ELA, Math & STEM Offerings

English Language Arts, Math & STEM Course Offerings

INcompassing Education offers high-quality professional development opportunities to meet both schools’ and teachers’ needs. Our specialists support ELA, math and science teachers with content specific PD opportunities, assessment specific trainings (SAT and ILEARN), and curriculum mapping. Additionally, our specialists support building administrators as they work to grow and support the Math and Science departments.

Full-day professional development sessions are designed to dive deep into a topic. Your staff will spend time learning, collaborating, and engaging in professional learning opportunities designed to meet their needs. 

Getting substitute teachers to cover classrooms can be extremely difficult. By scheduling a “No Sub” professional development day, we will work with you to design a training day that best fits your teachers’ needs. These shorter PD sessions allow us to provide training during each team’s prep period and allow you to ensure that each team is supported in the same way without the hassle of looking for subs.

Coaching days are designed for maximum growth and impact. These days consist of a 1-hour professional development session and 5 hours of on-the-job coaching.  Your PD facilitator will observe teachers while they are teaching and then meet one-on-one with them during their prep time to provide positive feedback and suggest opportunities for growth. Coaching days are most effective when done once a month. Coaches can also provide modeling and a wealth of resources. Most schools choose coaching days for an entire department.

Do you have a specific need that doesn’t quite match one of our professional development delivery models? Contact us! We would love to discuss what your school’s needs are and find a way to help!

Professional Development Courses and Descriptions

Foundational Literacy

 

Foundational Literacy: Effective Early Reading Instruction K-3

Time: This is a multi-part series that can be divided into reasonable chunks of learning based on the needs of the district. Recommended a minimum of 3 days.

Audience: general education teachers, instructional coaches, leadership, interventionists, special education teachers

  • Part 1 The Basics: An Introduction to Early Reading: Starting readers off using practices grounded in the Science of Reading creates equitable access to learning for all students. This multi-part series will begin with an overview on how our brains actually rewire themselves to learn to read, review the components of efficient reading, and show how when everything comes together students read automatically, with fluency and understanding.  
  • Part 2 Word Recognition: How Readers Learn Words: After the overview, participants will explore word recognition. Word recognition will target a deeper understanding of phonological awareness, decoding, and sight recognition. During this session, learning opportunities will target phonics, orthographic mapping, and fluency. Time will be dedicated to best practices used to successfully teach high-frequency words and the role of decodable texts. Participants will be given opportunities to reflect on their current practices and determine where shifts need to be made.
  • Part 3 Language Comprehension: How Readers Understand: Last, participants will dive into language comprehension including the role of background knowledge, vocabulary, language structures, verbal reasoning, and literacy knowledge. All important parts in understanding what we read. During this portion, educators will explore ways to create environments that foster and support language acquisition; address ways to promote and scaffold students to strengthen their language skills; and reflect on current practices to determine where shifts might need to be made.

 

Foundational Literacy: Teaching High-Frequency Words Effectively

Time: half day

Audience: general education teachers, special education teachers, instructional coaches, interventionists

Visit any classroom that is supporting foundational reading and part of the instructional time is spent on students learning high-frequency words. Often teachers and parents report on students being ‘stuck’ or just not knowing enough high utility words to be successful reading. This session will touch on what happens in our brains when we learn sight words and what are the best practices for helping students read automatically and with ease. During this session teachers will have an opportunity to practice techniques and reflect of current resources and materials.

 


Middle Grades

 

Using Picture Books with Older Students in grades 4-8 (and maybe beyond)

Time: 90 minutes

Audience: general education teachers, special education teachers, instructional coaches

Did you know that picture books can have a higher readability score than chapter books? Full of advanced vocabulary, illustrations that provoke conversation, and rich language, picture books are a great way to strengthen instruction in grades 4-8. During this session, participants will have time to explore picture books appropriate for older readers, think about how they might be used in classrooms, explore connections to content area instruction, and understand why picture books can be strategically important.

 

Independent Reading and Conferencing Grades 3-8

Time: Full Day; can be divided into shorter session based on a professional learning plan

Audience: general education teachers, instructional coaches, leadership, interventionists, special education teachers

Voluminous reading has countless benefits including the acquisition of vocabulary, background knowledge, and genre exploration. Independent reading rests on two crucial components, access to a wide range of diverse texts, often in a classroom library, and student-teacher collaboration in the form of reading conferences. During this professional learning opportunity participants will explore practical ways to incorporate daily self-selected reading time into the school day that impacts student success.

