Content Methods Laboratory Classes

Join teacher educators from around the country in person or virtually as we investigate the best ways to use the semester-long methods course. The next Content Methods Laboratory Classes will be June 5-9, 2023  in Ann Arbor, MI. Click below to register by May 19, 2023.

Quicklinks:     About   |     Justice   |    Logistics   |    Registration  |   FAQ

About the Laboratory Classes

Watch a teacher education methods course unfold under a microscope

Join us in person or virtually as we investigate the best ways to use the semester-long methods course. This year, we are offering two laboratory classes,  one in mathematics and one in English language arts (ELA). In both classes, TeachingWorks instructors will teach a  methods course to teacher candidates while you observe and discuss the class and participate in an optional workshop. These laboratory classes will be excerpts of full, semester-long methods courses, and observing participants will be provided with the syllabus for the full class. The laboratory class instructors will introduce problems of practice for consideration in each daily pre- and post-class discussion and will also invite participants to raise their own questions and ideas. This will allow for rich conversations about the design of practice-based courses, including what we have time to include in one semester. The methods laboratory classes are designed to support the learning of all involved, particularly of the participating teacher candidates but also of participating teacher educators and the laboratory class instructors. 

Observe teacher education by experienced instructors

Observe teacher education by experienced instructors

Watch teacher preparation instruction unfold with teacher candidates in real-time, as the instructors lead lessons and respond and adapt in the moment to their students. TeachingWorks instructors will teach a three-hour daily methods course to teacher candidates while you observe and discuss the class with educators from across the country.

Engage with teacher education lesson plans and strategies

Engage with teacher education lesson plans and strategies

In daily “pre-brief” and debrief sessions with the instructional team, you’ll examine, discuss, and refine the day’s lesson plans and strategies for the instruction and review teacher candidate work. You’ll unpack decisions about what teaching practices, content topics, and issues related to advancing justice to address, what pedagogies to use, and how to assess candidates’ learning.

Hone your skill with practice-based instructional design

Hone your skill with practice-based instructional design

Join us for an optional workshop that accompanies each class to get hands-on support with practice-based instructional design. You’ll learn strategies for streamlining methods course content to focus more directly on practice, choosing focal high-leverage practices and high-leverage content topics, and grounding candidates’ learning in K-12 curriculum materials.

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ELA Methods Laboratory Class

The five-day ELA Methods Laboratory Class will focus on equipping teacher candidates with a deeper understanding of close reading, why it is important, and approaches to teaching it, including to children who often experience marginalization in schools such as  Black, Latinx, and Indigenous children, children  from low socioeconomic backgrounds, or children who are English learners. This year’s class will also serve as a laboratory for designing approaches to grounding teacher candidates’ learning in curriculum materials and preparing candidates to use materials skillfully and with attention to advancing justice.

For participating teacher educators, the ELA Methods Laboratory Class is an opportunity to watch practice-based teacher education in action and to engage in collaborative discussion about challenges with it, such as how to attend simultaneously to content, practice, and equity; how to introduce high-leverage practices, and how often and when to conduct rehearsals. This year’s class will also serve as a laboratory for designing approaches to grounding teacher candidates’ learning in curriculum materials and preparing candidates to use materials skillfully and with attention to advancing justice. 

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Mathematics Methods Laboratory Class

The five-day Mathematics Methods Laboratory Class will focus on understanding fractions, ratio, and proportion for teaching, and ways to engage children and youth in mathematical reasoning and explanation through active engagement with the ideas, through a variety of representations and problems, and using class discussions. Attention to advancing justice and averting common patterns of marginalization in everyday math teaching will be  woven throughout the work.

Participants in the Mathematics Methods Laboratory Class will observe the class each day and will be engaged together with the course instructors in analyzing what happens, how teacher candidates take up the work, and considering how to address endemic challenges of methods courses.  This year’s class will also serve as a laboratory for ways to ground the work in curriculum materials and to support teacher candidates to learn to use and adapt materials with intertwined attention to equity and justice and the quality of the mathematics itself.

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Our participating teacher candidates

Our teacher candidates will come from community colleges and teacher preparation programs in the Southeast Michigan area. Prospective teacher candidates apply for a spot in the course of their choice and are compensated for their time with a stipend. They understand that their class will be observed and know that they are enabling learning opportunities for teacher educators.

