Connected Action Roadmap (CAR) | Teaching & Learning | Leadership & Communication
School Climate & SEL| STEM/STEAM | Support for Struggling Learners | Contact FEA
Professional learning is the key to success as an educational leader. Unfortunately, many of us cannot afford to be away from our school or district even for one day to take advantage of these great learning opportunities. What is the solution? FEA conducts in-district programs for almost every workshop offered through FEA, including LEGAL ONE. We send our trainers to your district and work with your entire administrative team so that everyone can immediately apply the techniques you learn and knowledge you gain into your schools.Our goal is to assist you in providing a coherent professional development program that is sustained and job-embedded. If you do not see a program that meets your needs, please call 609-860-1200, to design and schedule a program tailored to your district or school’s particular needs.
Schedule Professional Learning for Your District Today!
Please complete our In-District Request Form or call 609-860-1200.
In-District Program Contacts
FEA: Christy Stoehr or Donna McInerney
LEGAL ONE: Ameena Terrell
All programs are a full day but can customized to shorten the length of time in most cases. Additionally, some are multi-day programs. Our FEA In-District Programs listed below by category.
Connected Action Roadmap (CAR)
CAR is a three-day in-district program that provides a coherent process of school improvement. The framework connects standards, student learning, assessment, professional learning, educator effectiveness, and school climate and culture to the work of professional learning communities (PLCs). The focus is on how teachers and educators can collaborate to assist students reach the highest level of achievement. This model is endorsed by the NJ Department of Education because of these connections and the ultimate goal of improving student learning. CAR training is guided by a common language, creates a coherent plan for systemic implementation of effective practice, and makes curriculum development a priority — a shift from program to practice.
Teaching and Learning
Your Math Data is Talking to You – Are You Listening?
Data… Data… Data. It’s all around us but how do educators take the next step to move from overwhelming data and standards-based instruction to meaningful day-to-day student learning? Assessment data can be a powerful tool in learning about your curriculum, instruction and assessment practices, but you need to know where to look. Using the standardized test data available in your district (MAP, Linkit, PARCC, NJSLA), this session is designed for math educators to analyze student results and gain greater insight about the root causes of students’ low performance such as poor textbook, curricula, instruction, or other variables in the teaching learning cycle. Participants will be able to design a plan for utilizing data reports in a meaningful way to assess mathematics instruction practices in their own classroom, and also within their building.
Developing Mathematics Learners and Doers
Students have become comfortable in following procedures and waiting out teachers during math instruction. But math education today stresses the need for students to become doers of math, requiring teachers to do more than simply leading students to the right answer.
Research shows that students need to become engaged in productive struggle and mathematical discourse during lessons, while stressing that we are not learning math but are learning how to think like mathematicians. Providing lessons that offer these opportunities is a new focus for math instruction, but teachers are often frustrated when trying to plan lessons that offer these opportunities. This workshop will offer a model lesson that is designed to engage teachers in productive struggle and math discourse, then provide them with strategies that assist in designing these types of learning activities. An additional focus will be placed on the standards for mathematical practice, and their role in planning for student engagement. Resources for reviewing what the practices should look like in the classroom and for inspiring planning of real-world tasks will be shared.
Higher Order Questioning Skills
The NJ Student Learning Standards demand a greater depth of understanding, yet research indicates that 60% of the questions posed in classrooms require students to recall facts, 20% are procedural questions, and only 20% require any higher order thinking. In order to guide students to a deeper understanding of content, it is critical that teachers become masterful questioners. This program will focus on using Weber’s Depth of Knowledge and Bloom’s Taxonomy as the framework to develop questions that are more open-ended and engage the students in the content.
Guided Reading Through Small Group Instruction
While Guided Reading is recognized as one of the most effective ways to teach children to read, it can be challenging to manage the small groups. This session will guide the teachers to develop structures that support the learning needs of the youngsters in the small group, while simultaneously supporting the students who are working either at centers or independently.
During this session teachers and leaders will learn how to:
- Create text dependent questions for close reading passages based on the Depths of Knowledge (DOK) and aligned to the requirements of the standards and the NJ Student Learning Assessments;
- Use multiple strategies to assist students with written responses to Text-Based Questions. These include; Question Answer Relationship, Microlabs, 3 Levels Text Complexity, etc.; and
- Use complex texts with DOK level questions.
Teachers are asked to bring two texts, so they can develop Text-Based Questions.
Argumentative Writing and Conferring with Students
What are the expectations of NJ Student Learning Standards with regard to Argumentative Writing?
How does Argumentative writing take shape in a Writing Workshop model?
What are the components of a Writing Workshop mini-lesson?
During the workshop teachers will gain a thorough understanding of Argumentative writing in a workshop model using Teachers College as a resource and aligned to the revised NJ Student Learning Standards. Participants will learn several protocols and strategies to highly engage their students in writing, learn how a writing workshop mini-lesson unfolds, and will have time to develop their own using a mentor text.
Data Analysis and Developing Protocols through PLCs
Data should be the driver for a PLC. However, identifying the data to use and how to use it to drive professional learning and improve instruction can present a significant challenge to PLCs. This session will examine protocols that can guide a PLC group through analysis of student achievement data to refine instruction, target student intervention, and drive professional learning.
Given the changing demographics in our society, our schools are changing as well. Culturally-relevant teaching has been proven to be an effective form of pedagogy for students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. By making education culturally relevant, it is thought to improve academic achievement. This program will guide educators to increase their cultural competency and consider course content in relation to the cultural context of the students.
Education Neuroscience: Brain-based Strategies to Engage your Students
Learn about classroom strategies that support a student’s ability to reduce anxiety and depression and increase their ability to deactivate the mind. It is more crucial than ever that educators use these strategies that reflect what we know about the brain and learning. This session will assist you to:
- Become familiar with the evolving field of education neuroscience—the intersection of cognitive psychology, education, and neuroscience;
- Learn how and when to elicit dopamine (neurotransmitter for motivation, engagement, and learning) production, and;
- Share classroom strategies that will support a student’s ability to pay attention, self-calm, and show care for others.
Are Your Students Lazy, Distracted, or Impulsive?
Far too often, students with executive functioning weaknesses get stuck with these labels. These ubiquitous markers prevent us, as educators, from intervening where it is needed most — targeted development of self-control. All research points to the fact that self-control is a strong indicator of future success, regardless of intelligence or social status. As teachers, you cannot control your students’ SES or IQ but you DO have the ability to affect their self-control. Join us to learn how to consciously foster your students’ “grit.”
In this session, participants will learn:
- Five concrete, reproducible interventions for increasing neural activity and connections in the pre-frontal cortex (where executive function lives);
- Protocols for successful and productive group and center work;
- Tools for task initiation and completion;
- Additional tools for planning and organization; and
- How to stem the fall off in achievement from elementary to middle and high school.
A Balancing Act- Writing Workshop and NJ Learning Assessments Writing Expectations
This workshop will provide the participants with strategies on how to transform their classrooms into rich, engaging and authentic writing environments while carving a niche for NJ Student learning Assessment writing expectations and test preparation. This workshop is for Grades 3-12. By the end of the workshop participants will:
- Create a balance between writing workshop and the NJ Student Learning Assessments prep work within in their curriculum calendars and pacing guides that is fluid and connected to previous learning.
- Understand the goals in a writing workshop framework that encourage high-quality writing
- Understand the relationship between NJ Student Learning Standards, the teaching of writing, and writing expectations of the NJ Student Learning Assessments.
- Learn how performance assessments and learning progressions guide future writing instruction.
- Learn how “elaboration in writing” in a writing workshop model will have a significant impact in preparing students for the NJ Student Learning Assessments writing expectations.
- Learn how to confer with students and move their writing skills and processes forward with specific formative feedback and strategies
The content of this workshop will be based on the works of the following: Lucy Calkins, Founding Director of TCRWP and co-author of Units of Study in Opinion, Information and Narrative Writing; Carl Anderson, author of Assessing Writers, How’s it Going?; Karen Caine, Author of Writing to Persuade; Mary Ehrenworth, co-author of Pathways to the Common Core.
“Cite & Write” Close Reading Strategies Aligned to the NJ Student Learning Asessments
With this program, teachers, administrators, evaluators will:
- Learn the meaning of close reading (history and origins)
- How to develop lessons around close reading strategies
- What to look for when observing a standards-aligned lesson where close reading is expected.
