Productive Learning Environment
What is incorrectly labeled as discussion is often a recitation with
Teachers asking a question, a student responding, and the teacher evaluating the
student’s response. A productive classroom discussion involves all students enabling
them to invent, create, imagine, take risks, and dig for deeper meanings.
This series of three training sessions leads teachers through the
Understanding of what discussion is, gives strategies for actively engaging students, and
Allows time for practical application in the classroom with reflection following.
We all want to feel cared for and valued by the significant people in our
world, and students are no different. Developing teacher-student relations is one of the
most effective steps you can take to establish a positive discipline climate and learning
environment in the classroom.
Option 1: There is an option for the one session overview where information is
Presented in a consolidated form.
Option 2: There is a series of three training sessions where the topics of expectations,
active listening, body language, respectful communication, politeness, and
encouragement are delved into more deeply.
An important 21st century skill is for students to learn to work
collaboratively, as knowledge is built and extended through the exchange of ideas.
However, simply placing students in groups and giving them a task does not mean
learning is happening.
This series of three training sessions leads teachers to understand the
conditions necessary for successful group work, explores strategies and procedures and
allows time for practical application in the classroom with reflection following.
Effective Lesson PlansIntroduction:
Structured lesson planning is key to an effective lesson. There are certain
attributes that make an effective lesson and these need to be planned for. The maxim
says “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
The overview session gives information about structuring an effective lesson.
There are short introductions to the concepts of instructional outcomes, assessment,
and learning activities and how these all fit together.
Instructional Outcomes are the foundation to your lesson plan. They
identify exactly what students will be expected to learn, not what they are expected to
do. Instructional outcomes must reflect important learning and be designed so that all
students are able to demonstrate their understanding of the content.
In these two sessions teachers will learn how to effectively write instructional
outcomes and then have the opportunity to develop outcomes, in a guided environment,
for their own curriculum.
Assessment for LearningIntroduction:
Assessment for learning is about using assessment in the classroom as a
tool to improve students’ learning. Students become more involved in the learning
process and from this gain confidence in what they are expected to learn and to what
standard. Assessment is a powerful process that can either enhance or inhibit learning
depending on how it is applied.
This series of three training sessions leads teachers to the understanding of
‘assessment for learning’ and how it can differ from traditional assessment. Teachers
will explore strategies for putting ‘assessment for learning’ into practice and then delve
deeply into the concept of ‘feedback’, exploring its meaning and use to increase student
learning. Teachers are expected to implement strategies in their classrooms and reflect
on their impact.
Classroom activities can be powerful learning experiences or just busy
work that has no impact on student learning. Productive learning activities should be
designed with the instructional outcome in mind and provide opportunity for all
students to be actively, intellectually engaged.
These two sessions guide teachers in learning how to develop and implement
activities that actively engage all students in important learning. Many different
activities will be explored and then teachers will have time for practical application in
the classroom with reflection following.
Practical Lesson Plan CreationIntroduction:
Putting a lesson plan together involves many pieces including developing
appropriate learning outcomes, choosing effective assessments, and designing activities
which align with the learning outcomes.
Please note that this training session should only be taken after teachers have
completed training on Instructional Outcomes, Assessment for Learning, and Learning
Activities. In a guided environment, teachers will develop a lesson plan for their own
There are various frameworks that guide teachers to develop lessons
designed for students to reach the higher levels of critical thinking. The ability of
students to apply knowledge and skills, to analyze and evaluate information, and to
create by putting elements together, are all essential skills for success in today’s world.
This series of three training sessions gives teachers a good grounding in
understanding all the levels of Bloom’s taxonomy and how these can be used when
designing lessons, questions and assessments. Teachers will be given the opportunity to
focus on their own curricular area and have time for implementation and reflection.
Classroom Management ProceduresIntroduction:
It has been said that the #1 problem in the classroom is not discipline,
but lack of procedures and routines. Procedures are different from rules. When a
teacher establishes, teaches and reinforces classroom procedures, students know what
to expect and how to perform classroom routines. This creates a positive atmosphere
and a smoothHrunning classroom.
In these two sessions teachers will learn what a procedure is and why they are important. Teachers will create procedures for their own classrooms. There will then be time for practical application in the classroom with reflection following.
Managing Student BehaviorIntroduction:
There are many reasons why students choose to misbehave in
classrooms. Without appropriate behavior very little learning can occur. Punishment
does not create the positive atmosphere that is necessary for students to be able to
maximize their potentials, and there are many other strategies that have much better
In this overview session teachers will learn about the constructive impact on
behavior that comes from setting positive expectations. Teachers will learn strategies
for monitoring behavior and develop responses to misbehavior.
Managing Student BehaviorIntroduction:
There are many reasons why students choose to misbehave in classrooms. Without appropriate behavior very little learning can occur. Punishment does not create the positive atmosphere that is necessary for students to be able to maximize their potentials, and there are many other strategies that have much better results.Sessions:
In this series of four sessions, teachers will delve into the topics of developing positive relationships, defining parameters of acceptable student behavior, implementing effective teacher monitoring skills, and exploring consequences for student misbehavior.
