Brockport Research Institute

24 Brook Terrace | Brockport, NY 14420

Call us at: 1-585-431-3416

BRI - Professional Development Catalog

Brockport Research Institute offers a wide variety of Professional Development courses to help your team be better prepared to face the challenges of an ever-changing academic landscape. We offer courses on social studies integration, online/hybrid education, equity, diversity, inclusion, and even courses on meeting social-emotional learning needs. Whatever need your educators or school-district leaders may have, BRI has a competent professional to meet it.

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Best Practices

Applications of Universal Design for Learning

This course offers an opportunity to obtain a better understanding of how to implement UDL and develop the knowledge and skills you need to design learning experiences that promote more inclusive and equitable learning environments. The course will use discussion, lesson, and assignment peer reviews, formative learning activities, videos, and short readings. Can be tailored to focus on any discipline or concept area, e.g., engagement, comprehension, or problem-solving.

Case-Based Learning

Case-based lessons for high school students involve providing context for the learner and engaging them in real-world scenarios that directly correlate to content in both state and national science standards. Participants will learn about the process of integrating story-based learning to enhance student understanding about real-world concepts in the content area. Inspiration to find solutions, connect to content and answer questions generated comes from engaging cases. Participants will take on the student role and at the same time learn how to coach and facilitate learning. Can be specialized for any discipline.

Constructive Controversy: A Learner Centered Teaching Strategy

Confronting problems like racism and inequity in real life contexts requires practiced knowledge and skill. Helping learners develop their abilities to effectively manage conflict can be an explicit component of curriculums. Constructive controversy is one of the most effective learner centered methods for: a) building conflict management and discourse skills; b) enhancing creativity and innovation, and c) supporting complex decision-making skills.

Invention Education

Invention education engages students in real world problem solving that connects to Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, the Arts and Math. Converging these topics in a transdisciplinary approach is where content meets real world application and problem solving. Students are highly engaged in the creative and inventive process when given the opportunity. As teachers develop these programs, their content becomes more relevant and interesting. You no longer have to answer the question, “Why do I have to learn this?”

Literacy for All: Equity in K-12 Literacy Instruction

This course will ignite and inspire the literacy teacher and learner in all of us. Participants will begin their anchoring in to best practices in intentionally increasing student engagement in the teaching and learning of reading and writing. The session will then explore collaborative processes for the instructional of reading and writing across content areas. From an experiential perspective, participants will co-construct the role of equity in critical thinking. The intention of the session is to experience and turn key culturally responsive and equitable literacy strategies in building skills. The later section of the course will prioritize the philosophy and strategies to disrupt the literacy access and opportunity gap for black and brown students. Finally, participants will have the opportunity to apply equitable literacy theory and practice to all marginalized student populations.

Physical Activity and Mental Health

The importance of having kids participate in activities that require movement cannot be understated. For physical health, reports demonstrate the reduced risk of heart attack, better management of body weight, lowered blood cholesterol levels, and lowered risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers when active. Mental health and well-being benefits include improved quality of life, executive and cognitive function, improved self-esteem, and relief of stress. This talk will discuss the current research on physical activity and mental health in youth and provide strategies for increasing their physical activity participation levels.

Project-Based Learning

This course will orient attendees to project-based learning (PBL) including its purpose, philosophy, and mechanics. Particular attention will be paid to developing PBL lesson plans to online platforms and learning management systems. By immersing participants in real-world PBLs, they will collaborate to develop a new PBL.

Activities will be debriefed for feedback and reflection. Attendees will practice the role of teacher as coach; develop assessments for the PBL lesson; identify how integration of skills and training needed for students to be successful in STEM careers can occur within classroom instruction; and recognize how engineering and design principles are applied in everyday work.

Race & Trauma in the Classroom

Participants will explore their understanding of trauma responses and the manifestations of trauma in the classroom and school settings, and engage in participatory dialogue on best practices for recognizing and responding to consequences of student trauma. Next participants will discover the meaning, and impact of racial trauma on black and brown students and families. This session will conclude with a journey of discovery examining the concepts of racial identity and the connection to traumatic responses in classrooms and schools. Participants will feel empowered to identify the impacts of racial trauma, and how their identities can interrupt systems of oppression and disparate outcomes for black and brown students.

