Online Professional Development

The IFL's online workshops invite educators to be part of a virtual learning community while receiving one-on-one feedback from IFL facilitators. Our 5-7 week online workshops are designed to support educators in implementing high-quality, discussion-based learning experiences in their classrooms, schools, and districts. Participants engage in a wide-range of learning experiences including reading and responding to articles, watching and discussing videos, and generating and sharing lesson plans. As with our onsite professional development courses, the IFL's online workshops are designed so that educators participate in ongoing cycles of learn, apply, assess, and reflect.

The IFL's online workshops provide practical takeaways, tools, and resources that educators can use immediately as they work to incorporate high-quality discussions in their classrooms, schools, and districts. Plus, all of the online materials are available for download, so learning can happen wherever and whenever! Online workshops are asynchronous but paced. All online workshops begin on a Wednesday.

Educators can register for any online workshop as an individual or as a group. The IFL will dedicate any online workshop to a group of ten or more educators who register together. Groups of ten or more receive a 15% discount.

Introduction to Accountable Talk® $250

Talking with others about ideas and work is fundamental to learning. But not all talk sustains learning. In this five-week workshop, we define Accountable Talk® practices and discuss why this particular kind of classroom talk contributes to student learning across all content areas. You will learn:

  • what Accountable Talk® practices are;
  • why engaging students in academically productive talk is important;
  • how to get your students talking in ways that promote learning;
  • practical tips that scaffold student talk;
  • how to organize your classroom for different types of conversations; and
  • how Accountable Talk® practices support equity.

Text Discussions for Reading Comprehension: Elementary $295

As standards change and texts become increasingly challenging, even our most successful students will struggle with comprehension. This seven-week workshop lays out an integrated system of approaches for supporting students in comprehending complex texts. In this workshop, you will learn:

  • how to use Accountable Talk® practices to help students construct the meaning of a text;
  • research-based approaches to reading comprehension, and how each approach supports students in becoming independent readers of complex texts;
  • criteria for choosing rigorous texts for discussion;
  • how to analyze a text and planning comprehension instruction;
  • how to design productive questions that get students talking and writing; and
  • how to implement vocabulary instruction that supports comprehension of specific texts.

Literature Discussions that Work: Secondary $295

Supporting student comprehension at the secondary level has additional challenges. Research has shown that careful design and orchestration of literature discussions—from text selection to question design to reflection on learning—supports student understanding of difficult texts. In this seven-week workshop, you will learn:

  • How to use Accountable Talk® practices to support student comprehension through literature discussions;
  • How to choose engaging, complex, and worthwhile narrative texts;
  • How to differentiate support for reading comprehension;
  • How to develop a sequence of open-ended, text-based questions that guide learners from comprehension to higher order thinking about a complex, narrative text;
  • How to establish stable routines for talk; and
  • How to use a lesson planning template to develop a set of lessons that support learners' reading, writing, and talking about a complex narrative text.

Mathematics Discussions that Work $295

Discussions in math classrooms motivate students, increase students' learning, and support teachers in understanding and assessing student thinking. In this seven-week workshop, you will learn:

  • The affordances and limitations of engaging students in mathematical discussions;
  • How to use Accountable Talk® practices to foster student-to-student talk;
  • How to identify and distinguish between talk that is productive and talk that is not;
  • The characteristics of tasks that give students opportunities to talk about mathematical ideas; and
  • How high-level tasks along with the use of Accountable Talk® classroom conversations address the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Teaching History through Inquiry: U.S. Immigration $295

Historians are constantly trying to figure out what happened in the past, to piece together history from close study and discussion of artifacts. This seven-week workshop helps you in planning for different types of historical inquiry and in learning how to foster an inquiry mindset. You will learn:

  • how to use different types of inquiries to frame a learning experience, lesson, or instructional unit;
  • how to use Accountable Talk® practices to engage students in conversations that encourage them to think like historians;
  • how to select appropriate primary texts and data relevant to a particular subject of inquiry;
  • how to establish the pedagogical routines in your classroom that make students comfortable with engaging in historical inquiries; and
  • how to support individual students through the process of historical inquiry using formative assessment and differentiated approaches.

Registration for a Group of Ten or More (15% discount):

Learning together in an online environment is a great way to initiate or strengthen professional learning communities. Online facilitated workshops work well for formal or informal clusters of educators who enjoy thinking and working together. The IFL will dedicate any of our online workshops to a group of ten or more educators who register together. They also receive a 15% discount.

The group online workshop provides:

  • the opportunity for groups to work from their own context or perspective—school, content area, grade level, curriculum, problems of practice.
  • a platform for rich, ongoing dialogue even when participants don't have time to learn together in person.
  • a facilitated environment with an IFL instructor in which to develop a common language and knowledge base for moving forward as a community.
  • a final project adapted to meet the needs of your group.