Category Archives: Professional Development Workshops for Educators

“You are the Difference” Presentation for Birmingham Public School District’s MLK Educational Training Conference

Unlock the Teacher LLC

Presents

“You are the Difference”

for Birmingham Public School District’s

MLK Educational Training Conference

January 16, 2012

"You are the Difference" Presentation by Denise Ball and Unlock the Teacher LLC

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
~Martin Luther King Jr.

Unlock the Teacher was asked to present at Birmingham Public School District’s MLK Educational Training Conference.   The district invited over thirty presenters to come in an speak on various topics. The entire educational staff for the district was then able to look at all presentations being offered, and choose two to add to their professional development plan.

I was happy to come in and share Best Practices, Anti-Bullying techniques and remind educators the very important responsibility and role we play in the life of a child.  As Carol Buchner once said, “They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

As educators, we pass on wisdom/skills by modeling  the expected behavior.  Of course, all the wonderful educators present today new the importance of these tips but sometimes even the most qualified and most dedicated teachers need reminders… and these teachers were positive and a joy to present to.

If your school or district would like Unlock the Teacher LLC to come into your building(s) to present one of our many workshops or to customize a workshop to fit your needs, please email me at denise@unlocktheteacherllc.com or teachme@unlocktheteacherllc.com

“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.”

  — Forest Witcraft

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

Denise Ball presenting "You Make a Difference"

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What are Educators and Principals saying about Denise Ball and Unlock the Teacher…

Unlock the Teacher LLC has just finished up working with a staff on curriculum alignment at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs school in Beverly Hills, Michigan.  This has been a fifteen month process.  The  principal, Mr. Joseph Vincler and the entire educational staff made us feel so appreciated!  They came to each curriculum session with an abundance of positive energy and a desire to learn.  This staff took the time to look and analyze their current curriculum, learn the “Nuts and Bolts” of the Common Core State Standards (that we prepared for them) and collaborated within their professional learning communities in the building to make sure there were no gaps in their teaching practices in all disciplines.  It has truly been a pleasure!  I have no doubt, that they are among a small list of schools that have looked at  (in-depth) the CCSS documents and have incorporated the Common Core State Standards for ELA and Math into their everyday teaching practices.

We look forward to continue to build a relationship with this school and coming back to work with this wonderful educational staff once the Social Studies and Science standards are released.

Here are a few comments they sent us from one of our first training sessions with them in 2010 as we began the curriculum alignment process.

What are educators saying about Denise Ball and Unlock the Teacher...

One of the many workshops we conducted as part of our Curriculum Alignment Package to this school over the 15 month time-frame.

Unlock the Teacher talking about Education

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Professional Development for Teachers=Inspiration for Trainer

We Conducted a Workshop for Teachers Before Students Arrive Next Week...Inspiring!

We conducted our first professional development for the 2011/2012 school year.  We were honored to be asked back by a school we had worked with all last year, with one of our year-long curriculum alignment packages. They worked so hard to align their curriculum as a building. We visited their school three times last year to discuss the Common Core State Standards, met with teachers one-on-one to discuss individual classroom curriculum that we had been working on via email and conducted grade-level curriculum meetings to ensure that the entire building was on the same page.  As a curriculum developer, I was very impressed with their dedication to their profession and their work ethic to make sure that their building’s curriculum was appropriately scaffolded to maximize learning potential.

So it was with great joy we accepted their invite to come in and give a two and half hour motivational workshop…what a fun way to kick of the year for them and for us!

This dedicated staff allowed me to push them out of the box with some collaborative “hands-on” exercises and impromptu sharing. I think I enjoyed it as much as they said they did. I truly love to see teachers get excited about collaboration and willingness to learn from one another. It was a great way to start our year off at Unlock the Teacher too.  Sometimes we get so consumed by our writing and curriculum alignment projects, that  when we conduct our professional development and student workshops, we are reminded of why we are choosing to do what we do.

We look forward to meeting new teachers and principals this year.

We are excited to share that we are talking with app developers for some of our material and we will be sending off our proposal for Book I in our Unlock the Teacher series, that we are collaborating with Dr. David Lick, Director of Family Practice, Beaumont Hospital, and a Professor at Wayne State and Oakland University Beaumont Medical School, and Dr. Joslen Letscher, Professor at the University of Detroit Mercy.  We have an exciting year ahead and are thankful for all the community support we have received.