The Power of Two: Co-teaching to Promote Inclusion

Dr. Jie Zhang (Special Education) and Dr. Allison Wright (Social Studies) will co-teach this session to demonstrate the process and different models of co-teaching. The participants will engage in hands-on activities and interactive discussions, and implement and reflect on practical tools. The goal is to better prepare educators for supporting students in an inclusive learning environment.

Using Behavior Management to Support Students in Classrooms

This session will provide an overview of the key concepts related to behavior and behavior management practices needed to implement comprehensive classroom behavior management. It will also discuss the development and implementation of an individualized classroom behavior management plan to support the student’s needs in classrooms. Interactive discussions, scenarios, and hands-on activities will be provided to facilitate the participants to apply the materials and strategies to practice.

Content Area Best Practices

Abolitionist Teaching: Honoring Historically Responsive Literacy in the 21st Century

This course is designed for educators eager to take their Culturally Responsive practices to the next level. Abolitionist teaching is designed to confront systems of oppression and unlock the talent and genius in black and brown students. Through understanding and implementing a historically responsive literacy framework, educators will gain tools to empower students to disrupt the impacts of inequity in classrooms and schools. Through learning partnerships established with students, educators will be equipped to provide culturally responsive differentiation to unlock student potential and increase engagement!

Best Practices for Supporting English Language Learners (ELLs) and and Celebrating Cultural Diversity in the Classroom

Today’s classrooms have the unique pleasure of representing a wide variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Supporting these learners includes, but is not limited to, best practices in English language instruction. Finding authentic and meaningful ways to celebrate culture, embrace multilingualism, and promote language learning is the key to ensuring the greatest outcomes for these learners. In this course, we will explore what strategies, tools, and resources contribute to a classroom culture where English language learners thrive.

Best Practices with Multi-tiered Systems of Support in Math Instruction

This course focuses on enhancing teacher's math instruction skills and introduces strategies to meet the needs of students with special needs. Session outcomes include:

  • Review best practices related to Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and Response to Intervention (RtI).
  • Review best practices for Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
  • Explore five research-based strategies for use in mathematics classrooms.
  • Examine ways to assess student learning.

It’s Organic: Integrating Social Studies into Your ELA Instruction

Social studies has become a content area that teachers have found increasingly more difficult to find time for in their daily instruction. When done well, social studies can be integrated into ELA instruction in meaningful, discipline-specific ways. The results will ensure students are engaged in social studies concepts on a daily basis while at the same time strengthening established ELA lesson plans by providing necessary contextual lenses through which to engage students in each content area. The opportunities to successfully integrate ELA and social studies can be organically found within ELA curriculum IF we know how to find them! This workshop will get you started as you evaluate ELA lesson plans to uncover the potential social studies found within it as well as provide guidance when thinking about how to enhance your ELA instruction with social studies resources.

It’s Organic: Integrating Social Studies into Your Math Instruction

While mathematics and social studies have been historically viewed as unrelated content areas the potential for meaningful integration is more than possible when it is done successfully. It is widely known that students will engage in lesson plans more diligently when they are clear about the relevance of what they are being expected to learn. The answer to the age-old question, “Why do I have to learn this?” is always rooted in a social studies concept. This workshop will help you think through the inherent overlaps between math and social studies which will help you and your students see math instruction in more conceptual ways.

It’s Organic: Integrating Social Studies into Your Science Instruction

In today’s educational setting, science and social studies instruction are many times alternated throughout the school year to make more room for ELA and Math instruction. With the right approaches, the potential to integrate social studies into your science curriculum in organic ways will allow for a deeper exploration of each content area. This workshop will help you see the vast potential evaluating science lesson plans using a social studies lens will have for you and your students.

Rethinking What Social Studies Instruction Means in the 21st Century Classroom

Many elementary educators enter the profession with a resistance to teaching social studies because it may not have been a content area they enjoyed personally throughout their educational experiences. What if someone were able to help you rethink what social studies instruction CAN look like with your students? We all know that if we are excited about what we are teaching – our students will be excited about what they are learning! This workshop will help you reevaluate what social studies means in the 21st-century classroom so you will begin to see the potential for ways you can bring it to life in meaningful ways that will get both you, and your students, excited about social studies. Even if you already enjoy teaching social studies to your students you will still find new ways to think about how to engage your students in a content area you love.

