MTA launches online professional development

All courses begin Tuesday, October 16, and end January 28, 2008.

Course Registration and Payment:

Register through Beverley Eisenman, beisenman@massteacher.org. Each course includes 12 sessions and is eligible for 67.5 PDPs. A fee of  $180 per course is payable to MTA. Fitchburg State College tuition (for PDPs) is $180 per course.

Better Beginnings: New Teacher Induction
This course is designed to support beginning teachers in establishing effective professional communities with one another to overcome the challenges peculiar to early career teaching.  A variety of activities allow new teachers to learn the content of the eight topics and hands-on classroom applications.  Teachers work cooperatively on an activity related to the theme, incorporating classroom instruction, case study discussion, and application during each session. 

Creating Performance Assessment Tasks
This course focuses on the theory and practice of creating, teaching to, and refining authentic performance assessments related to the learning standards of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and differentiating one based on student learning profiles. 

Developing a Standards-based Unit of Instruction
The course focus is on the developing of a two-week unit of instruction aligned with the learning standards of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. The materials and instruction are based on the work of Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design. The course is appropriate for whole school faculties or departmental groups K-12. The standards-based unit that is developed should be taught and debriefed by course participants. Topics include: identifying standards to be assessed; articulating major understandings; developing essential questions; determining the specific content and skills to be mastered during the unit; understanding the range of assessments that could be used; and developing an instructional calendar.

Differentiating Instructional Practices  
This course focuses on the decision making that the teacher must make about student readiness and level of independence as the basis for differentiating existing units of instruction. It is critical that participants have a two-week unit prepared as the basis for the coursework. Topics include: determining readiness and independence; low-preparation and high-preparation differentiated instructional strategies; differentiating student work by process and product to address learning styles, readiness, independence, and interests.