Professional Development Opportunities E-News from OCM BOCES Instructional Support

February 2016

Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment:
Regional Sessions


OCM BOCES convenes several networks for specific content areas of areas of interest.  While these groups meet over the course of the year, registration is for each session- participants are welcome to join at any point.  Session content is guided by attending groups.

Literacy Leadership Network- this group is focused on literacy standards, assessments and instruction to meet literacy needs of students K-12.

Instructional Coaches Network is an opportunity for instructional coaches to share practices, collaboratively expand skills and offer support for each other. Topics for the year were identified at the fall meeting. March 28 is the next opportunity to join this group as they continue their inquiry into quality coaching.

Social Studies Network will continue to explore resources and instructional approaches and demands pertinent to the NYS Framework.   The January session is cancelled to allow the OCM BOCES staff to attend the Statewide Professional Development for Social Studies.

Project-Based Regional Network will be March 31.  PBL Regional Network is a new opportunity for PBL 101 trained leaders and teachers to network, share ideas, and learn from one another. PBL Regional Network participants will engage in collegial dialogue and learning experiences to gain a deeper understanding of Project-Based Learning principles and practices.  Please register a least a week in advance.

Curriculum Development

Social Studies Follow-up for Summer Curriculum Work - Grades 5-8 These facilitated sessions are for teachers and administrators who participated in the Summer 2015 Social Studies Curriculum Work to continue the process of curriculum mapping, unit design and inquiry writing.

Participants will have opportunities to share information, ideas and instructional practices on the teaching and learning of social studies content and skills. Sessions are offered each month and participants may sign up for a single session or for multiple sessions, as desired.  The next sessions are:

Summer 2016 Curriculum work for grades 9-12 & grades K-4

The guiding approach taken for the work is standards based design. We will begin with identification and close reading of the standards and practices. This will include examining the vertical progressions and alignment of skills. We will begin the week with whole group instruction and an explanation of the approach, available resources, and overall expectations. Throughout the week, there will be multiple opportunities for collaborative work time.

Instructional Practices

Project-Based Learning

PBL101: Project-Based Learning
PBL-101 is a foundational four-day workshop inspired by the work of the Buck Institute for Education, New Tech Network, Edutopia and Expeditionary Learning. It provides attendees with the skills and knowledge needed to design, assess and manage a rigorous, relevant, and standards-based project. The workshop is a balanced blend of direct instruction, video analysis, hands-on work time, resource sharing, and peer collaboration and feedback.

Over the summer, there are two ways to obtain PBL 101.  One way is a July regional training and the other way is during the Making Learning Happen-PBLNY 2106 in collaboration with BIE.

For teachers implementing PBL! March 7 will be PBL Educamp.
This is an opportunity for a day of deeper learning around all things PBL! Since you've been trained, have you desired to learn more about creating challenging Driving Questions? Engaging students in Inquiry? Facilitating student reflection? Or, do you have some learning or experience to share with others around Student Voice and Choice? Managing Critique and Revision during and after a PBL experience? If these questions appeal to you, come to PBL Edcamp: An Unconference created and facilitated BY the participants!

Especially for Math (and Science) Teachers:
Problem-Based Learning for Math Teachers -
May 2, 2106
This workshop will guide middle school and high school math and science teachers through a learning process in which they will gain an understanding of the key differences between Project-Based Learning (PBL) and Problem-Based Learning (PrBL). We will analyze different ways to link your curriculum and technology with a PrBL approach to create a rigorous and engaging learning environment for your students. Participants will also utilize workshop time to start planning their first PrBL experience for their students. This session is for middle school and high school math and science educators and administrators who want to learn more about Problem-Based Learning. Participants will be able to: 

  • Explain the difference between Project-Based Learning and Problem-Based Learning
  • Use resources to start to create a basic map for a PrBL unit
  • Link their curriculum and technology as they plan their first PrBL unit

By Request! Standards Based  Planning for the 21st Century
Instruction for All is a comprehensive course that is very well received and beneficial whether you are in your second year of teaching or 20th year!  The spring sessions begin March 4 and run for five sessions between then and June.


