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2016 Winter Professional Development

For more information contact Deborah Pazera at (312) 329-6271 or

To register, click on any of the links in the Professional Development Opportunities listed below

Nurturing Teacher Leadership, established in 1997, is a two year program of weekly professional development and candidate support that prepares teachers for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. It includes:

      • small group facilitation
      • collaboration with a cohort of other CPS NBPTS candidates
      • technical support
      • mentoring
      • and more…

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Recruitment Meeting Date: February 24, 2016

Time: 5:00 – 8:30 PM

Fourth Session Begins February 17, 2016

The New Member Learning Series is designed to support new and novice teachers in implementing “Best Practices” in key pedagogical areas. Session topics include student motivation, navigating the CPS Framework for Teaching, classroom management, ‘Knowledge of Students,’ differentiated instruction, brain-based learning theory, setting learning objectives, questioning and discussion, parent involvement, and formative assessment. Each session is aligned to the CPS Framework for Teaching. Please click below for more information.

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Day/Time: Wednesdays, 5:00 – 8:30 PM

The ‘Making Math Relevant’ Learning Series provides currently practicing teachers of mathematics with lesson design strategies that engage students in mathematical reasoning and integrate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) practices into their instruction. Each session topic is differentiated for K - 6th grade teachers and 6th - 12th grade teachers. The Learning Series is aligned to the CPS Framework for Teaching Components 1a, 1c, 1d, 3c, and 4d. Instructor: Michael P. Moriarty, NBCT.

Click images below to register for each individual session(s):


Session 1 – Science and Engineering Practices In this session, participants learn how Science and Engineering Practices found in the Next Generation Science Standards can be used to develop “math-centric” project-based instruction.
K - 6th grade teachers - January 19, 2016 - Closed
6th - 12th grade teachers - January 26, 2016 - Closed



Session 2 – The Language of Technology In this session, participants learn how to incorporate the basics of coding in their instruction. K - 6th teachers will learn how to instruct binary coding and 6th - 12th grade teachers will learn how to instruct hexagonal coding. Dates:
K - 6th grade teachers - February 2, 2016 - Closed
6th - 12th grade teachers - February 9, 2016



Session 3 – Engineering Real-Life Solutions In this session, participants learn how to develop lessons that require their students to research, design, build, test, and improve upon a model to engineer solutions to “real life” problems.
K - 6th grade teachers - February 16, 2016
6th - 12th grade teachers - February 23, 2016



Session 4 – Shifts in Mathematical Instruction In this session, participants ‘unpack’ the CCSS-M instructional shifts that address conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and application in their math instruction.
K - 6th grade teachers - March 1, 2016
6th - 12th grade teachers - March 8, 2016


6th grade teachers have the options to choose each session's date that best meets their needs.

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Time: 5:00 - 8:30 PM

 (Click image above to register for the entire series)

This three session Learning Series will familiarize teachers of all subjects and grade levels with the “best practices” of inquiry, questioning and class discussion, and how these practices lead to increased student learning. This professional learning opportunity places a premium on reading, writing, discussing, viewing, and modeling, as a means to gain knowledge about and skill in inquiry, questioning and discussion techniques. This offering is aligned to the CPS Framework for Teaching Component 1a, 3b, 4b, and 4d. Instructor: Walter Taylor, NBCT

While participants can attend individual sessions, the greatest benefit will be derived from participating in the entire 3 session Learning Series.

Click images below to register for each individual session(s):


Learn how to teach the inquiry components of planning, retrieving, processing, creating, sharing, evaluating and reflecting. Learn about the principles of true inquiry (authentic tasks for learning, deep understanding, performances of learning, assessment for learning, appropriate uses of technology, experts and expertise, success for all students and ethical citizenship). Discover the importance of having your students learn and use content in order to develop information processing and problem-solving skills, as opposed to only acquiring knowledge.



Learn what low- and high-level questions are, and how, when, and why to use them. Discover a variety of pedagogical approaches that use questioning to anticipate and address student misconceptions in their learning.


Learn discussion techniques that advance your students’ explanation of their thinking. Discover ways to encourage student participation in class discussions, and how to teach your students to evaluate others’ points of view. Participate in Fish Bowls, Four Corners, Socratic Seminars and KWLs, and learn how to use these activities and methods in your classroom.

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Time: 5:00 - 8:30 PM

Open to 6th through 12th grade teachers of Social Studies/History

At this professional learning opportunity, teachers will learn how to use the resources and activities located on the IWitness website developed by USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education. The website provides teachers with access and guided exploration to 1,467 full life histories, testimonies of survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust, and other genocides to use in their social studies/history curriculum. IWitness brings the human stories of the Institute's Visual History Archive to teachers and their students via engaging multimedia-learning activities. Participants will learn how to navigate the free website, and incorporate the videos and activities into their Illinois State mandated Holocaust and Genocide studies (105ILCS 5/27-20.3). The IWitness educational website is designed to be participatory, academic and student-driven while addressing the ELA Common Core State Standards (WHST 6, 7, & 8), and the International Society for Technology in Education standards, among others. This professional learning opportunity is aligned to the CPS Framework for Teaching, Components 1a, 1b, 3c, and 4d.

Attendees must bring a laptop, digital notebook, or other Wi-Fi enabled and video streaming device.

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Date: February 24, 2016

Time: 4:45 – 8:15 PM

This Learning Series is open to currently practicing CPS K - 3rd grade teachers. Each class is independent of the other classes, but are best taken together.

Primary teachers have struggled with incorporating the components of balanced literacy (word study, vocabulary development, reading comprehension, and writing) into their instructional day since the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. This 10-session Learning Series focuses on how to redesign the primary balanced literacy block to incorporate all the components of the English Language Arts K-3 CCSS while maintaining the long-standing, research-based, balanced literacy instructional period. In this Learning Series participants learn:

  • the benefits and challenges of balanced literacy in the primary classroom
  • how to incorporate “gradual release of responsibility” into instruction
  • how to design word study plans to incorporate the skills required in the CCSS
  • how to select appropriate categories of content-related vocabulary to teach, based on students’ learning needs and interests
  • how to address the CCSS Speaking and Listening standards
  • to collaborate with colleagues to design and integrate reading comprehension plans
  • what is prescriptive and integrated strategy instruction and how to implement it
  • what is the reading-to-writing connection
  • how to address the CCSS Writing during literacy instructional time
  • powerful strategies for incorporating read alouds, book groups, and independent reading time
  • to plan for differentiated literacy instruction
  • to plan for project-based learning with a literacy focus
  • how to use assessment as a tool for planning and addressing students’ instructional needs as they grow as readers and writers

Session 1   -  2/23/16  - Foundations of Literacy Instruction

Session 2   -  3/1/16    - Approaches to Literacy Instruction: Synopsis

Session 3   -  3/8/16    - Focus on Word Study

Session 4   -  3/15/16  - Focus on Vocabulary Development

Session 5   -  3/22/16  - Focus on Reading Comprehension

Session 6   -  3/29/16  - Focus on the Reading-Writing Connection

Session 7   -  4/5/16    - Integrating Literacy Instruction Throughout the Day

Session 8   -  4/12/16  - Differentiation and Literacy Instruction

Session 9   -  4/26/16  - Focus on Project Based Learning in Literacy

Session 10 -  5/3/16    - Focus on Assessment

This series is aligned to the CCSS Anchor Standards for Reading, Writing, and Foundational Skills, and the CPS Framework for Teaching Components 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e, and 4d. Instructor: Theresa Insalaco-DeCicco, M.Ed., NBCT

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Time: 5:00 - 8:30 PM

This 4 session learning series introduces teachers to the approach of differentiated instruction and provides them with research-based readings, practical ideas and hands-on practice that enable them to create a differentiated learning environment in their own context. Teachers learn about unique strategies for differentiating instruction focusing on how content learning experiences and assessment can be modified to address the unique needs, learning styles, interests, multiple intelligences, and skills of all students. Teachers participate in activities that assist them in providing choice to students and tiering assignments for students. In addition, participants learn to implement differentiated strategies that focus on their students learning styles. For example, attendees will learn how to utilize learning contracts and how to effectively engage students of all ages in learning centers. This offering is aligned with the CPS Framework for Teaching Components 1b, 1c, 1d, 3c, 3e, and 4d. Instructor: Walter Taylor, NBCT

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Dates: Fridays - 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, 3/25/2016 

Time: 5:00 - 8:30 PM

This 5 session course examines how teachers can support and nurture their students’ emotional well-being before, during, and after traumatic events in order to mitigate the impact of complex childhood trauma. Many of our students have been exposed to multiple tragic events, often of an invasive, interpersonal nature. This course helps teachers learn to deal with wide-ranging, long-term impact of this exposure that often results in grief and depression, adversely affecting their students’ learning and social/emotional well-being.

This course will focus on:

  • identifying psychological and behavioral symptoms of complex childhood trauma,
  • the role of the teacher after a traumatic event,
  • how to develop support systems and safe spaces for students to cope with grief,
  • teacher self-care to prevent secondary traumatic stress, and
  • the impact school and community culture has had on celebrating life to manage grief associated with death or loss.

This course will support teachers in creating a safe and supportive environment in which students feel nurtured, not only to learn, but also to express their feelings. Participants will receive the CPS Crisis Management Manual. They also work with the instructors (a teacher and a social worker) to produce their own Classroom Crisis Plan. This offering is aligned with the CPS Framework for Teaching Components 1b, 2a, 2d, 4d and 4e. Instructors: Michael P. Moriarty, NBCT and Connie Senter, LCSW

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Dates: Mondays - 3/7,  3/14,  3/21,  3/28,  4/4/2016* 

Time: 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM

The CTU Quest Center values your input. Help us to determine the categories of professional learning opportunities that meet your professional development needs. We will analyze the data to determine the courses, workshops and study groups CTU membership would like the Quest Center to provide during this school year so we can plan accordingly.

For more information contact Theresa Insalaco-DeCicco at 312-329-6270 or

Thank you for your input!


CPS Offerings

Monthly Framework Fests

January Framework Fest

Chicago Teachers Union