- How to prepare students for NJ Student Learning Assessments through close reading strategies
Culled and developed from the works of Chris Lehman, author of Falling in Love with Close Reading and the book Notice and Note by Beers and Provost, the workshop will provide active participation of close reading strategies through a variety of lenses and take away strategies to share with faculty.
Differentiation of Instruction
This is a hands-on workshop that is designed to put principals into practice. Tiering, cubing, centers and anchor activities are some of the differentiation strategies teachers can use to meet the diverse readiness, interests and learning profiles of their students. Participants will gain an understanding of each strategy an how to match the students to the strategies. Time will be allotted to access differentiation of instruction web sites to view resources, lessons, and templates for planning differentiation activities.
Leadership and Communication
Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) Reflection and Growth Tool
What do the new Professional Standards for Educational Leaders mean for you, your school, and your district? NJPSA and NJASA have created a free tool to assist you in reflecting on your practice in light of the standards. It is a set of questions that align to the new educational leadership standards. They include the critical actions that are important for a full understanding about how the standards can positively impact leaders in your district. The focus is on helping all leaders to grow in the practices that result in higher levels of student learning. In this session your administrative team will learn how the reflection tool will enable you to:
- Understand the impact the new standards will have on leadership in your school and district;
- Reflect on your own practice;
- Drive collaborative conversations with school/district leadership team to explore how these standards can build collective capacity to achieve school/district goals; and
- Develop a shared district mindset of what powerful leadership looks like in action.
The Leader You Want and Need to Be
Great educational leaders need a strong philosophical and experiential knowledge about how to create positive change in the schools they lead. Maintaining focus on this foundation becomes challenging in the fast-paced educational environment in which we find ourselves. This workshop will help you to reflect on what your strongly held beliefs are, what type of leader you prefer to be, and how to maintain focus on these beliefs in the midst of constant change. A strong foundation and firm compass will allow you to meet the challenges of leading complex organizations. Topics to be addressed in this session include:
- self reflection using the PSEL tool and other tools and self-surveys;
- development of a type of leadership profile;
- understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of our leadership profile;
- learning how to match leadership style to the context of the school and its challenges.
Using Assessment Data to Guide Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Learning Decisions
In your school/district what assessment data is available for teachers and leaders? How is the data from assessment used to inform instruction? Do all assessments align with the curriculum and the standards? Leaders are tasked with leading the development of a comprehensive and balanced assessment system that drives decisions for student and staff learning. This session will provide you with an opportunity to gain new knowledge, strategies, and skills for leading this process.
Powerful Conversations in a Culture of Feedback
Feedback is a powerful professional learning tool for improving the practices of teachers and leaders. Build the capacity of all educators to give and receive feedback to support ongoing growth in a collaborative culture in which collective responsibility is focused on results for students. Discuss implications for using feedback as a lever to improvement and current realities and strategies to support a change in culture and conversation. One of the biggest challenges facing building administrators today is ensuring that their teacher evaluation process will truly make a difference in both student and teacher growth. The teacher evaluation process presents an opportunity for educators to improve teacher expectations and performance, while also enhancing student achievement.
Differentiated Conferencing and Feedback: Maximizing Teacher Performance
To support the professional growth of teachers, educational leaders need a myriad of strategies for guiding their interactions with staff members to initiate and sustain teacher learning that is based on student learning needs. This program will focus on understanding and conducting learning-focused conversations by using The Continuum of Learning-Focused Interaction. Participants will explore the four perspectives — coaching, collaborating, consulting and calibrating — to develop teachers’ capacities to reflect upon data and instructional outcomes, to generate ideas and options, and to increase teachers’ personal and professional self-awareness.
The Facilitating Leader: A Good Leader is a Good Facilitator
We know that effective facilitation is crucial for building meaningful collaborative practices that can positively impact a school’s culture and climate and bring out the best in all of us. Serving as an effective school or district leader, an instructional coach, a teacher leader or PLC facilitator, requires knowledge, skills, and behaviors that help build the capacity of others to transform their own practice. In this workshop we will explore how to design collaborative spaces that support teams in all stages of development, move teams from compliance to engagement, and learn how to motivate, inspire, and support adult learners. This workshop is for anyone who wants to grow their facilitation skills to lead positive changes in the way we work.
