best practices of culturally responsive educators. Together we will view and analyze model lessons using supplemental sources (picture books, poetry, art, technology, etc.) to create a more inclusive classroom. By the end of the five weeks, you will have planned or modified a unit of study for ELA that is culturally responsive.


Reading to Learn: Building Comprehension Strategies for Lower Elementary (Grades K-4)
Teacher Leader: Kristin Constant (5:30pm start time)

In this course, teachers from grades K-4th will learn a variety of research -based instructional strategies to help move students from teacher scaffolded thinking while reading, to independent text level analysis. Together we will explore basic principles of comprehension instruction, practice engaging comprehension strategies to use throughout all stages of reading (before, during, and after), and collaborate on how to effectively plan for and incorporate these strategies into your daily teaching. At the end of our five sessions, we will have concrete, applicable ways to help your students show gains in their reading comprehension. (BPS Essential 3)


Social Emotional Learning in Early Childhood
Teacher Leaders: Stephanie Byrd and Colleen Mason

In this course, you will gain an understanding of how to implement Social Emotional Learning authentically without compromising your center-based, creative learning environment. Participants will learn how to plan for and embed the five core competencies of Social Emotional Learning (self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making) into a variety of meaningful learning experiences.  (BPS Essential 1)


Courses Offered at the Mary Lyon
 

Dates: Thursdays from 5:00pm - 8:00pm, May 10, May 17, May 24, May 31, June 7. Dinner Provided. 


Growth Mindset and Access, Agency and Student Choice (Grades 1-5)
Teacher Leader: Sara Silverstein

As educators, we want our students to have agency, to take an active role and have ownership in their learning. Are you interested in creating a classroom culture focused on celebrating growth and effort? This course will explore how creating a classroom based on growth mindset and UDL principles can support students in developing agency. Together, we will revise and create lesson plans to incorporate instructional strategies that emphasize student choice, self reflection, scaffolding and growth mindset language. This course directly connects to BPS Essential 2: Access and Agency. 


Talking and Writing Like a Mathematician (Grades 6-12)
Teacher Leader: Kendrice Newman 

What does it mean to “do mathematics”? Contrary to what society may believe, teachers and mathematicians know that it is more than just computation and numbers; it is a deep understanding of mathematical concepts and engagement in CCSS and NCTM standards of mathematical practice. To do this, students must use language to communicate their ideas and thought processes. In this course you will gain specific tools (such as mathematical writing graphic organizers and speaking rubrics) and instructional strategies (such as question writing and facilitation of student led discussions) to support all learners in your classroom to talk and write about mathematics at a deeper level. (BPS Essential 3)


Designing Lessons for the Way Students Learn: Lesson Planning with the 5Es (Grades K-12)
Teacher Leader: Aaron Osowiecki

Our students come into the classroom with many incorrect preconceived notions about their world.  How can we connect to these ideas and help students build an accurate understanding of the world around them?  We will explore how the Biological Science Curriculum Study’s (BSCS) 5E Lesson Model helps students connect to prior learning, facilitates conceptual change, and provides many opportunities for formative assessment. In this course participants will investigate each of the 5E’s (engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate), see how they facilitate student learning, and design 5E lessons for immediate use in the classroom.  Applicable to all classrooms regardless of grade or content area. (BPS Essentials 2 and 3).

 

Questions? Email Sasha Zuflacht at szuflacht@teachplus.org