As last year, and in keeping with who we are, we will be looking for one or two schools to work with and donate our time and talent with writing and ePublishing workshops.  Please let us know if your school would like to be considered by emailing us at teachme@unlocktheteacherllc.com or by visiting us at our website and leave a comment at www.unlocktheteacher.com To contact me directly, email me at denise@unlocktheteacherllc.com

We wish all those who play a role in the life of a child to have a year full of many learning discoveries!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

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Teachers are Planters of Seeds…What Kind of Seeds are you Planting?

What seeds are you planting for our future?

As I sit and review my notes for Unlock the Teacher‘s first professional development session for the 2011/2012 school year, I reflect and wonder, what
words can I provide that might inspire and instill hope for all the amazing teachable moments that will happen in the life of the teachers with whom I will
be speaking to tomorrow. Teaching is SO much more than a job, I honestly believe it is a calling; an urge that a person feels to make a difference, and
is played out in the classroom.

We often think about all the teachable moments that happen throughout the school year for our students, our future. However, I also think
of the amazing teachable moments that occur for the individual teacher. I hope that at this time of year, the teacher is reflecting and writing a curriculum
map for the school year that will be used as a master plan.

The teacher, who starts the school year, is often different from the one who finishes it. Hopefully, this is the case, as a true reflective
practitioner will evolve throughout the year as his/her students will…keeping in mind no two students are alike, no school year should ever mirror another for
a teacher.

In regards to a teacher’s master curriculum plan, this is just a tool that is utilized to create lessons full of discovery for each quarter,
with one scaffolding on the next to ensure that students are maximizing their potential. However, this is just a plan, as all good teachers know, true
“teachable moments” sometimes just happen and must be capitalized on in the moment.

I have chosen the theme of “Teachers are Planters of Seeds” for tomorrow.  I have had the pleasure of working with this staff on curriculum alignment and I am honored to be asked back into their building on their first day back to school before their eager students arrive next week.

I think as teachers, we have the awesome power to create new worlds in our students’ minds, take them to places they might not ever get an opportunity to experience, tell them and show them how to achieve the impossible dream OR we can crush the human spirit with one angry glance or snide comment.
Actually, anyone who plays the role in the life of a child has this same awesome power and it would serve us all well to remember it.  Think about what kind of world we hope to have in the future and remember that it all begins with how we treat our children today, what opportunities we provide, what words of encouragement or destruction did we choose to utilize at the moment of chaos in the classroom, that hectic classroom greeting after driving through rush hour?

 

Children Learn What They Live

By Dorothy Law Nolte

 

If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.

If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.

If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.

If children live with acceptance,
They learn to love.

If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.

If children live with honesty,
They learn truthfulness.

If children live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.

If children live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a nice place in which to live!

 

What kind of seeds are you getting ready to plant this school year?

May we all continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise

 

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Unlock the Teacher Offering Free Anti-Bullying or ePublishing Student Workshop

“There is no work more important than preparing our students to compete and succeed in a global economy,

and it is to the credit of these states that this work is getting down.”

Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

Unlock the Teacher is offering an unprecedented preview workshop in August and September of 2011 to present the CCSS alignment process for ELA
and Mathematics. This one-hour presentation will explain the process and the benefits of the Alignment Program that Unlock the Teacher has
created.

During this professional development overview, we will:

  • Give a “Basic” overview of CCSS with a breakdown of each of our
    workshops
  • Show how we will collaborate with all educators throughout the
    year via email
  • Explain the Unlock the Teacher team-based method of alignment
  • Demonstrate the needs and benefits of alignment
  • Preview your current curriculum alignment package

Since Unlock the Teacher is constantly striving to share the knowledge, this CCSS Preview Workshop is being offered at minimal cost. Visit
our website and book before September 1st and receive a special bonus. We will give you a FREE educational training session for your students in either
ePublishing or Anti-Bullying. www.unlocktheteacher.com

We are a  company that was founded to help teachers do what they do best teach! Our unique method allows educators to focus on teaching while our team works with aligning and customizing teacher and building curriculum to the Common Core State Standards. I am a certified educator with over seventeen years in education. I have a BS and MA in Curriculum and Instruction and have worked with many schools on curriculum alignment, get ready for state accreditation and develop funds via grant writing workshops.

Unlock the Teacher this past school year created many student workshops that were very popular with both students and educational staff. Please visit our website for more information and testimonials.

Workshops Synopsis of Unlock the Teacher Workshops (c)2011

Teachers and Educational Staff

Common Core State Standards Workshops:

Cornerstone for Successful Implementation –District Leaders,Principals

Cornerstone for Successful Implementation – Building Leaders

Common Core State Standards “Nuts & Bolts”

Curriculum Alignment Part I

~Collaboration is Key!