Is Math Instruction Really Supposed to Look Like that?
Did you ever walk out of a math classroom and wonder how am I going to give constructive feedback to help this math teacher? Maybe the teacher cares immensely about the students, but the students are completely disengaged or maybe the teacher is brilliant, but can’t relate to students and quite honestly intimidates you. You don’t have to be a math content expert in order to recognize what good math instruction should be.
School Climate and Social & Emotional Learning
School Climate for Adults: It Matters
Problems with adult to adult relationships in school are often swept under the carpet. Yet, this set of relationships can make or break your school’s goal of creating a positive learning environment for students. Adult interactions also greatly impact a school’s capacity to promote the highest levels of student academic success. In this workshop, you will reflect on the adult relationships within your school; explore the causes of toxic adult to adult relationships; learn tools to support the development of clear expectations for professional behavior; consider the relationship between SEL instruction for students and adult modeling of SEL skills, and consider ways to create a strong sense of professionalism through collaboration.
Developing Socially and Emotionally Healthy Students
Schools, along with families and the community, are key to children successfully navigating healthy relationships in an ever-changing society. Social and Emotional Learning must be at the heart of ensuring that each student feels safe in their environment and has the interpersonal skills to collaborate with peers and adults. In this session, participants will: (1) define the purpose of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and its connection to school climate, student growth, and the success of all learners; (2) understand the research and competencies that are the foundation for implementing effective SEL programs and practices; (3) identify strengths and weaknesses of current practices and programs to create next steps for strengthening SEL integration; (4) consider strategies for infusing SEL throughout and across the curriculum; (5) create a toolbox of processes and structures to build staff capacity to care for the social-emotional wellbeing of all students.
The Real Role of the School Climate Team
School Climate Teams are required “to develop, foster, and maintain a positive school climate.” This is an ongoing and systemic process. Is your school reinventing its School Climate Team? Adding new members? This program will focus on the essential conversations for a positive and effective SCT.
- What does the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights say about the role of the School Climate Team?
- What is school climate? How does it relate to academic achievement and to school attendance?
- What data should our School Climate Team collect and analyze?
- How do we develop an action plan?
- Why is our School Climate Team’s work foundational in creating a climate that supports the highest levels of student and adult learning?
Transformative Coaching to Support Teaching and Learning
A healthy, positive, and collaborative school culture is the foundation for academic student success. With the recent mandates of high-stakes testing, teacher accountability, and evaluations, teachers want to feel supported and heard during these demanding times.
In this series of organizational coaching sessions, the participants will:
- Explore and envision their future in seven steps
- Learn from mistakes through “appreciative inquiry”
- Clarify and prioritize values – what matters most
- Turn vision into action
- Overcome obstacles
- Lead change within the organization
Discussion, reflective work, and interactive activities will take place. Participants will leave the workshop with a blueprint of their vision and how to actualize it.
Grief in the Schoolhouse: Responding to Loss
Is your school prepared for the death of a student or staff member? In the US, there are five deaths every minute. One of the least acknowledged and least addressed concerns in our society is GRIEF, the normal and natural reaction to loss. Mortality statistics indicate that the number of children dying (accidents, illness, suicide, and homicide) is increasing. Teachers and staff are grieving. The cost of grief in the workplace exceeds an annual cost of $75 billion. More than 20% of teenagers will lose someone close to them; and, 1/20 children will have one or both parents die before they are 15 years old.
Grief affects everyone and will continue to affect our lives and the lives of those around us. Seven out of every ten teachers have a grieving student in their classroom. Adding to this mix, there are an increasing number of staff losing parents, spouses, and family members. School leaders and educators must be prepared to deal with the loss of a student or staff member. As a result of participating in this workshop, Grief in the Schoolhouse, your understanding of grief and bereavement and how it impacts your school community will be enhanced and you will be better prepared to deal with a loss in your school. This workshop is appropriate for all administrators and staff. Counselors and members of the Traumatic Loss Team are encouraged to participate.
Mindful Practices for those Who Give the Most: Educators!