Staying Connected and Feeling at Home: Effective Practices for Integrating Home Language Use into the English Dominant Classroom

This course equips educators with the tools and strategies needed in the classroom to capitalize on the English language learner’s (ELL) most valuable resource, their home language. Multilingual learners have cognitive advantages when it comes to both reading and writing when they are consistently able to make meaningful connections to the skills and strategies they have begun mastering or already mastered in their home language. Through practices such as translanguaging, having access to multilingual resources, and making connections to prior learning, students will more effectively develop their English language skills, all while staying connected to and continuing to build mastery of their home language. Allowing students opportunities to read, write, and speak in a language that is unfamiliar to the teacher can cause concern when it comes to both assessment and management practices. This course will help to alleviate these concerns by providing ways that the teacher can effectively assess and manage these research-based best practices.

The Science of Reading: A Balanced Approach

The most recent trends in education are pushing teachers towards a science-based approach to reading instruction. How can decades of research be boiled down into meaningful, actionable steps for teachers trying to use this best practice approach to inform their daily instruction? This course will provide an overview of the Science of Reading, while also sharing steps teachers can take to shift instruction, practice, and assessment to better align with what we know about how children learn to read. In doing so, this professional learning will remove the guesswork out of how to blend best practices with research, all while seeking to foster a love of reading in each of our students.

Using the Quality STEM Learning Rubric

STEM is more than an acronym, it is also an interdisciplinary approach to learning. A central feature of a STEM lesson plan is its focus on design and problem-solving in “intellectually messy” interdisciplinary learning environments. Students become innovators by solving real-world problems through design. STEM lessons investigate and explore the inter-related characteristics of the world rather than delivering instruction via rote procedures and isolated information. This course provides an introduction to the Quality STEM Learning Rubric to improve student learning and engagement. Schools may select certain modules to focus on based on their assessed needs. This approach can easily be adapted to online instruction.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Culturally Responsive Instruction

Professional development evaluation should be purposeful. Participants in this course will learn how to apply five critical levels of evaluation to improve professional development that begins with considering the desired student learning outcomes. Whether in the form of seminars, or job-embedded activities such as action research, collaborative planning, curriculum development, structured observations, peer coaching, or mentoring, evaluation should be included in the program planning process. Attendees will also discuss how expectations for professional development have been impacted by the shift to on-line and hybrid learning.

Equitable Educators: What Does It Look Like and Sound Like?

Are you ready to step up your equity game in the classroom? This course will unpack the NYS Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Framework in relation to classroom practices. The participants will examine questions around the nature and impact of implicit bias in the classroom and school policies. We will also discover the contrast between microaggressions and micro affirmations and the impact on student growth and achievement. The course will also prepare educators with a focus and strategies on student voice, classroom community, during the delivery of high quality initial instruction. Educators will be exposed to practical tools and best practices in increasing student empower- ment and engagement in the classroom setting.

Understanding Our Own Privileges without the Guilt

In today’s classrooms teachers are being confronted with the task of creating culturally responsive-sustaining classrooms where all students feel safe and valued. An important aspect of achieving this goal is for teachers to develop a comfort level understanding what privileges they may, or may not, enjoy in our society. This can create a range of feelings in teachers that can impact their willingness and abilities to embrace culturally responsive-sustaining practices in meaningful ways. It IS possible to understand what it means to understand and acknowledge the idea of privilege without internalizing this process negatively. This workshop will help us explore this concept honestly and with compassion in an effort to further our abilities to create positive learning environments and learning experiences within our classrooms.

e-Learning: Hybrid and Online Learning

Creating Accessible Documents & Video

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that educators create documents that are accessible to all users. This is especially true if documents are posted online to a shared space like Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, or a class website. This course will introduce participants to the basic concepts of accessibility, discuss why accessibility is important, and provide tools to check accessibility. Participants will engage in a hands-on process to either create a new accessible document or update an existing document to meet current accessibility guidelines. This course can easily be modified to meet specific needs of a school or district (e.g. captioning, images, video, PDF conversion, Google Docs, Microsoft Office, etc.). Access to a computer lab is extremely beneficial when scheduling this workshop in person.


