Building Understanding through Writing and Talk

May 8-10, 2013 • Dallas Marriott City Center, 650 N Pearl Street, Dallas, TX 75201

IFL Partners Meeting — Wednesday, May 8th

12:00 - 1:00 PMPartners LunchPlaza A
1:00 - 4:00 PMPartners MeetingPlaza B
5:30 – 7:00 PMPartners Reception and DinnerFoyer / Plaza A

National Conference Day 1 — Wednesday, May 8th

7:15 - 8:15 PM
Milton Chen, PhD
Milton Chen, PhD
Senior Fellow and Executive Director Emeritus
George Lucas Educational Foundation
Plaza B/C
8:15 PMDessert Reception

National Conference Day 2 — Thursday, May 9th

7:30 – 9:00 AMBreakfastPlaza A
9:00 – 12:00 PMConcurrent Sessions:
Marshaling Evidence: Meeting the Demands of Rigorous Learning through Talk and Writing in K - 12 LiteracyBordeaux
Talking and Writing: A Means of Making Sense of MathematicsNormandy A
Transforming Science Learning through Writing and Talk: Envisioning and Addressing New Expectations in Science K - 12Champagne
12:00 - 1:30 PMLunch
Tennessee Department of Education and Measurement Incorporated
Plaza A
1:30 – 2:15 PMConcurrent Sessions:
Giving English Learners the Opportunities to Learn the Common Core Content StandardsNormandy A
Transforming Teaching and Learning through Educative Anchor Units and Online PDBordeaux
Building District Capacity and Sustainability with Online IFL ProductsChampagne
2:15 – 2:30 AMBreak
2:30 – 4:30 PMImproving the Quality of Interactions About Instruction: The IFL Approach to Teaching and Learning ConversationPlaza B
Dinner on Own

National Conference Day 3 — Friday, May 10th

7:00 – 8:30 AMBreakfastPlaza A
8:30 – 10:00 AMIFL Technical Coaching & Consultation (Requires pre-registration): Click here to see topics covered
English Language Arts Coaching & ConsultationNormandy A
Leadership Technical Coaching & ConsultationBordeaux
Mathematics Technical Coaching & ConsultationNormandy B
Science Technical Coaching & ConsultationChampagne
10:00 – 10:15 AMBreak (feel free to explore a different session after the break)
10:15 – 12:00 PMIFL Technical Coaching & Consultation (continued) Click here to see topics covered
English Language Arts Coaching & ConsultationNormandy A
Leadership Technical Coaching & ConsultationBordeaux
Mathematics Technical Coaching & ConsultationNormandy B
Science Technical Coaching & ConsultationChampagne
12:00 PMBoxed LunchPlaza A

Technical coaching and consultation sessions are an opportunity for you to have a discussion about one of the following topics with colleagues from the IFL. Feel free to bring some artifacts of practice from your district in order to help focus the discussion and advance your work.

You will be asked to select a Technical Coaching & Consultation session upon registration. The session topics are listed below:

English Language Arts Technical Coaching & Consultation

1. Tests worth taking: Which tests and why?

In this session, participants will discuss goals, benefits, and challenges of summative assessments. The goal of this round table discussion is for participants to not only consider the assessments themselves but to also consider how the results and data can shape instruction and learning.

2. Planning professional development: What are some systematic ways of supporting teacher learning?

What are some ways your district has approached preparing teachers to ramp up their knowledge and skills in support of more rigorous standards? In this round table discussion, participants will exchange ideas with other participants, and hear about ways in which the IFL can help.

3. Teaching resources to support reading and writing about complex texts: Finding and evaluating them

Identifying texts worthy of close and repeated reading is a critical component of helping students to achieve at levels required by new rigorous standards. Please join us for a discussion of ways you are finding and selecting texts worthy of reading, discussing, and writing about. Come to share and to learn more about where to find resources to enhance and build on resources you already have available for students, and ways others are analyzing and making text selections.

Presented by IFL English Language Arts Team

Leadership Technical Coaching & Consultation

1. Reviewing your district design for implementing the CCSS

How are you leveraging the critical elements that influence the improvement of instructional practice and student learning in your CCSS implementation design? How does existing capacity factor into your design? How does implementation of the IFL work support/align with an effective CCSS implementation strategy? What are your biggest challenges, major concerns, unresolved issues related to your design? Bring your CCSS plans, issues, challenges, wonderings, current thinking to the table and a member of our leadership team will problem-solve with you, and provide feedback and questions to assist your thinking.

2. Strengthening principal leadership development for 2013-2014

Research indicates that knowledgeable, effective, and empowered school leaders are critical for the improvement of instructional practice and student learning. Districts that position their principals to be at the center of their improvement work—by designing curriculum, assessments, professional development, and administrative policies as "tools" for principals to use in their work to improve teaching and learning – are more successful than districts that supplant principal leadership and attempt to drive instructional improvement primarily from central office. There are major implications for districts as they consider the design of these tools and the development of principals to use these tools effectively. Meet with a member of our leadership team to review, problem-solve, and receive feedback about your plans for leadership development for 2013-2014.

