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I have completed International Teaching Certification. This has been a series of terrific professional development experiences that have made me a more effective educator.

6. How to Be an Online Teacher-- June 2013, Miami
The world of education has a tremendous opportunity to deepen student understanding via multiple mediums. Our so-called 'brick and mortar' classrooms offer unique face-to-face opportunities for constructing student learning and so does the online setting. New tools are being developed practically daily and it is an educator's responsibility to stay abreast of and use technology to reach every student on their learning journey in the curriculum. Most refer to this as 'blended learning,' combining the benefits of the traditional, face-to-face classroom and online engagements that provide students with differentiated opportunities for enrichment, remediation, assessment, and feedback. This course included both theory and application of blended and online learning models, and we walked away with literally over 100 resources. My final project was working on an online platform for a graduate course on Assessment that I have been asked to teach next year. Attached is a very short reflection on how this course resulted in a paradigm shift for me in my journey as a continuously improving professional educator:

5. Curriculum Writing for the International School Teacher-- June 2013, Miami
Developing and documenting curriculum is a challenge for most schools and educators. This course framed a deceptively simple process to capture the WHAT (standards), WHETHER (assessment), and HOW (learning engagements) that managed in continuous, cyclical fashion can help schools ensure that student learning needs are met. As participants, we worked with various protocols and models on how to write and document the full spectrum of curriculum. As a final project we chose in what way we could advance the state of curriculum documentation at our schools. Since SAS is simultaneously embracing Standards Based Reporting and integrating Common Core State Standards, I incorporated work done by the Middle School math task force last spring to accordingly modify the first unit summative assessment this coming fall.

4. The Learning Brain: From Research to Classroom Practice, July 2012, Miami
Part pre-med and all about student learning, this course begins with our dissecting a sheep's brain to learn about the centers of brain functioning- a really cool and well-orchestrated investigation. Having set the proverbial hook, the instructors led us on a highly engaging, collaborative learning experience on important aspects of attention, working memory, "intelligence," learning malleability, and metacognition. As participants, we modeled many practical brain-friendly learning strategies for use with our students designed to maximize understanding and long-term application. Here are some key ideas for maximizing brain-friendly student learning:


3. Leadership Tools for Department Heads and Grade Level Leaders, June 2012, Miami
This terrific course helps leaders become more effective in establishing and fostering Professional Learning Communities to benefit student learning. Participants engage in numerous protocols and strategies designed to both deepen our learning in this course and serve as modeling for use in our classrooms and our school leadership positions. I was selected to serve as Group Leader for this course. As my course takeaway I created an action plan to be discussed with my learning community team beginning in August suggesting we collaboratively focus on Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) data to further personalize student learning. Here is my action plan:




2. Inquiry Based Learning in the International School, June 2011, Miami
This course is an excellent overview of how to engage students in the process of creating personalized meaning and enduring understanding of broad, transferrable concepts. Among the many benefits from taking this course is improved teacher ability to focus student learning engagements on important, broad concepts and develop rich unit, guiding and provocative questions that upon pursuit lead to deep student understanding. Participants engage in both large- and small- discussions and create an inquiry-based unit plan that they will use with their students. Here is the one I crafted:
Quadratic Functions unit plan


1. Special Needs Learning in the International School, June 2011, Miami
This excellent course covered numerous strategies to maximize learning for all students as well as enable teachers with warning signs and interventions for students with special learning needs. Particular emphasis was placed on ways to ensure learning engagements reach higher order thinking skills and span Bloom's taxonomy. For my course outcome I designed a quarterly student self-assessment tool that I will use to identify the extent to which students employ successful learning behaviors and develop plans to continuously improve over the course of the year. Here is the tool I designed: