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49 Antietam St, Devens, MA 01434    (978) 772-3293    (978) 772-3295

Educator Workshops

Senior Project
May 2017

Many schools, including Parker School, have found that senior projects have been a successful way for students to demonstrate what they have learned over the course of their high school experience; to remain engaged through their senior year, up until graduation day; and to provide students a way to delve deeply into a topic, often based on their own interests.
This workshop provides participants with a chance to learn specifically about Parker School's senior project program, focusing particularly on the ways in which students' yearlong projects reflect the skills they have developed during their entire education at Parker. After looking at these examples, practitioners will have substantial time to develop and receive feedback on their own plans for a senior project program in their own schools.

Engineering, Programming and Making in the Classroom
January 24, 2017

Are you excited by the idea of incorporating technology and art in your classroom but not sure where to start?  In this workshop, we will share how we developed a Maker course at Parker.  We will talk about the challenges we faced managing materials and supplies.  The course curriculum will be presented and attendees will spend time trying out various activities including sewn circuits, paper circuits, squishy circuits, Scratch programming, Makey-Makey and Arduino.  We will spend time in the classroom watching this curriculum in action.

The Skills of Advising
Monday, March 27, 2017

One of the most critical dimensions of any advisory program is professional development and support for advisors. In this workshop, participants will explore four key questions:

  • What is the role of an advisor?
  • What skills are important to being a successful advisor and how do we build those skills?
  • How do we structure advisory to meet our advisees' needs?
  • What initial and on-going support do advisors need?

In addition, we will spend time helping participants articulate advisory professional development plans that can be implemented upon returning to one's school.

Differentiation in the Math Classroom
May 23, 2017

In this session, participants will learn techniques to differentiate in the math classroom, by experiencing instructional and assessment methods from the perspective of a student and discussing these strategies with fellow participants. Participants will be led through the structure of a typical unit of study, have an opportunity to try out the activities from the perspective of students in their class.  Participants would get to observe some classes where this type of work might be taking place. Participants will then have an opportunity to experience an open-ended assessment that focuses on the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice, where they will do the assignment and experience the possibilities for what an array of kids can do as they work authentically with the same problem. We will use this problem to see how we can shift our thinking to examine what kids can do from a problem solving standpoint. Participants will also have the opportunity to examine student work from this same problem as we discuss the variety of ways that kids can show success.

Sharing and learning from formative and summative assessment in the Spanish Language Classroom
Date TBD

This session invites Spanish language teachers to learn together through the close examination of student work in Spanish. Using structured conversations, participants will engage in protocols that help them examine closely what their students CAN do in the language. Focused reflective conversations will explore how assessments might change to elicit greater demonstration of what students can authentically do in the target language. Finally, emphasis will be placed on proficiency development as opposed to content coverage. We will raise the question: How do we meet students where they are, closely considering their proficiency level, as opposed to push students through content so that they are ready for the final exam? Participants should plan on bringing examples of formative and summative assessments.

The Promise of Advisories: Defining the Six Key Dimensions for Your School
Date TBD

The Promise of Advisories will take participants through a series of exercises that explore the Six Key Dimensions of advisory programs: purpose, organization, content/curriculum, professional development, assessment and leadership.
Participants will leave the workshop with:

  • An understanding of the Six Key Dimensions of advisory programs and how they interrelate
  • An initial outline of their advisory program along with the Six Key Dimensions
  • A plan for bringing this work back to their schools including concrete activities to do with their own faculties.

Constructivist Classroom
Date TBD

With this workshop, participants will explore what it means for instruction to be constructive and authentic.  They will also become familiar with contemporary research on foundational ideas that support this method of instruction.  With classroom observations, they will observe authentic instruction and engagement at work.  Participants will then apply their thinking to their own work by revising a current piece of instruction or assessment to be more authentic.  Finally, participants will share their ideas and receive feedback from others, in order to fine tune next steps with their own authentic instruction. 

Humanities in Art: Teaching historically relevant art curriculum
October 25, 2016

History teachers know the importance of art in history, and art teachers know the importance of history in art. As a teacher, maximize a student's understanding of this dynamic curricular relationship by designing humanities-based art curricula. Learning and teaching art is especially rich when students fully understand its cultural and historical relevance. Similarly, history is especially engaging when students can exhibit their understanding with tangible, project-based assessments. Participants will observe the practice of this artful teaching at Parker, and they will have the opportunity to collaborate with one another in creating new curricula for their own professional practice.

All workshops are full day sessions, beginning at 8:30 am and finishing by 3:30 pm. The $150 registration cost covers all materials, along with breakfast and lunch.

To register for a workshop, call 978-772-2566 or email

Workshops are held at the Sizer Teachers Center at the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School. Click here for directions.

Want to request a custom workshop for your group? Email

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