Curriculum Alignment Part II

~Presentation and Mini-Group Workshop

How to Utilize ePublishing in the Classroom~ Writing Workshop for Grades 1-12 (Given for Grades 1-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-12)

ePublishing as an Educational Revenue Resource Workshop

Student

Teen ePublishing Workshop

Anti-Bullying “Words Hurt” Workshop Session I (Grades K-3)

Anti-Bullying “You Can Make a Difference” Workshop Session II (Grades 4-6)

Anti-Bullying “Words, Action, Character” Workshop Session III Grades 7 & 8

Anti-Bullying “Getting the Big Picture” Workshop Session IV (Grades 9-12)

Join the Conversation~ Together we can make a difference!

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As a Curriculum Developer, This is my Impression of the Common Core State Standards Initiative by Denise Ball

Together we can make a difference!

As one who gets extremely excited about curriculum, I thought I would share some words of wisdom on education that I found from the Common Core State Standards Website. I understand after many years in the education system, how easy it can be for educators to get discouraged when a “new” trend or a “new” must follow philosophy comes along…that all must follow under the auspices of what is best for our children. However, after working with a few educational staffs this past school year on curriculum
alignment and aligning curriculum to the new CCSS ELA and Math model, I am even more impressed with the initiative and the direction it is pushing towards on behalf of our children.

A funny thing is, I believe the CCSS model is even more complimentary and gracious to us educators than many state standards. As an ELA
teacher, I find the comprehensive breakdown of grammar per grade refreshing…not to mention the recommendations of literary works to enhance lessons. However, the icing on the cake for me was the recommendation of utilizing Shakespeare in the classroom…I used Shakespeare’s plays for years in the classrooms I taught and the students just enjoyed it! In fact, one year
I had a group of seventh grade girls who found joy in practicing writing and speaking in Old English 🙂

With this said, I hope you take a look at the Common Core Standards with an open mind and look at them as a guide…as all curriculum is.
The true mastery is in the teacher and the reflective practices he/she uses to capture the unending teachable moments throughout the school year.

Great quotes taken from the Common Core State Standards Initiative
Benchmarking for Success documents:

“We are living in a world without borders. To meet the realities of the 21st century global economy and maintain America’s competitive edge into the future, we need students who are prepared to compete not only with their American peers, but with students from all across the globe for the jobs of tomorrow.”

“Nations around the world are facing a new education imperative, and many are seizing the historical moment to provide their citizens with better opportunities and stronger economies.”

“Governors recognize that new economic realities mean it no longer matters how one U.S. state compares to another on a national test; what matters is how a state’s students compare to those in countries around the globe. America must seize this moment to ensure that we have workers whose knowledge, skills, and talents are competitive with the best in the world.”

For additional information on Common Core State Standards that all but a few states have adopted visit http://www.corestandards.org/

For information on Unlock the Teacher LLC Common Core State Standards Workshops and/or recommendations from teacher, principles and superintendents, please feel free to visit our website at www.unlocktheteacher.com or email teachme@unlocktheteacherllc.com

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,

Denise 😉

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We are so Excited to Hear from Principals Around USA~Here is a Quick Contact List for Unlock the Teacher LLC and as Requested, a Synopsis of our Workshops

We are thrilled with the response to the workshops we have been using this year in some schools and the workshops we just created for the 2011-2012 school year.

A Brief Breakdown of Workshops

Common Core State Standards Workshops

Cornerstone for Successful Implementation –District Leaders,
Principals

Cornerstone for Successful Implementation – Building Leaders

Common Core State Standards “Nuts & Bolts”

Curriculum Alignment Part I

~Collaboration is Key!

Curriculum Alignment Part II

~Presentation and Mini-Group Workshop

Unlock the Teacher
LLC Workshops for Educators and Administrators

“How to Utilize ePublishing in the Classroom” Writing
Workshop for Grades 1-12

“ePublishing as an Educational Revenue Resource” Workshop

Unlock the Teacher
LLC Workshops for Students

Teen ePublishing Workshop

Anti-Bullying “Words Hurt” Workshop Session I (Grades K-3)

Anti-Bullying “You Can Make a Difference” Workshop Session
II (Grades 4-6)

Anti-Bullying “Words, Action, Character” Workshop Session
III Grades 7 & 8

Anti-Bullying “Getting the Big Picture” Workshop Session IV
(Grades 9-12)

“ePublishing and Writing” Workshop for Grades 1-12

 

We are beginning to pencil in training.

