Highlights from the October 2014 Network Team Institute

Earlier this month, over 800 educators from New York gathered in Albany for our October Network Team Institute (NTI). It was a productive week full of high-quality training, learning around the curriculum on EngageNY.org, new professional development materials, and best of all, collaboration among educators from across the state.

In English Language Arts, David Liben provided a stellar presentation on what is necessary to close reading gaps in a presentation explaining the research behind the standards - punctuated with actionable steps. Participants also engaged in designing supplemental lessons grounded in a priority standard, analyzing texts for whether or not they can be used to teach a specific standard, identifying an appropriate text, and designing text-dependent questions that address the key standard. Additionally, panels of practitioners from around New York shared their implementation problem solving with participants.

In mathematics, NYSED shared the near final drafts of our highly anticipated Studio Talk series on K-5 math content which is a series of videos that provide standards based modeling strategies.  These videos are both engaging and robust. Participants in K-9 breakouts, as well as principals, also worked in grade-level groups to analyze students’ errors to develop a teaching sequence for intervention. Teachers walked away being able to identify specific gaps in student knowledge, develop questions to quickly address superficial misunderstanding and then craft a teaching sequence for an extended intervention if more intervention is needed. Participants in grades 10-12 breakouts engaged in module studies, digging in to modules for Geometry, Algebra 2, and Pre-calculus.

New York State principals explored the connection between the teaching standards and the Common Core, discussed at length their instructional leadership role, and practiced their skills in supporting teachers through observation of practice and student work. Some also took part in an adaptive leadership seminar, further analyzing their improvement plans and planning their next steps in their quest to improve student learning.