Public Educators may be the most sacrificial professionals. Educators give until they have zero left to give – and then they give some more. High levels of stress are affecting teacher health and well-being, causing teacher burnout, lack of engagement, job dissatisfaction, poor performance, and some of the highest turnover rates ever. A recent Gallup Poll finds 46% of teachers report high daily stress during the school year.1 That’s tied with nurses for the highest rate among all occupational groups.
Mindfulness/stress management programs can help teachers develop coping and awareness skills to reduce anxiety, depression, and improved health. Professional development is always about what educators can do to improve their instructional practices. Recent research strongly suggests that prioritizing an educator’s social-emotional learning helps him or her to be there to participate in school wide SEL practices. If you find yourself thinking it is counterintuitive to ask a professional to give so much and then to provide only professional development and not personal development (through the lens of SEL) you’re with us! In this session, participants will learn:
- mindfulness/stress reduction practices to promote self-regulation of attention
- non-judgmental awareness
- how to develop a personal mindfulness practice (which is necessary to be a mindful teacher which is necessary to teach mindfulness!)
- how to maximize the space between stimulus and response
STEM/STEAM/Arts Integration is based on the understanding that innovation is often found where different subjects intersect. By learning these subjects at the same time, students consider a wider range of perspectives when solving a particular problem. STEM/STEAM/Art Integration develops the skills needed to thrive – flexibility, critical thinking, creativity and communication. This interdisciplinary approach fuels innovation, creativity and improves collaboration. FEA’s accomplished consultants provide in-district opportunities in STEM/STEAM/Arts Integration.
Create a Rigorous STEAM Program
STEAM teaching and learning promotes a culture of inquiry, creativity, and problem-solving. Explore the key characteristics of STEAM programs in order to plan, implement, refine, and sustain a healthy program in your school or district. Discover ways to accelerate collaboration within the district, build partnerships with community resources, and develop a STEAM program that will result in deeper student learning.
Develop an Impactful Arts Integration Model: From Planning to Practice
Arts integration is an effective strategy for cultivating positive climate and culture, as well as deepening student engagement. This multi-day workshop series will immerse participants in the fundamental components of high-quality arts integration. Drawing upon the framework articulated in the New Jersey Arts Integration Think and Do Workbook, participants will identify realistic goals and develop concrete actions steps to guide their arts integration work. Whether new to the arts integration movement, or seeking an avenue to deepen your current practice, this series will provide rich opportunities for reflection and experiential, hands-on learning. Become part of this supportive learning community to begin, or expand upon, your arts integration efforts!
STEM Practices: Claims, Evidence, Argumentation
The Next Generation Science Standards call for a prominent focus on science and engineering practices, with particular attention given to claims/evidence, explanation and argumentation. Educators attending this program will discover that students making claims, supporting claims with evidence, constructing explanations and preparing rebuttals to argumentation is integral to science inquiry and engineering design and intersects with the NJ Student Learning Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts. Specific outcomes for educators include:
- Understanding the CER (Claims, Evidence, Reasoning) Framework for scientific explanation;
- Determining how to use variations of the CER approach for diverse learners;
- Constructing assessment rubrics to assess students’ proficiency in this practice; and
- Incorporating the CER approach as a key element of classroom discourse, curriculum and assessment.
The Literacy STEM Connection
Educators attending this program will engage in a variety of activities that connect literacy and STEM content, such as Word Splashes, Sort Cards, Relay Summaries, Paired Verbal Fluency, meta-cognitive conversation and writing, and article critiques. All activities connect to the NJ Student Learning Standards for ELA by promoting reading, writing, speaking, listening and language. Many also function as formative assessments. How to implement and modify these activities for various grade levels and diverse students will be discussed. Specific outcomes for educators include:
- Acquiring a repertoire of literacy-based activities to support and enhance student understanding of science, engineering and math concepts;
- Determining how to use the activities to assess student progress, inform instruction and provide feedback to students; and
- Identifying ways to implement and modify strategies for diverse learners.