Participants will target the why, specifically exploring the importance of voluminous reading. The learning will continue by diving into access to text, including the role and effective setup practices for classroom libraries. The session will progress to explore ways to establish routines and procedures that support independent reading habits. Wrapping up with the implementation of conferencing with individual readers.

 

Accelerating Reading in Grades 3 and above- Full Day

Audience: general education teachers, instructional coaches, leadership, interventionists, special education teachers

Students who have yet to meet grade level expectations need intense prescriptive interventions to accelerate their growth. This learning opportunity will specifically address students in grades 3 and above who need targeted reading interventions. During this session we will identify some of the critical components necessary to accelerate readers to grow and start to close the gap.   Participants will answer two critical questions: What are the best ways to accelerate students who are striving to master decoding in the upper grades? How do I best support readers who are calling words, but lack the ability to discuss and demonstrate understanding? Participants will have time to reflect on current practices and programs, collaborate with colleagues, and determine where adjustments might be needed.

 


Middle and High School

 

Trails of Thinking: Helping Students Read Complex Text

Time: 90 minutes

Audience: middle and high school E/LA teachers, special education teachers, instructional coaches

Students who participate in close reading activities learn how to critically analyze what they are reading. During this session we will go step by step through the process of closely reading a text using techniques such as text annotation, vocabulary instruction, and discussion. These techniques will help students have a deeper understanding of what they read and foster habits that can be used in the future.

 

Filling in the Gaps: Fostering Writing Skills in Older Writers

Time: 90 minutes

Audience: middle and high school E/LA teachers, special education teachers, instructional coaches

Writing both formally and informally is a critical skill that is part of both college and career readiness. What are some ways we can strengthen writing skills during our day to day instruction with students? How can we strengthen writing skills in classes beyond English Language Arts? This session will explore some key recommendations for writers to increase proficiency. 

 

Filling in the Gaps: Fostering Reading Skills in Older Readers

Time: 90 minutes

Audience: middle and high school E/LA teachers, special education teachers, instructional coaches

If you work with any group of young adults, chances are, some of them do not have the reading skills necessary to meet the requirements of college or their career choice. What are some key things we can do to foster reading skills for older students so they are ready for their choices beyond high school. This session will explore some key recommendations for striving readers to close their reading gap.

 


All Grades

 

The Critical Role Knowledge Building Plays in Comprehension-Full Day

Audience: general education teachers, instructional coaches, leadership, interventionists, special education teachers

The role knowledge plays in understanding what we read is often ignored, especially in elementary schools. Reading is essential, but so is science, social studies, and general knowledge about the world around us. Readers need the critical knowledge that develops from content area instruction including content specific vocabulary and background knowledge. This session explores the role that knowledge plays in understanding what we read, why it is important, and how sometimes, comprehension issues can’t be fixed with a reading strategy. 

 

 


Assessment

 

IREAD3: Setting Students up for Success K-3

Time: Full Day

Audience: K-3 general education teachers; K-3 special education teachers; instructional coaches

Setting students up for success on IREAD3 begins in kindergarten, and continues through third grade. Teachers in K-3 classrooms benefit by understanding the expectations on the assessment. During this learning opportunity teachers will correlate the IREAD Assessment Blueprint, item specifications, and released items, to deepen their understanding of the skills students need to pass IREAD3. Resources, activities, and ideas for increasing student performance will also be discussed. 

 

ILEARN: Setting Students up for E/LA Success 3-5

Time: Full Day

Audience: 3-5 general education teachers, 3-5 special education teachers, instructional coaches

By correlating the ILEARN Assessment Blueprint with the Indiana E/LA standards, teachers can begin to identify power standards to focus on with students. Teachers will start to formulate a plan to use these resources to direct their classroom instruction and maximize students’ achievement on the E/LA portion of the ILEARN assessment. The types of questions used on the ILEARN assessment will be discussed and analyzed. Best practices to increase student performance for sample questions will be demonstrated. Resources, activities, and ideas for increasing student performance will be discussed.

