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Pennsylvania ASCD Professional Development Services

PASCD offers the following multi-day, full day and half day workshops to school districts or organizations. Our workshops are built to be highly engaging that inclide audience particpiation with high qualified presenters. If you are interested in a having a Pennsylvania ASCD workshop for your school district or organization, please contact our executive director, Deanna Mayers, at or at 570-369-3530.

Workshops Available:

Leveraging Cultural Differences to Promote Diversity and Equity in the Classroom

½ - 4 Full Days

By acknowledging and valuing diverse cultural backgrounds, educators can devise instructional lessons that contextualize critical content and skills within students' everyday lives.  Through this process, students learn more about one another in safe, respectful environments that promote prosocial behavior, reduce bullying, spark intrinsic motivation, increase home-school connection, and close opportunity gaps through personalized learning.  This session offers strategies school leaders and teachers can transfer immediately into their buildings and classrooms to reach and engage learners of all cultures, ages, and abilities. 

        Topics to Include for PART 1: Internal and External Identity Development, Cultural Proficiency Continuum, Social Emotional Learning Components, Microaggressions, and Implicit Bias, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, and Self-assessment

        PART II: Race and Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, Facets of Gender, Language and Linguistics

Fostering a Growth Mindset
½ - 2 Full Days

In addition to Carol Dweck’s research on Growth Mindset, participants will explore the research of Vygotsky, Atkinson, and Seligman through experiential learning, collaborative activities, and deep dialogue and how their work impacts teaching and learning. Educators will assess ways to teach students of all levels about neuroplasticity, the value of productive struggle, the power of resilience and perseverance, and the importance of metacognitive reflection. Session participants will leave with several interactive activities and lessons that can be immediately applied to the classroom.

        Topics to Include: Neuroplasticity, Triune Brain, Zone of Proximal Development, Productive Struggle, Resilience and Perseverance, The Learning Line, Types of Mistakes, and Metacognitive Reflection

Devising and Asking Questions to Spark Curiosity, Critical Thinking, and Collaboration
1 Day

The best learning starts with questions, not answers.  In this session, educators will evaluate the art of devising and asking effective questions to spark curiosity, critical thinking, and collaboration among students. Join us as we delve into the relationship between effective questioning and best teaching practices, the common pitfalls experienced when posing questions, and successful strategies to boost engagement and deeper learning.


        Topics to Include: Modes of Thinking, Teacher Assessment Rubrics, Wait and Think Time, Participation Rates, Developing Cognitively Challenging Questions, Overcoming Common Pitfalls

Reducing Bullying Behavior and Fostering a Pro-social Educational Environment

½ - 1 Day

Our students require a safe, supportive learning environments in order achieve at their fullest potential.  In this session, attendees will participate in experiential activities designed to strengthen student interactions and develop a classroom community.  In addition to examining the types of bullying and the roles students take during a bullying incident, participants will learn of classroom strategies that reduce bullying behavior and increase pro-social interaction.  All activities, strategies, and lessons are able to be immediately incorporated into the classroom routines and practices.


        Topics to Include: Social Emotional Learning Components, Types of Bullying Behaviors, Roles in Bullying Situation, Resources for Students and Families, Bystander to Upstander Actions

Increasing Student Collaboration, Participation, and Engagement through Formative Assessment

½ - 1 Full Day


Fostering collaboration in the classroom encourages students to combine strengths, share responsibilities, learn from each other, and spark innovation to improve their own learning.  Students need to be explicitly shown how to collaborate effectively and efficiently in order to practice and master these skills. Through experiential learning and modeling, this session will showcase strategies for employing formative assessment to plan “next steps in learning” as well as promote student collaboration and participation.