Please utilize the following information to contact us for teacher, principal or superintendent recommendations or availability:

Denise Ball

Unlock the Teacher LLC

Chief Executive Officer

Denise@unlocktheteacherllc.com

 

Trisha Vaughn

Unlock the Teacher LLC

Chief Financial Officer

trisha@unlocktheteacherllc.com

Sue Atwell

Unlock the Teacher LLC

Chief Marketing Officer

Sue@unlocktheteacherllc.com

Leave questions or comments on our website: www.unlocktheteacher.com

or teachme@unlocktheteacherllc.com

Our Mission

At Unlock the Teacher LLC, our mission is to make a difference for all by opening doors of education; the doors are many, they are unique and tailored to each individual, each student and each business.

“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.” — Carl Rogers

May we seek kowledge in all things,

Denise

 

 

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Unlock the Teacher LLC Present Common Core State Standards Workshops for 2011-2012 School Year

As the 2010-2011 school year is coming to a close, and we have successfully worked with and implemented the Common Core State Standards into a couple school’s curriculum alignment plan, we are happy to share our Curriculum Alignment Workshops we will be offering next school year.

Given the roll out of ELA and Math for 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 CCSS schedule and assessment in 2014, we are thrilled to have a proven model that is teacher and  administrator friendly, time efficient and works with a schedule customized to each school or district’s needs.  For further information, please visit our website at www.unlocktheteacher.com today to schedule your Common Core State Standards Curriculum Alignment training for next year while dates are still available.

Our mission is always to share the good in education and to make a difference for teachers and students.  It is because of this, we offer discounted packages and work with Title Funds and other agencies to ensure success for all!

Unlock the Teacher LLC

Common Core State Standards

Curriculum Alignment

Five Workshop Model

Cornerstone for Successful Implementation –District Leaders, Principals

Session: UTT-A-1

Overview: District leaders and key decision makers establish a plan for the successful implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the curriculum alignment process. Workshop addresses integrating school improvement items, establishing a timeline, designating overseers of specific tasks, clarifying the district’s vision for success, as well as creating a process for developing, sharing, and publishing curriculum alignment plans.

Focus: Customize and set various options in curriculum alignment timelines to be accessible by all users.

Expected Participants: District leaders and key decision makers

Session Length: Half or full day

Cornerstone for Successful Implementation – Building Leaders

Session: UTT-B-1

Overview: Building-level administrators define how Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Curriculum Alignment is to be implemented: using reports operationally, developing a communication plan, establishing timelines, as well as creating feedback to balance instructional design with the needs of the teachers and students.

Focus: Design a plan to support educators as they collaborate with Unlock the Teacher LLC team to develop curriculum alignment packages to include the CCSS.

Expected Participants: Principals and building administrators

Session Length: Half or full day

Common Core State Standards “Nuts & Bolts”

Session: UTT-CCSS-2

Overview: The What, When, Where and Why of the CCSSI documents.  How to look at the standards given, based on International Best Practices to create a meaningful, living curriculum to benefit our children, our future.

Focus: To gain a better understanding of the process behind the Common Core State Standards and to learn how to utilize these documents as a classroom resource.

Expected Participants: Teachers and administrators

Session Length: Full day

 

Curriculum Alignment Part I

 Collaboration is Key!

Session: UTT-CA-3

Overview: Participants reflect on their current teaching practices and work with Unlock the Teacher team to design a curriculum package that meets and exceeds state and national standards, incorporating the Common Core State Standard.  Educators will collaborate
with team to create customized curriculum that is composed of living documents, adjusted regularly to meet the needs of all learners.

Curriculum mapping templates are designed to allow teachers to reflect and journal on “what worked and those lessons in need of modification.”

Focus: Utilize the Common Core State Standards as a skeletal outline to fill in to design a customized curriculum to meet the needs of all learners and to follow guidelines outlined at the state and national level.

Expected Participants: Teachers and administrators

Session Length: Full day

 

Note: This process takes approximately 3-6 months with the Unlock the Team collaborating via email and phone with educational staff to
customize aligned curriculum.  This is a proven effective method which takes STRESS off of the teachers and allows them to do what they do best, TEACH!

Curriculum Alignment Part II

Presentation and Mini-Group Workshop

Session: UTT-Final-4

Overview: Participants come together to receive a complete aligned curriculum binder.  This is a celebration of the educational team’s hard work on behalf of their students.  Grade levels and/or disciplines are divided and “Break Out” session occurs where educators are
guided through a professional learning community exercise.

Focus: To find strengths and weaknesses to work on in the new aligned curriculum. Create professional learning community tools in
curriculum development.

Session Length: Half day

Recommendations can be provided upon request.

May we seek knowledge in all things,

Denise 🙂

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