Evaluating Educational Initiatives

Data-driven decisions require a systematic collection of data for analysis. This course is an overview of program evaluation including the importance of defining evaluation questions/purposes, identifying collection tools to measure necessary data to address those questions, and the data reporting process. Additionally, this course will include new methods for assessing educational initiatives in distance learning and online instructional platforms. This course will include facilitated discussions focusing on applying evaluation approaches, developing logic models, aligning program goals with School Improvement Plans and the Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) monitoring program implementation, and application of findings to Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Response to Intervention (RTI), and other school interventions.

Evaluating Professional Development

Professional development evaluation should be purposeful. Participants in this course will learn how to apply five critical levels of evaluation to improve professional development that begin with considering the desired student learning outcomes. Whether in the form of seminars, or job-embedded activities such as action research, collaborative planning, curriculum development, structured observations, peer coaching, or mentoring, evaluation should be included in the program planning process. Attendees will also discuss how expectations for professional development have been impacted by the shift to on-line and hybrid learning.

Program Evaluation: Basic Components for Evaluators, Grant Writers, and Grant Applicants

This course provides an overview of program evaluation, including the importance of creating and writing well defined evaluation objectives, evaluation/research questions/purposes, selecting and identifying appropriate data collection tools, the importance of mixed-method evaluation, and the data reporting process. Attendees will be introduced to the commonly used data collection methods and sources of data typically used in evaluation (e.g.., survey data, qualitative data, extant data such as academic outcomes, etc.) and how to determine which type of data is most appropriate for evaluating a specific objective and/or research question. Additionally, attendees will be provided with a logic model template, and instruction on how to best utilize a logic model to assure that all aspects of their evaluation are thorough and if applicable, map closely on to a grant request for proposals (RFP).

Qualitative Methodologies: Best Practices for Development, Facilitation, and Analysis

Over the course of two 1.5 hour sessions, attendees will learn the basic foundational practices for preparing and facilitating an interview and focus group protocol, as well as the best practices for the transcription and analysis of their data. In the first session, best practices for writing effective qualitative questions will be introduced, including how to write question prompts, subquestions, and wording questions to illicit the most accurate and high quality data. Attendees will also be introduced to best practices for protocol organization, including the funneling techniques, and the “dos” and “don’ts” of interview and focus group facilitation. Attendees will be given the opportunity to work either independently or in groups to create a short protocol. In the second 1.5 hour session, information about transcription and analysis techniques will be shared, including both thematic and content analyses, as well as the process of developing a codebook. Attendees will be given the opportunity to work in a group to develop a code book and apply codes to an existing transcript.

Survey Methodologies: Best Practices for Development and Software Programming

Over the course of two 1.5-hour sessions, attendees will be taught best practices commonly used in human subject’s research for developing or modifying a scale that inquires about human behavior, often related to specific evaluation outcomes or a specific research question, and how to program their survey in either Google Forms or Qualtrics. The first session will provide guidance on best practices for writing survey questions, choosing response options, and survey organization that optimize reliability and validity of data. Attendees will be given the opportunity in a small group to create a short survey utilizing these best practices. In the second 1.5 hour session, attendees will be given instruction on how to program a basic survey into both Qualtrics and Google Forms, including how to program specific question types (i.e., multiple choice questions, open-ended questions) and response options (i.e., yes/no, likert scale, text). Additionally, attendees will receive instruction on how to distribute their survey to their participants, and how to extract their data. The second session will conclude with participants returning to their original group and programming a survey either independently or together on their platform of choice.

Social-Emotional Learning Needs

SEL Benchmarks: What Are They and How Do We Implement Them Into the Classroom?

In November of 2022 NY state updated their social emotional benchmarks to align them with the state's DEI Framework, Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework, the Civic Readiness Initiative, and the Social Justice Standards. This workshop will review the current standards noting what's new and discuss how the social-emotional benchmarks can be implemented in everyday instruction.

