Professional Development: Improving Teacher Practice

Levels of Support

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Starting the Conversation

A two-hour engaging workshop at no charge


Planning Powerful Lessons
Participants experience and discuss the steps, strategies, and structures that successful teachers use to organize and manage their lessons. They learn how to address the standards while crafting lessons that ignite student thinking, foster student engagement and independent learning, and create a classroom environment that promotes academic success. This session draws from The Lesson Planning Handbook: Essential Strategies That Inspire Student Thinking and Learning by Peter Brunn (Scholastic, 2010).

Format Option

  • In-person workshop

Beginning the Work

An interactive introduction to get started


Participants examine the role of student talk in learning and discover how lessons that engage students in meaningful conversations lead to deeper levels of thinking and learning. They experience techniques for crafting open-ended questions and reflect on how to facilitate whole class, small group, and partner discussions that require students to build on each other’s ideas. The workshop explores an instructional framework that uses read-alouds and purposeful talk to scaffold comprehension and understanding for all students, especially English Language Learners (ELLs).

Format Options

  • In-person workshop
  • Webinar: DSC-hosted
    • Introductory sessions can be offered as live webinars hosted by a DSC national education consultant.

Deepening the Practice

Options for taking the work to the next level

Follow-up Topics

  • The DSC Way: Creating a Culture for Learning
  • Connecting with State Standards
  • Facilitating Student Talk
  • Using Class Meetings to Develop Community

Format Options

  • All-staff sessions
    • Topics chosen from the list above
  • Model lessons/Facilitation tips
    • Observe DSC pedagogy in action
  • Grade-level team planning
    • Collaborative lesson planning
    • Q+A about lessons, pedagogy, and facilitation