California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II

Professional Learning Activities Index

A 2009 report—Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A Status Report on Teacher Development in the United States and Abroad (PDF; Outside Source)—confirms what many already know; providing educators with quality professional development experiences translates into increased student achievement.

The Taking Center Stage—Act II (TCSII) Professional Learning Activities (PLAs) are designed to help educators access professional growth opportunities any time, and any place. Use the TCSII PLAs as a jumping off point— a place to begin—while you plan your own powerful staff development with a focus on closing the achievement gap at your school.

We encourage you to use these presentations and frame them around your own local context.

Organized around the California Department of Education's (CDE) 12 Recommendation's for Middle Grades Success, each of the following professional learning activities is designed to be self-guided and/or used with teams. Many of the professional learning activities include videos featuring presentations by nationally renowned education experts.


TCSII Professional Learning Activity

Implementing High Expectations for the Success of Every Student
Reeves 1—Rigor in the Classroom
Differentiated Instruction in the Middle Grades
Kinsella 1—Engaging Middle Grades Learners
Kinsella 2—Teaching Vocabulary in the Middle Grades
Kinsella 3—Building Language and Literacy Skills through Structured Tasks
Kinsella 4—Enhancing Students' Academic Discussion Skills (Parts 1 and 2)
Reeves 2—Making Assessment Work in the Real World
Zadina 4—Multiple Methods for Learning and Assessment
Strategic Use of Time in the Middle Grades
Relevant and Engaging Learning in the Middle Grades
Zadina 1—Brain Matters: Research on Learning
Zadina 2—Adolescent Characteristics (Part I): The Survival Instinct and the Development of the Brain
Zadina 3—Adolescent Characteristics (Part II): The Social Nature of the Brain and the Role of Emotion
Relationships that Promote Success in the Middle Grades
Transitions that Promote Success in the Middle Grades
A Visual Tour of Middle Grades Achievement Gap Data
Access that Promotes Success in the Middle Grades
Reeves 4—Teacher Leadership: Making a Difference
Reeves 3—Accountability in a Learning Organization
Enhance Your Planning Efforts with the TCSII Initiatives Crosswalk

12 Recommendations

Adolescents, You, and TCSII

New professional learning activities are added periodically to this section. To receive notification of all TCSII updates, subscribe to the Middle Grades Electronic Mailing List. It is free and you'll be among the first to receive notification when additional professional learning activities (PLAs) are posted to TCSII.

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