3. Implementing Accountable Talk® practices district wide as a foundational strand for IFL work

Many districts develop instructional improvement strategies that phase in specific content areas and grade levels based on existing district and school capacity for supporting and achieving the changes required. IFL provides a five-week, online, Accountable Talk® workshop that may be offered to teachers and leaders who are not yet engaged in the IFL work and provides excellent foundational learning that supports improvement of instruction in every content area at every grade level. The workshop can be scheduled several times during the year for groups of 12-20 teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators, and meets the requirements for awarding professional development credit. Our experience in leading this workshop and feedback from participants indicates that this work can be successful with groups that comprise staff from within or across grade levels, subject areas, and schools. Meet with our workshop instructors to discuss how this offering can be used to introduce IFL work to your district, to support the development of professional communities of learners focused on improving instruction, to establish a powerful common language among staff for talking about instruction, and to enhance your IFL professional development plans for 2013-2014.

4. Leave no English learners behind: What leaders must do now

Today's educational demands require that shifts be made in what and how teachers teach. These shifts also apply to English learners. What must district leadership do to make sure ELs make progress and achieve goals? Meet with a member of our leadership team to review, problem-solve, and receive feedback about your strategy to address ELs' access to today's educational demands.

Presented by IFL Leadership Team

Mathematics Technical Coaching & Consultation

1. What formative assessment methods can we provide teachers so that they—as well as students—can keep track of what they know and what they do not know as related to the focus CCSS of study?

Join us for technical assistance if you are interested considering formative assessment methods that can assist teachers to monitor student performance and understanding of the CCSS. If this session is of interest, please come to the conference with formative assessment methods and items that your district is currently using.

2. Knowledge of the Essential Understandings of Mathematics is critical in order to facilitate an understanding of the CCSS. What is your district doing to deepen teachers' content knowledge?

The CCSS consist of a narrower set of standards about which teachers are responsible for developing student understanding in each grade level. Some of the standards specify the mathematics in very specific ways and others do not. NCTM has created texts focused on the Essential Understandings (EUs) as tools for "unpacking" mathematical content. We will have these available, as well as samples of additional Essential Understandings that the IFL has written. In this technical assistance session, we will think together about ways in which districts can 1) deepen teachers' content knowledge via the EUs and 2) benefit from inserting EUs into the district's curriculum documents.

Bring a list of ways you are deepening teachers' content knowledge. The IFL will share one of the public broadcast sessions (PBS) videos we developed with the TN Department of Education. We will also share ways in which districts might consider articulating EUs in central office documents as a means of setting clear expectations for teachers and principals.

3. How do you solidify your understanding of something new that you are learning?

Come to this session having given this overarching question some serious thought. (Do several journal entries prior to the technical assistance session.) Pose the following question to several teachers (Keep your notes in your journal): When students are beginning the study of a new concept, what are the critical experiences they need as they progress and deepen their understanding of the concept? Select a concept and study how the instructional resources that you provide to teachers convey a theory of how understanding develops.

Bring your own personal journal entries related to the ways in which you develop understanding of a concept, your interview notes from talking with teachers, and a copy of the district resources (instructional guides or a textbook unit) to this technical assistance session. The IFL has been giving this issue some thought and we will also share some specific ways in which developing student understanding can be furthered.

Presented by IFL Mathematics Team

Science Technical Coaching & Consultation

1. Complex text in science – Considering the CCSS & NGSS

How do we select, introduce, and support the use of complex texts in science? This is a big challenge in science classes for variety of reasons. This technical session will focus on in-depth discussions and work around complex texts. We will examine rubrics to identify aspects of text complexity in science, applying them to some sample texts. We will also consider strategies to help scaffold students’ learning so they can access more complex texts. Bring some of your sample materials for us to discuss and analyze together. Also bring your curricula sequence/map so we can think about where to introduce texts worth spending time to read and how to increase the complexity across courses.

2. Writing in science for all students

Writing is a critical area in science. More than 50% of the work of scientists and engineers is writing. Yet very little productive writing happens in most science classes. This technical session will allow us to work closely with you to consider questions such as:

  • When and where writing should happen in science classes?
  • What are the different types of writing in science that should be explicitly taught?
  • How do we help teachers understand the need, types, and approaches to teaching and incorporating writing in their classes?
  • How do we assess and give feedback to student writing?

Bring some of your sample student materials or student writing (if available) for us to discuss and analyze together. Also bring your curricula sequence/map so we can think about where to introduce and use writing tasks across courses.

3. Analyzing and unpacking the Next Generation Science Standards and CCSS

As we prepare for the release of the final version of the Next Generation Science Standards and continue to address the CCSS, we should take some time to unpack and consider the implications of the two sets of standards. We will work together to unpack these two, focusing on the practices being called for and considering the implications at both the district and classroom levels.

Presented by IFL Science Team