Assessment Strategies for Student Success in STEM
Assessment is a never-ending and always essential learning experience for both educators and students. No matter how much educators know about assessment, there is always more to learn. And students must have an understanding of and be involved in assessment practices. In this thought-provoking program, attendees will go beyond their current knowledge base to enhance their assessment literacy and utilize their skill to benefit students, parents, and colleagues. Specific outcomes for educators include:
- Recognizing assessment “of, for, and as” learning;
- Creating meaningful and specific rubrics that facilitate student learning;
- Conducting assessment item analysis to make valid inferences that will drive subsequent teaching and learning;
- Providing appropriate and descriptive feedback to students; and
- Selecting appropriate assessment approaches (e.g., formative assessments, summative reviews, self-assessments, etc.) based on student learning objectives, diverse needs of students, and instructional situation.
Next Generation Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and Using Models
The synergy between science and engineering is expressed in the NSSS’ explicit focus on Science and Engineering Practices. Developing and using models has garnered particular attention, not because models are new to the science classroom, but because the focus is on students developing, evaluating, and revising them in science investigations and engineering challenges. This is an active workshop where participants will grapple with the idea that it is important for educators to engage students in the modeling process. But what do modeling practices look like in the classroom and how are educators expected to facilitate the practice? Specific outcomes for educators include:
- Constructing multiple types of models for different purposes;
- Identifying the limitations of a model and how it can be improved;
- Determining when and where to use modeling for earning; and
- Locating online resources to actualize the integration of modeling.
Support for Struggling Learners
A Basic Guide to Intervention and Referral Services
This program is designed to provide I&RS team members and others with best practices for implementing the I&RS regulations. Participants will better understand the purposes, scope and evidence-based benefits of using the building-based multidisciplinary team model as a best practice for addressing student learning, behavior and health difficulties. They will also apply best practice procedures and skills for identifying and assisting students with learning, behavior and health difficulties. The session will include a framework for developing comprehensive I&RS action plans.
Exploring the Critical Role of Paraprofessionals in the Education of Students With Disabilities
As districts engage more paraprofessionals to support students with disabilities, it is important to provide meaningful professional learning opportunities for these individuals who are often serving our students with the most significant needs. This is a program designed specifically for paraprofessionals working with students with disabilities in all educational settings. The session will address critical issues in the provision of services by paraprofessionals including: the role and function of the paraprofessional, ethical responsibilities, communication issues and educational practices. We will specifically address communication between the paraprofessionals and the adults in the child’s life.
Specific attention is paid to the need for the development of independent behavior and the exercise of choice for students with disabilities and how paraprofessional can plan educational activities to foster this behavior. There are hands on activities to engage the learners and follow up activities to apply the skills address. Come and meet with paraprofessionals from districts across the state to address the changing and important role of the paraprofessional in supporting students with disabilities.
Utilizing a Multi Tiered System of Support in Elementary Language Arts
Thinking about implementing an Early Literacy Multi-tiered System of Supports in your school or district? Need some help in identifying how to best move forward to improve what you have and identify what is needed to meet your needs and achieve your goals? We will provide a framework for schools to review current MTSS practices, assess the strength of their core (tier 1) instructional program, and evaluate the use of student/school data to identify which students are struggling and need supplemental/more intensive support. Technical assistance will be provided in areas such as developing a school wide assessment system, choosing appropriate screening tools, and implementing a successful, ongoing process. We will help you identify and organize resources to provide the support in the most effective manner.
Intervention and Referral Services: The Next Generation
This activity-based session is designed to provide I&RS team members and school staff responsible for I&RS with specific concepts, tools, techniques, and practice in assessing and addressing students’ learning, behavior and health difficulties, consistent with the New Jersey Department of Education’s Tiered System of Supports. Emphasis will be placed on collaborative consultation and strategies and techniques for using objective data, school and community resources, and creativity in problem solving and planning I&RS cases. There will be a focus on applying structure and systematic procedures to the coordinated planning and delivery of effective programs of I&RS.
Is Two Twice as Good as One? Maximizing the Benefits of Co-teaching
This workshop will provide an understanding of co-teaching as a way to improve achievement for all students. Participants will examine the way co-teaching is implemented in their school and identify opportunities for increasing the benefits to both students and teachers. Participants will discuss the key components of successful co-teaching as well as the challenges and possible solutions. The workshop will provide participants with activities, and the opportunity to explore information and tools that may assist in implementing effective co-teaching classes. Participants will receive and practice using tools for planning and collaboration in program organization and lesson development. Participants will be able to analyze their programs and identify opportunities to move forward.