Learning Targets:

  • Participants will learn what the NYS social-emotional benchmarks are and how to understand them.
  • Participants will learn why social-emotional learning should be incorporated into every lesson.
  • Participants will be able to identify at least three ways everyday instruction can incorporate components of social-emotional learning to align with the benchmarks.

Trauma-Informed Classrooms

Trauma has become a “buzz word” across education. In schools we often see the behaviors associated with the traumatic experiences our students endure but because of competing demands, it’s difficult to respond in the way we “should.” This workshop will teach you how to create a trauma informed classroom that is aimed to support all our students learning in an environment that is less triggering to the student resulting in lower frequency, duration, and intensity of behaviors.

Trauma: What Exactly is It and How Do We Prevent It?

Exposure to a traumatic event does not mean every child will experience trauma from it. What protects children from having a trauma response? Research says a safe, trusting adult is key. Additionally, there is a lot of research on building resiliency in children. This workshop will review the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) study and focus on strategies for prevention of traumatic responses.

Why What Happened Still Matters: Understanding the Impact of Trauma

This course offers an overview of how trauma impacts brain development and function with residual effects that may remain for extended periods of time. In both education and healthcare, we are just starting to understand why early traumas frequently do not fully resolve without healing interactions, even when the direct memories themselves do not remain. Understanding this process can help educators and health care professionals identify and respond therapeutically when trauma is impacting an individual's behavior, actions and ability to function. Professionals who are trauma aware are less frustrated, more successful and better able to become part of the healing process for trauma exposed individuals. Concrete examples of assessments and helpful interventions will be discussed.

Special Education

Coordinating Student Supports: How To Efficiently Utilize Available Special Education Services Within Inclusive Classrooms

This introductory session will explain the roles and responsibilities of the support staff who may be a part of the Individual Education Program (IEP) IEP. The practical considerations for collaborating with these professionals and paraprofessionals for adequate support will be addressed. This session will include the utilization of one-to-one aides. This session can be customized to facilitate the planning process of Co-Teaching teams.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Know the roles of Special Education Teachers, related service professionals, job coaches and one-to-one aides.
  • Know what Supports for School Personnel may be applicable to the CTE program
  • Learn practical strategies for increasing student independence by effectively utilizing support services

Ready For Success: Preparing To Support Students With Disabilities In Inclusive Classrooms

This introductory session will provide an overview of the types of disabilities that students may bring to the classroom. General profiles will be contrasted with how the Individual Education Program (IEP) will communicate individual strengths and needs. An overview of Universal Design, Accommodations and Modifications will also be addressed. This session can be customized to facilitate the planning process of Co-Teaching teams.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Know the 13 disability categories that may appear on an IEP
  • Be familiar with the typical learning profile of common educational disabilities
  • Know how to find the individual strengths and needs of each student
  • Know the principles of Universal Design (UDL), accommodations and modifications
  • Know the benefits of UDL

Secondary Transition: Supporting Students with Disabilities for Career Readiness

This session will review the challenges students with disabilities may experience when transitioning to the workforce. It will also discuss strategies teachers can use to support students to overcome challenges and be better prepared for career readiness.

Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

This introductory session will provide an overview of the characteristics of students with ASD and the research- and evidence-based strategies teachers can use to support the students’ academic, behavior, and transition needs.

Supporting Students with Disabilities in Classrooms

This session will provide an overview of the key concepts related to behavior and behavior management practices needed to implement comprehensive classroom behavior management. It will also discuss the development and implementation of an individualized classroom behavior management plan to support the student’s needs in classrooms.

Unpacking the IEP: Supporting Students with Disabilities in the Inclusive Classroom

This introductory session will provide a thorough overview of the Individual Education Program (IEP) document, how to read it and what it means for instructional planning. This session can be customized to facilitate the planning process of Co-Teaching teams.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Know why access to the entire IEP is important
  • Understand the components of the IEP including: disability classification; strengths and needs; management; accommodations and modifications; testing accommodations; transition; assistive technology; support for school personnel; goals; services etc.
  • Know how to apply high-incidence accommodations and modifications.
  • Know how the IEP impacts testing and grading practices.

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