        Topics to Include: 20 Different Ways to Formatively Assess Students (tech-based and non-tech based), Roles for Students During Collaboration, Social Emotional Learning Components

Establishing and Sustaining a Culture of Community

1-2 Full Days


This session addresses the most critical issues in schools today - climate, culture, and community. The foundation for creating a safe learning climate and community is

“respect” – for self and others. To be successful in our academic efforts, educators must create safe school and classroom communities by establishing strong, respectful relationships. This experiential session is designed to identify, model and practice strategies for team, group, and community building, self-respect and social skill building.


        Topics to Include: Climate vs Culture, Structure of Group Dynamics via Cog’s Ladder, Levels of Relationships, Feedback via Johari Window, Social Emotional Learning Components, Activities to Build and Sustain Community


Building Academic Success on Social Emotional Learning

½ - 2 Full Days


This session will help teachers design a climate and culture that develops students of character through the integration of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), sometimes referred to as “soft skills.”  Social Emotional Learning begins with self-awareness and extends to the essential skills of respect for self and others, responsibility for all that we say, think, feel, and do, and the value of building healthy relationships. "Satisfying the social emotional needs of the students does more than prepare them to learn. It actually increases their capacity for learning. Social and emotional learning has been shown to increase mastery of subject material, motivation to learn, commitment to school, and time devoted to school work" (Hawkins et al., 1999; Malecki & Elliot, 2002).

        Topics to Include: Five Components of Social Emotional Learning, Power of Emotional Intelligence, Meta-Analysis on the Power of Integrating Social Emotional Learning in Academics, Lesson and Activity Ideas to Integrate Social Emotional Learning, Explicit Teaching on How to Process Activities

Gamifying Learning to Increase Student Motivation and Achievement

1 Full Day


Can the use of games in the classroom increase student motivation? Research says, “Yes!”  This session begins by defining the qualities of online gaming that capture students’ attention and interest.  Incorporation of these characteristics into classroom instruction enhances the content, promotes active engagement, emphasizes social emotional learning, and increases academic performance. Through experiential activities, participants will explore low- and high-tech examples of games and how these games can meet the diverse needs of learners in every grade and across content areas.

        Topics to Include: Four Types of Engagement, Five Levels of Student Engagement, Qualities of Gaming, Ways in Infuse the Qualities of Gaming into the Classroom without Technology, Processing Gamification, Social/Emotional/Cognitive Benefits of Gamification

Designing Quality Lessons to Increase Engagement through Active, Student-directed Learning
½ - 1 Full Day

Engagement, or intrinsic motivation, is an essential component in student learning. Research shows the depth of engagement correlates to the depth of learning and serves as protective factor that increases the likelihood of a student’s success in school (Carini, 2004; Resnick, 1997). In this session, participants will analyze the four components of educational engagement, the five levels of student engagement (Schlechty, 2002). Through active learning, attendees will examine twelve engagement strategies to establish a student-directed learning environment and devise ways to incorporate these strategies into lessons for immediate use.

        Topics to Include: Motivation vs Engagement, Four Components of Engagement, Levels of Student Engagement, Twelve Engagement Strategies for the Classroom

Cultivating a Student Leadership Organization
1-2 Full Days

This session will provide resources and assistance to educators so that they may empower and support students building critical social and emotional skills to become leaders in their educational community.  Core areas of focus include: Identity and Developmental Assets, Social Emotional Intelligence, Belonging and Self-esteem, Character and Perception, Healthy Relationship, Communication and Active Listening Skills, Decision-making Processes, Conflict Resolution and Peer Mediation, and Peer Mentoring.

        Topics to Include: Mission and Vision, Social Emotional Learning Components, Leadership Styles, Topics of Focus and Training for Students, Hurdles/Speedbumps/Successes

Engaging Students through Brain-Informed Teaching Strategies

½ - 1 Full Day


“What were you thinking?!” Maybe you have wondered this of, or even asked it out loud to, your pre-teen or teenage student. Understanding the fundamental processes of the adolescent brain can help provide answers to that question. This session will help you understand the basic brain functions of adolescents and support you in designing and facilitating learning strategies and practices that will resonate with and engage students while fostering their academic, social, and emotional growth.

