Synchronizing rigorous curriculum and dynamic PD (what a concept)

Inquiry By Design offers school districts cycles of integrated curriculum and professional development.  The IBD Teacher Professional Development Cycle is centered around a unit of study, and begins with a curriculum institute.  The curriculum institute is followed up by on-site support and peer learning labs, and concludes with a student work study session in which we analyze student writing generated during the unit of study to determine growth, needs, and next instructional steps.

Teacher Professional Development Cycle


1) Curriculum Institute

The Institute is designed to help teachers understand how to help their students meet the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts via the implementation of an IBD Unit of Study.  Teachers participate in the bulk of the institute as learners – reading, writing, and discussing complex texts just as their students will.  There is also time for collaborative planning and for studying related research.

2) On-Site Support

IBD Professional Developers work with district- or school-level coaches at the school sites. Support includes classroom walkthroughs with the leadership team, planning with school leadership on how to support instruction aligned to the Common Core State Standards, coaching teachers, co-teaching, leading teacher planning meetings, and preparing for Peer Learning Labs

3) Peer Learning Labs

Peer Learning Labs give teachers opportunities to observe and debrief lessons implemented by their peers as they inquire more deeply into the nuances of Common Core aligned classroom instruction.  Each teacher will have the opportunity to attend at least one Peer Learning Lab during the school year.

4) Student Work Study Sessions

Like Peer Learning Labs, these sessions contribute to an environment of collaboration and accountability as teachers reconvene after implementing shared curriculum studies to look carefully at the student papers generated during that work. Strong emphasis is placed on

  1. working with teachers to describe what they see students doing and trying to do as writers of Common Core writing types, and
  2. moving from description to instructional planning as teachers learn to revitalize in the classroom the adage “assessment drives instruction.”

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