Spring Institute: The Responsive Classroom® Course
Become a more effective teacher by learning research-based strategies that lead to:

  • Engaging academic instruction
  • Better classroom management
  • Positive learning communities
  • Developmentally Appropriate Instruction and Discipline

This interactive, highly practical 28-hour course is our new and improved entry-level training. It gives classroom and special area teachers everything needed to start using core Responsive Classroom teaching practices.
This course replaces Responsive Classroom Level I (RC1). Learn specific ways to build classroom community and establish and sustain an optimal learning environment.

Developing Collaborative Groups Using the Adaptive Schools Framework
Schools today are faced with the challenges of increased accountability, effectively using data, and increasing the rigor of curriculum to ensure student success. This workshop will prepare team members to build strong collaborative and caring work cultures focused on continuous school improvement. Explore the research on organizational development and learn practical skills and tools to effectively navigate the currents of change.

Special Events

Response to Intervention at Work Institute

This Solution Tree event will be in Syracuse June 28-30, 2016 and showcase application of PLC!  OCM BOCES has limited discounted seats available for this event.


Making Learning Happen @ PBLNY 2016

YOUR MUST-DO EVENT OF THE SUMMER: For the first time ever, the nationally acclaimed Buck Institute for Education is teaming up with OCM BOCES to offer a four-day conference August 2-5 on the research-driven success of Project-Based Learning. This one-of-a-kind PBL event embraces the Maker Movement and offers a long list of inspiring speakers and exemplary workshops aimed at one goal: to bolster your understanding and success with student-centered, inquiry-based learning. Don't miss this chance to connect with hundreds of fellow educators, renowned experts and PBL trailblazers for an event that is guaranteed to spark creativity, collaboration and innovation in the classroom.

Some Blogs by Our Team:

  • Denise Jenny Fanelli offers summary of Nokes work on possible barriers for students to read and think like historians and more importantly,  specific suggestions for overcoming the challenges.

  • Denise Denise Pawlewicz  takes some of the stress, pressure and unknowns away from planning for public sharing of Project-Based Learning experiences.

  • Randi Randi Downs shares a tool she adapted to assist her students to bridge from expectations to actual learning.  She reflects on practices of shifting from keepers of knowledge to facilitators of inquiry.

  • Frances Lynn Radicello shared thoughts on reading Best Practices at Tier One: Daily Differentiation for Effective Instruction by Gayle Gregory, Martha Kaufeldt and Mike Mattos.  This text connects Response to Intervention to what needs to be done on a daily basis for students.

Through Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment component districts have the opportunity to send participants to regional offerings at no additional fees. Other districts may also attend and fees apply. Regional offerings are developed based on district input and expressed interests. Additional focus areas or alternative dates may be arranged especially for a district using included days or at regular daily rates. CI&A facilitates support for instruction through coaching, regional sessions and direct in-district work.

  • In-District Days: Districts may contract for specialized work or projects by contacting Lynn Radicello at
  • Coaching: OCM BOCES offers direct instructional coaching in the areas of literacy, Project-Based Learning, math and general instructional coaching. Districts may arrange for coaching by contacting Lynn Radicello at
  • Regional Sessions: Registration is usually through My Learning Plan.  Most sessions are posted by summer for the coming school year. Additional sessions may be added according to emerging requests. Offerings are found on MLP, are highlighted in Jeff Craig’s weekly blast and are described in the monthly PD enews.

Other PD Events From OCM ISS

Instructional Support Services (ISS) is the division within OCM BOCES that provides support through district specific work, regional workshops and networking opportunities and technical assistance. Within ISS there are several departments- please note the departments operate under different cosers and State Education Department Contracts so pricing may differ according to the varied regulations.

From Youth Development
Bullying: Empowering the Bystander - March 10
Students who see and hear bullying can step up and make a difference. In this workshop participants will learn strategies to teach kids to become Helpful Bystanders. Skills learned in this workshop will help minimize time spent on classroom discipline.

From School Library Systems
Minecraft in the Classroom and School Library - March 16
The goal of this workshop is to introduce ways in which Minecraft can be used in our schools. Minecraft is simple-students create a structure in a 3D environment. What makes Minecraft particularly suited to educational use is its open environment-it is not subject-specific. Some examples where teachers and librarians might want to use Minecraft include:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Math: Proportion and Ratio
  • History
  • Resourcefulness While Learning a Subject
  • Bridging the Gaps Among Different Learners

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