        Topics to include: Basic Functions of the Brain During Adolescence, Social Emotional Learning, Instructional and Assessment Strategies with Brain Development in Mind


Curriculum Design and Development
1 - 2 Full Days

- identifying priority and supporting standards
- unwrapping standards
- devising big ideas and essential questions
- creating formative and summative assessments
- aligning instructional strategies to meet lesson and units objectives

Project Based Learning

This can be delivered as a 1, 2 or full semester program.

This program includes learning opportunities for district leaders and teachers to provide for an efficient and well-supported project-based learning program. The program will grow teacher and administrators understanding of project-based learning to help them create and implement with minimal obstacles. The program includes four parts: an administrator workshop, teacher content development training, project facilitation training, and a reflection activity.  During this work participants will collaborate with peers, building leaders, and PBL consultant when they need help.

  • Identify the key components of a good project-based learning experience
  • Review project repositories and analyze them for depth of learning
  • Examine the importance of providing a supportive, risk-taking environment for all learners (teachers and students)
  • Connect the understanding of Growth Mindset, Grit, and Habits of Mind to PBL
  • Identify the importance of collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking in project design
  • Apply the PBL template to brainstorm essential content for projects and learn how to lead this brainstorming with their faculty
  • Designing formative checkpoints and student choice in product or performance-based summative assessment
  • Writing driving questions for each stage of the project
  • Understand the role of the teacher as facilitator in project-based learning experiences
  • Share a reflection of their experience and recommendations for adaptations for the project

Digital Leadership and Innovation

This can be delivered as a ½ day presentation and as much as a full 3-day workshop.

Throughout the program, learners will be introduced to a variety of types of instructional technology and innovation instructional leadership strategies that focus on example programs to advance the technical skills of both digital leaders and for those educators in which they supervise.

  • Define innovation and describe how innovation looks and feels in a classroom or school.
  • Analyze the changes you could make that would strengthen relationships
  • Strategies to empower teachers and learners to take risks.
  • Compare where you are now as a digital leader to where you need to go and construct a plan for how to get there.

Applying the 4C’s to Innovative Learning Experiences

This can be delivered as a ½ day or full day program.

This program is designed to promote innovative learning practices through the use technology tools to augment, modify and redefine learning through research based instructional strategies.

  • How do we create classrooms and schools where students and voices are not only heard but needed?
  • How do you involve the greater community in creating an inspiring vision for learning in your school or organization?
  • How does understanding the SAMR Model change your use of technology?

Developing Reflection through Blogging

This can be delivered as a ½ day or full day program.

This program discusses why blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information and news and how this connects with education. There are literally millions of blogs online (don’t worry, you can make yours stand out and get noticed!).  Blogging is a great way to express yourself and also a fantastic way to share information with others.  You become a better person and a better writer. This experience will take learners through the following activities:

  • Why is blogging important in education?
  • How do you set up your first blog?
  • What is your blogging footprint?
  • Why is reflection essential for learning?

Designing Online courses with Open Educational Resources

This can be delivered as a 1, 2 or full semester program.

This program will introduce the participants to a model of teaching and learning based on the use of open educational resources, within a collaborative professional development model. This includes the use of education materials that are available for localization and adaptation, such as Khan Academy, CK12, COERLL and many other Open Educational Resources (OER).  We will also review the U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign to use openly licensed educational materials to transform teaching and learning.

  • Understanding that “Free” and “Open” are not the same.
  • Understanding how and when you can or are required to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute content.
  • Our programs teach educational leaders how to create, curate, and advocate for OER in classrooms, school districts, and communities.
  • Understand Copyright, Public Domain, and Creative Commons licenses
  • Use new models for learning, such as those that blend face-to-face interactions with online exploration, discovery, reflection and mentoring.