 

ILEARN: Setting Students up for E/LA Success 6-8

Time: Full Day

Audience: 6-8 general education teachers, 6-8 special education teachers, instructional coaches

By correlating the ILEARN Assessment Blueprint with the Indiana E/LA standards, teachers can begin to identify power standards to focus on with students. Teachers will start to formulate a plan to use these resources to direct their classroom instruction and maximize students’ achievement on the E/LA portion of the ILEARN assessment. The types of questions used on the ILEARN assessment will be discussed and analyzed. Best practices to increase student performance for sample questions will be demonstrated. Resources, activities, and ideas for increasing student performance will be discussed.

Cross-Curricular Connections in the Elementary Classroom

Audience: Elementary Classroom Teachers

When students make authentic connections to their learning, their engagement increases. Improved student engagement is the best classroom management strategy and what will set your learners up for success in all content areas. Develop driving questions to lead instruction and student learning while establishing the foundation for cross-curricular connections that help students solve complex real world problems.

 

 

Computer Science in the Elementary Classroom

Audience: Elementary Classroom Teachers

The K-6 Indiana Academic Standards for Computer Science are banded and meant to be taught across a variety of content areas. Unwrap each standard to discover how you are already teaching some of these foundational skills and where else they can easily be integrated into your curriculum. You do not need to be a computer scientist to help your students develop their computational thinking skills.

 

 

Integrating STEAM into the Elementary Classroom

Audience: Elementary Classroom Teachers

Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics are here to stay in the world of education and the future workforce of our students. Explore the interconnectedness of each component and understand the importance for all learners to be given opportunities in STEAM. The elementary classroom is where the foundation for STEAM learning is built and that is why we need to focus on STEAM teaching practices and not just the separate content areas. All elementary teachers should be STEAM teachers and you are going to learn why while having a lot of fun!

 

Math Discourse in the Elementary Classroom

Audience: Elementary Classroom Teachers

Building the foundation of deep mathematical understanding will help students be successful as they continue to grow and learn in mathematics. Encourage students to construct their own mathematical understanding through meaningful discourse. Learn strategies to meet a variety of learner needs, develop higher order thinking skills, and use feedback to guide instruction.

2022-23 Math and STEM Professional Development Offerings

 

Setting math students up for success in grades 5-8; What did we learn from spring ILEARN?

Audience: Administrators, Teachers, Testing Coordinators

With all the efforts teachers have made to prepare students for the ILEARN Assessment, scores, especially math scores, declined.  By correlating the ILEARN Assessment Blueprint with the Indiana Mathematics Standards and identifying the Power Standards to focus on in your classroom, we will begin to address this issue. Teachers will start to formulate a plan to use these resources to direct their classroom instruction to maximize students’ achievement on the math portion of the ILEARN Assessment. The types of questions used on the ILEARN Assessment will be discussed and shown. Best mathematical practices to increase student performance for those questions will be demonstrated.  Resources, activities, and ideas for increasing student performance will be discussed.

 

 

The SAT Assessment – Test Details, Tips, and Tricks to Help Students Achieve Their Personal Best. 

Audience: Administrators, Teachers, Instructional Aides

The SAT Assessment has become one of the Indiana Accountability measures for high schools. How students perform will reflect on both the students and on the schools they are attending. It is also one of 9 ways students in the graduating class of 2023 and beyond can fulfill the Post-Secondary Ready Competencies required in the new graduation requirement. To better prepare students, parents, teachers, and administrators all the specific details of the SAT Assessment will be presented. Participants will be given copy- ready information that can be disseminated to students, parents, and teachers. Many examples for the Reading, Writing and Language, and Math (both the Calculator and No Calculator) Test will be shown along with tips and specific ways students can achieve their own personal best scores. There will be many classroom-ready resources teachers can use in a variety of classes (not just English and math) to help the students be better prepared for the SAT and PSAT Assessments.

 

 

Maximizing the Math Textbook that was just Adopted!

Audience: Administrators, Teachers, Instructional Aides

Identify where the Priority Standards are found in your new math textbook that was adopted. Correlate your new adopted math textbook with the I-LEARN Assessment. Find additional materials and resources as necessary that may be needed to help your students succeed. Plan for maximizing the use of your newly adopted math textbook with your learning management system for e-Learning and virtual learning days. Create unit assessments that best assess mastery of the Priority and Important Standards addressed in each unit. Plan Mathematically Rich Tasks and Higher Order Thinking Questions that will help round out the newly adopted math textbook to help make an even more powerful tool for instruction with the students. 

