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Professional Development

January PLS Preview

Teaching Excellence is excited to offer seven impactful sessions for the first Professional Learning Saturday of 2013.  We’re looking forward to seeing all of our teachers and partners on January 26th as we celebrate a great Fall semester and look forward to a wonderful Spring semester!

We are excited about the future for students in Houston in 2013, and we can’t wait for you to join us for the following sessions:

Data   101/Mail Merge Discovery   Based Learning Review   Games and Strategies Rubrics
Being   the Driver of Your Own Development Differentiation Questioning   Strategies II: Right is Right & Stretch It Focused   Work Time

Detailed descriptions are included below.
**UPDATE**: The Rubrics session will be offered in February and March instead of January.

Data 101/Mail Merge* One   of TE’s most requested sessions, this professional development opportunity is a must for all teachers who struggle with data or who work with a large   quantity of it! This session will give many Excel shortcuts as well as teach participants how to execute a mail merge to save time when writing letters or grade reports for individual students.
Discovery Based Learning* Discovery-Based Learning is an alternative to the standard five-step lesson cycle that asks students to make their own meaning out of evidence that is presented to them.  This incredibly engaging instructional practice must be very carefully planned and supported by a talented instructor and this session will give you the foundation necessary to plan and execute these lessons in your class!
Review Games and Strategies* With common assessments and STAAR testing fast approaching, making the best use of invaluable review time is crucial for teachers and students alike. This session will both expose teachers to a variety of successful review   strategies and model a selection of them to show participants what they will look and feel like to students. If you teach a subject that has a high-stakes test (grades 3 and up), this session should be considered a MUST!
Rubrics***UPDATE: the Rubric session will now be offered in February and March Rubrics are absolutely necessary for students to excel at any task that is not a multiple choice assessment. Providing your expectations and strong examples before your students engage in a project or task will improve their performance and make grading easier and more objective.  This session guides participants through creating and using a rubric with your students and also exposes teachers to examples of rubrics from many content areas.
Being the Driver of Your Own   Development For YES teachers who are evaluated on the IER: This session will lift the curtain on the thought processes of instructional leaders and teach you how to use your Instructional Excellence Rubric data to help you drive your own professional development.
Differentiation Repeated by popular demand, this session presents many ways to differentiate your instructional practices to best meet the needs of all subgroups of students in your class. After learning some of the finer points of differentiating by   product or process and visiting several self-guided stations, teachers will have an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in planning a future lesson.
Questioning Strategies II:   Right is Right & Stretch It* This  session covers two of the more advanced questioning strategies and can be  implemented in any educational setting. Teachers will be taught how to ensure that all students know the correct answer to a question prior to moving on and how to scaffold questions effectively in a variety of settings.   Participants will have an opportunity to see these strategies used in videos, models, and in their own practice.
Focused Work Time* Offered   during the last block only, Focused Work Time gives teachers an opportunity to implement strategies that were presented during earlier portions of the day. Instructional Coaches will be on hand to support and offer best practices to all who attend. Rooms for both collaborative and independent  work time will be offered.

*Will also be offered during the February PLS

For more details about PLS, please email



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