Organizing the Physical EnvironmentIntroduction:
The physical environment in which students work has an effect on their behavior, safety, and learning. This is an emerging topic with many schools around the world exploring nonHtraditional ways of organizing classrooms.Sessions:
In this one session training, teachers will explore ways to ensure safety and create an effective environment. Teachers will learn about different arrangements for classroom furniture, see advantages and disadvantages of layouts, how some are more applicable for certain types of activities, and how they impact learning.
The Importance of the First Days of SchoolIntroduction:
Education specialists agree that what the teacher does during the first days of school sets the tone for much of the rest of the year. There is a great deal of preparation that a teacher can do before the first days of school in order to present to students a well-managed classroom that promotes an atmosphere in which each student is valued and learning is achievable for all.Sessions:
This is offered as both a series of four or six training sessions. Teachers will learn about setting positive, high expectations for students and teachers, forming positive relationships with students and parents, developing clear classroom procedures, and establishing a wellHmanaged classroom to maximize learning. Teachers will plan their necessary resources and start development of them. In the six-session course, teachers will have more time to create resources with materials provided by ATDC.
With a goal of all students achieving high levels of learning, we need to
examine ways that we can engage and motivate students. By understanding different
types of motivation and their impacts, we can develop strategies to best motivate
individual students. Ultimately, we want to develop learner autonomy in each student
as a step toward lifeHlong learning.
In this one training session teachers will explore the application of ‘flow’ and
how this impacts student motivation and learning. Teachers will learn about different
strategies to motivate and engage students.
How Mindsets Impact LearningIntroduction:
It’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success, when students
and teachers have a growth mindset, they understand that intelligence can be
developed. Students focus on improvement instead of worrying about how smart they
are, thus working harder to learn more and get smarter. Understanding this brainHbased
research can help us all to grow and develop our potential.
This is a series of three training sessions that delve deeply into the concepts
of fixed and growth mindsets. Teachers learn how these mindsets impact their own
learning and then move on to learning ways to foster a growth mindset in their
Empowering Student LearningIntroduction:
Lev Vygotsky has been very influential in the research and theory of
cognitive development over the past several decades. His theories stress the
fundamental role of social interaction in the development of cognition. Vygotsky’s idea
is that the potential for cognitive development depends on the ‘zone of proximal
development’ or the range of skill that can be developed with adult guidance or peer
collaboration, exceeds that what can be attained alone.
In these two sessions, teachers will learn about the zone of proximal
development and how to implement this into their practice. The concept of ‘scaffolding’
will be explored and teachers will learn about its impact on learning. There will then be
time for practical application in the classroom with reflection following.
Improving Teaching and Learning PracticesIntroduction:
There have been various frameworks developed that address the major
aspects of the teaching and learning process. These frameworks allow teachers to see
the concepts and topics that allow for effective teaching leading to maximized student
learning. One such framework has been developed to meet the needs of Azerbaijani
In this session, teachers will be introduced to one framework. They will
explore the different sections of the framework, including explanations and rubrics that
give criteria for levels of achievement. Teachers can continually use this framework to
guide them on their growth, with the goal of developing students, intellectually and
actively engaged in important learning.
The on-going goal of ATDC is to assist teachers in developing the knowledge, understanding, and skills to become effective teachers who understand and implement best practices of modern pedagogy. Effective teachers are good classroom managers, understand the needs of today’s learners, and strive to actively engage all students in learning.Sessions:
In this series of four training sessions, teachers explore the concept of what an effective teacher is and how to become one. They will learn about reflecting on teaching and why this important, about expectations, rules and consequences and how to implement them, and about personal expectations of the teacher.
Families as PartnersIntroduction:
Family engagement positively impacts student achievement and it is important to help families participate in their child’s education, both in and out of the classroom, as a partner with the school.Sessions:
In this one session, teachers will learn why it is important to involve families in the learning process. They will explore strategies for involving and interacting with families.
Communicating with StudentsIntroduction:
Effective communication in the classroom leads to improved student behavior and increased student learning. Effective communication is about setting expectations, giving directions, implementing procedures, and explaining content in a way that is clear to students.Sessions:
In this one session, teachers will learn about effective communication with students and explore methods and strategies to put into practice. Teachers will look at both oral and written communication, speaking and writing clearly and expressively, and making sure that the communication is appropriate to the level of student development.
Effective Teaching AssistantsIntroduction:
Teaching assistants have various job descriptions and duties depending on the school where they are employed. There is potential for the teaching assistant to provide real value in the teaching/learning process.Sessions:
This is a multi-session series that can be structured to meet the needs of the school. Possible topics, each with multiple sessions, include (1) supporting teaching and learning, (2) behavior management, (3) contributing to assessment for learning, (4) child development and (5) developing professional relationships with children and adults.