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Join a Teacher-Led Practice Network

Why Networks?
We know that teachers must have the opportunity to learn from and share information with each other. You are invited to join a dynamic group of educators as part of the Teacher-Led Practice Network. Through these Networks, you will acquire new resources, strategies, and information that will empower you to refine your instructional practices.

Together, you will learn, apply, reflect and adjust to create meaningful impact for your students. Joining a network is free and offers the opportunity to earn graduate credit from UMass Boston or PDPs, plus, free dinner.

How does it work?
The Teacher-Led Practice Network is a series of teacher-led, collaborative learning sessions. The TLPN focuses on improving your implementation of standards, instructional strategies, and practices in order to promote student learning and achievement. Network sessions are held once a month from January to June and cover a wide range of topics and content areas.

Over the course of six months, a typical TLPN session may include the following:

  • Teacher leader leads network of teachers in setting an instructional practice goal within a common practice area. 
  • Learning of new skills and highlighting the aligned resources based on the networks’ needs (e.g., EngageNY, Literacy Design Collaborative, Illustrative Math, EQuiP).
  • Collaborate in applying acquired skills and resources to plan instruction for your own context and calibrate plans for instruction and/or problem solving problems of practice.
  • Finalize a commitment/plan for implementation from session to session and work to make observable changes in classroom practice.

Each session will result in new or improved standards- aligned practices and lessons for you to test in your classroom before the next monthly session. 

What Network will you join?
Full Collaborative Network descriptions are listed below. 

Collaborative Networks Offered at the Mildred Avenue K-8 School in Mattapan 

Dates: Tuesdays from 4:30pm - 7:30pm,  January 10, February 7, March 7, April 4, May 2, and June 6. Dinner provided. 

  • Early Childhood Student-Centered Collaborative Network (Grades K-2)
  • Universal Design for Learning Collaborative Network (Grades 1-5)
  • THIS COURSE IS FULL Differentiating to Include all Students Collaborative Network (Grades 3-12)
Collaborative Networks Offered at the Orchard Gardens K-8 School in Roxbury 

Dates: Thursday from 4:30pm - 7:30pm,  January 12, February 9, March 9, April 6, May 4, and June 8. Dinner provided. *Effectively Teaching English Language Learners and Special Education Students Collaborative Network (Grades 1-5) will run from 5:00pm - 8:00pm

  • Universal Design for Learning Collaborative Network (Grades 5-12)
  • Developing a Robust Understanding of Fractions Collaborative Network (Grades 3-12)
  • Effectively Teaching English Language Learners and Special Education Students Collaborative Network (Grades 1-5)
  • Do the Math: Getting Students Thinking and Talking about Math Collaborative Network (Grades 6-12)


Questions? Email Sasha Zuflacht at szuflacht@teachplus.org

Course Descriptions

Collaborative Networks Offered at the Mildred Avenue K-8 School in Mattapan

Dates: Tuesdays from 4:30pm - 7:30pm,  January 10, February 7, March 7, April 4, May 2, and June 6. Dinner provided.

Early Childhood Student-Centered Collaborative Network (Grades K-2) 
Colleen Mason, Boston Public Schools

In this professional learning network, participants will engage in teacher inquiry and action research to solve problems of practice in their own personal Early Childhood Education classrooms. Collaboratively, we will work to implement the CCSS authentically without compromising your center, creating learning environment through thoughtful lesson planning and task analysis. We will also explore the theories of Project-Based Learning, Reggio Emilio, Making Thinking Visible and more to ensure that we are meeting the social-emotional and academic needs of diverse learners in developmentally appropriate, yet rigorous ways. 

Universal Design for Learning Collaborative Network (Grades 1-5)
Sara Silverstein, Boston Public Schools 

Have you been hearing the UDL buzzword in your school?  Are you wondering how you can successfully use UDL strategies to increase engagement within your classroom? UDL Is a research based framework that supports diverse learners.  This Collaborative Network will allow us to create and explore a problem of practice related to planning instruction through the lens of the UDL engagement principle. We will work as a network to share, implement, reflect, and refine instructional strategies to create meaningful impact for our students. 

Differentiating to Include all Students Collaborative Network (Grades 3-12)

THIS COURSE IS FULL. PLEASE SEE UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING (GRADES 1-5). 
Michael Phaneuf, Boston Public Schools

As an educator for students identified as needing Special Education and/or English language services, do you feel overwhelmed with how to address the needs of each and everyone of your students? Differentiation is one of the most critical pieces of our jobs in order to ensure we are reaching all of our students. This Collaborative Network for Grades 3 -12 will allow you to:

  • Examine a common problem of practice under the expansive umbrella of differentiation
  • Assist you in driving student engagement and achievement for sub-groups, including reaching goals under special education and English language acquisition.
  • Develop your repertoire of teaching strategies and tools for diverse sub-groups of students
  • Learn to implement differentiation strategies into your classroom with your students. 

Collaborative Networks Offered at the Orchard Gardens K-8 School in Roxbury

Dates: Thursday from 4:30pm - 7:30pm,  January 12, February 9, March 9, April 6, May 4, and June 8. Dinner provided. *Effectively Teaching English Language Learners and Special Education Students Collaborative Network (Grades 1-5) will run from 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Universal Design for Learning Collaborative Network (Grades 5-12)
Nathan Lewallen, Boston Public Schools

How can we help a cognitively diverse group of learners meet their greatest potential? Universal Design for Learning is a research-based framework for creating goals, methods, materials, and assessments that are differentiated for our students. In this Collaborative Network, we will work together to develop classroom routines and instructional strategies that engage our students and prepare them for success! Our network will select a problem of practice that can be addressed using the UDL framework.

Developing a Robust Understanding of Fractions Collaborative Network (Grades 3-12)
Ryan Casey, Boston Public Schools

Are your students struggling with fractions? Do you find that students are having to learn the same fraction "rules" year after year? In this Collaborative Network we will examine research on fractions and representations of fractions and develop strategies to improve our students' abilities to work with rational numbers.  Together we will develop a specific problem of practice in order to help our students successfully work with non-negative rational numbers. 


Effectively Teaching English Language Learners and Special Education Students Collaborative Network (Grades 1-5) *Course offered from 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Ashley Patti, Boston Public Schools

In this Collaborative Network, elementary teachers will explore instructional practices that motivate and engage all learners. Together will develop plans that differentiate instruction for all students including English Language Learners  and students with special needs. With a focus on differentiation, cognitively demanding tasks, and academic rigor, we will identify problems of practice and work to help solve those problems. By the end of the six months, teachers will differentiate to meet the needs of all learners by ensuring that students have regular access to cognitively demanding tasks.

Do the Math: Getting Students Thinking and Talking about Math Collaborative Network (Grades 6-12)
Christina Balkaran and Amanda Hathaway, Boston Public Schools

This Collaborative Network is designed to get students thinking and talking about math. We will focus on the implementation of cognitively demanding tasks in mathematics for grade 6-12 with a focus on student discourse. Participants will:

  • Find cognitively demanding tasks aligned to standards
  • Focus on Talk Moves to promote student discourse
  • Create lesson plans that provide access and equity for students of all abilities