 

 

Higher Order Thinking, DOK 2 and 3 Questioning for I-LEARN and SAT Assessment Success!

Audience: Administrators, Teachers, Instructional Aides

Effective teaching uses a variety of question types to assess and gather evidence of student thinking, including questions that gather information, probe understanding, make the mathematics visible, and ask students to reflect on and justify their reasoning. Teachers are wonderful at “gathering information” questions. Getting teachers to ask Higher Order Thinking Questions well beyond simply gathering information is the goal. Teachers asking DOK 2 and DOK 3 questions will improve the overall performance of students in the class and on the SAT and I-Learn assessments. Examples, ideas and resources for asking purposeful questions will be presented, demonstrated, and discussed.

 

 

Mathematical Mindsets – Changing How We Think About Math 

Audience: Administrators, Teachers, Instructional Aides

Too many students think they are “bad” at Math. Changing the teacher’s and student’s Mathematical Mindsets help create and maintain a growth mindset in the mathematics classroom. Strategies and activities to help teachers and parents show all students, even those who are convinced that they are bad at math, that they can enjoy and succeed in math. A Mathematical Mindset helps teachers inspire and boost math achievement by their students. The best methods by which students learn math, as well as the specific methods and approaches teachers can use to successfully help their students develop a growth mindset. The research done by Jo Boaler and Carol Dweck will be discussed and used to help teachers develop a plan to change their Mathematical Mindset and create a growth mindset for their students. Teachers will be led through activities that show the strategies that demonstrate a good Mathematical Mindset. Mistakes will be encouraged and celebrated as they should be in the math classroom.

 

 

Increase Engagement with Cooperative Learning Strategies in the Mathematics Classroom

Audience: Administrators, Teachers, Instructional Aides

It is important to get students to collaborate and not learn mathematics in isolation. By understanding, learning, and practicing Cooperative Learning methods and techniques in the math classroom teachers can engage students. Teachers will experience the use of various Cooperative Learning techniques and strategies that will help engage and get ALL students actively involved in the learning. Cooperative Learning allows teachers to easily differentiate their classroom so both high-ability and students with special needs can participate and increase their retention and achievement for the subject they are learning. Cooperative Learning has been proven to help students with better on-task behavior, better attitude towards both the teacher and the subject they are learning, and overall have a more positive attitude toward learning and understanding. Teachers will create a plan to incorporate Cooperative Learning techniques and strategies they can use in their classroom.

 

 


2021-22 Math and STEM Professional Development Offerings Still Available as Requested

 

The Power of Positive- How Mindset Affects Achievement in Math

Audience: Administrators, Teachers, Instructional Aides

The Power of Positive refers to educators’ attitudes and approaches to the NCTM Principles to Actions Guiding Principles. It is the stimulus for increased overall performance by students. It’s easy to dwell on the negatives educators face on a regular basis to the detriment of the students. Teachers must set up their classroom as a positive environment NOT a punitive environment. All students are capable of “doing” Mathematics if the right tools are used and accommodations are made for the students. Facilitating Meaningful Mathematical Discourse is a great way to create a positive environment. 

Meaningful Mathematical Discourse is posing questions and having students collaborate to get answers BEFORE the responses are discussed. Teachers should be using the tools and technologies that are available to students in a positive manner to augment and supplement the teaching and learning in the classroom. Implementing your curriculum with fidelity of words and actions is key. Finally, approaching all assessments (teacher generated, diagnostic, district level, all standardized assessments) in a positive manner. Educators can increase student performance on assessments by reminding the students “They can do the Math!” Working with Educators on the Power of Positive will increase the overall performance of students. Examples, ideas and resources for the Power of Positive relating to the Guiding Principles will be presented, demonstrated, and discussed.

 

Mathematical Mindsets – Changing How We Think About Math

Audience: Administrators, Teachers, Instructional Aides

Too many students think they are “bad” at Math. Changing the teacher’s and student’s Mathematical Mindsets help create and maintain a growth mindset in the mathematics classroom. Strategies and activities to help teachers and parents show all students, even those who are convinced that they are bad at math, that they can enjoy and succeed in math. A Mathematical Mindset helps teachers inspire and boost math achievement by their students. The best methods by which students learn math, as well as the specific methods and approaches teachers can use to successfully help their students develop a growth mindset. The research done by Jo Boaler and Carol Dweck will be discussed and used to help teachers develop a plan to change their Mathematical Mindset and create a growth mindset for their students. Teachers will be led through activities that show the strategies that demonstrate a good Mathematical Mindset. Mistakes will be encouraged and celebrated as they should be in the math classroom.

 

NCTM’s Principles to Actions

Audience: Secondary Administrators, Math Teachers, Secondary Directors

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics book Principles to Action: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All is by far one of the best books in print today to help teachers improve their mathematics instruction for students. It is a MUST for all secondary administrators to read in order to guide and coach their math teachers, instructional aides, and parents to understand what should be taking place in the math classroom. Teachers and/or Administrators will go through the keys to Effective Teaching and Learning for mathematics. The five “Guiding Principles” will be presented and discussed. Finally, Teachers and Administrators will be asked to generate their own ideas for “Taking Action” based on what has been presented and discussed from the book. This can also be done as a book study for an entire department. 

 

Mathematically Rich Tasks that Elevate Student Achievement

Audience: Administrators, Teachers

Mathematics MUST be taught in context, so it is not just a set of rules to be memorized and soon forgotten. Mathematically Rich problems and asking good thinking questions help students understand and master the concepts that are being presented.  These skills are also proven to increase the scores on standardized assessments like the SAT, ACT, and ISTEP+ Math Assessments. We all learn by doing. Teachers will define and explore how Mathematically Rich problems and asking good thinking questions bring an elevated level of thinking and doing math for students. Teachers will work on Mathematically Rich problems and be given resources to find and write their own Mathematically Rich problems and good purposeful thinking questions.  

April Connelley: English Language Arts

April is a life-long learner and educator with 24 years of experience in elementary and special education. She offers expertise in literacy, including the Science of Reading, instructional coaching, professional learning, and curriculum development.

Prior to joining INcompassing Education, April fulfilled the role of Literacy Specialist working with multiple school districts across the country, as well as an Early Reading Virtual Coach, and Early Reading Training Facilitator. As a District Instructional Coach and E/LA Curriculum Coordinator April focused on bringing written and taught curriculum together. April spent 15 years working directly with students as a Reading Interventionist and Special Education teacher. She is an avid reader and advocates for students to develop life-long reading habits by finding their personal reading identity.

April has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Saint Francis; a Master’s Degree from Concordia University Mequon WI; and completed an endorsement program in Educational Leadership.


Bill Reed: Secondary Math & STEM

Bill is a licensed Secondary Math Teacher who has taught at every level from 7th grade through community college.  He was a classroom teacher for over 30 years in a combination of both Indiana and California. He has taught every secondary math class from 7th Grade Math to Calculus. Bill has been a Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science State Finalist in both California and Indiana. After retiring from classroom teaching, he was the Secondary Math Specialist at the Indiana Department of Education and then a Regional Director for the Indiana GEAR UP Grant at Purdue University before joining the INcompassing Education team in 2021.

Bill earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science at Butler University along with his teaching certification. He worked on his graduate studies in Secondary Mathematics Education at both California State University and Ball State University. Bill received a Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholarship to study the education system in Japan during the summer of 2001 and a second Fulbright Scholarship to study the education system in Brazil during the summer of 2010. In 2019 he worked with U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan both in-person and online to give S.T.E.M Professional Development to Central Asian Teachers.


Mandy Morris: Elementary Math & STEAM

Mandy is a licensed Elementary Teacher who has served in a variety of P12 and Higher Education roles. Mandy began her career in P12 education as a classroom teacher. She found her passion in STEM education through leadership opportunities focused on preparing students for successful lives after graduation. She served as a STEM instructional coach and district coordinator where she supported teachers and students on their path to discovering authentic and meaningful learning. She currently serves as the Education Technology Specialist at Franklin College where she trains and supports faculty and staff on integrated instructional technology and instructs the Interdisciplinary Unit Planning and STEAM course for preservice teachers.

Mandy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education at Franklin College along with her teaching certificate in 2009. She continued her graduate studies in 2020 at the American College of Education where she earned her Master of Education in STEM Leadership.

 

When you’re ready to set up one of our valuable professional development opportunities for your school, simply click the button below to contact Bill Reed. With school year dates filling up quickly Bill will work with you and your school to schedule a date and PD model option that works best with his availability and your school’s needs. 

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