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Optional workshop: Practice-Based Instructional Design for the Methods Course

We welcome participating teacher educators to join us in person or virtually for the optional workshop that accompanies each class. This year’s workshop is titled Practice-Based Instructional Design for the Methods Course. The workshop will offer strategies and hands-on support for designing and teaching a methods course that is directly focused on practice, choosing focal high-leverage practices and high-leverage content topics, and grounding candidates’ learning in K-12 curriculum materials. Participants are strongly encouraged to come with a current or planned methods course syllabus.

What will the laboratory classes enable us to see about using the power of teaching to create a more just society?

Although historical and systemic injustice is at the root of many educational disparities, we believe that it is primarily through interpersonal interactions that these structures make contact with the lives of students. Educators can act to interrupt the perpetuation of injustice by recognizing harms embedded in everyday practice and developing new ways of working that deliberately advance justice.  The content methods laboratory classes will enable teacher educators to see and analyze the many opportunities that teachers have to disrupt racialized patterns of practice that exclude and marginalize children. Participants will see how to integrate efforts to disrupt patterns of racism and oppression together with skillful teaching practice and deep subject matter work. The instructors will model specific ways of  building classroom cultures rooted in mutual respect and collective work as a context for developing a just society. Those observing the laboratory class will gain a clearer articulation of the relationship between academic subject matter, teaching practice, and creating a more just society, and how to prepare new teachers to make these connections in their practice.

Logistics

The ELA and Mathematics Content Methods Laboratory Classes will take place June 5-9, 2023, in person at the University of Michigan School of Education in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Both sessions will be live-streamed for those attending virtually. The ELA session will run daily between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. ET. The mathematics session will run daily between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. ET.  Both sessions will include a pre-class discussion, observation of the methods laboratory class, lunch break, post-class discussion, and optional workshop. All observers must attend the daily pre-class discussion, whether or not they participate in the optional workshop. Participation in the post-class discussion is optional for those not joining the workshop but strongly encouraged for all.

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Location Information

In-person participation 

University of Michigan School of Education, 610 E. University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. 

Parking is available and in walking distance to the School of Education at 650 S. Forest Ave Ann Arbor, MI 48104. The rate is $1.20/hr or $28.80 for 24 hrs or lost parking ticket. Rates are subject to change without notice.

Virtual participation 

Via Zoom. Connection information will be sent to participants prior to the event.

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Contact information

For questions about the sessions:

  • ELA Sessions: Francesca Forzani, TeachingWorks Deputy Director, fforzani@umich.edu
  • Mathematics Sessions: Nicole Garcia, TeachingWorks Associate Director, nmgarcia@umich.edu

For questions about registration, travel assistance, and policies: Kyana Taylor, @kyanat@umich.edu. 

If an emergency arises while you are traveling,  please call us at 734.255.3115.

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Session details & schedule

View a tentative schedule for the event here.  Please note that this is a sample schedule. A final schedule will be provided to all registered participants prior to the event.

Registration

The fee for in-person or virtual observation of the methods laboratory classes is $500 per person plus processing fees. The fee for the optional professional learning workshop is $150 plus processing fees. The fee includes access to methods course materials (including lesson plans), course video, and materials for the workshop, and a light breakfast each morning of the program. If you register a group of five or more participants, you will receive one free registration. Participants must register in a single transaction to receive this rate. Participants are responsible for booking and paying for their own travel to and from the Workshop, as well as for hotel accommodations. 

The deadline to register is  May 19.  Click below to register.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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What is the refund policy?

TeachingWorks reserves the right to cancel in-person, virtual, or hybrid training or workshops before the start. TeachingWorks staff will notify participants of cancellation via e-mail. Participants will be eligible for a full refund of their registration fee. TeachingWorks will not be held responsible for any expenses incurred due to the cancellation of an event, training, or workshop.

For a full refund (100%), participants must submit a written request to cancel or withdraw 30 days prior to the first day of the event (in-person or virtual). Fifty percent (50%) will be refunded for requests received 15 days prior. No refunds will be issued for requests received within seven (7) business days of the first day of the event or failure to submit the required documentation required for participation.

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Who should participate?

The laboratory methods classes and the accompanying workshop are open to anyone, and there are no prerequisites. Because both of these learning opportunities are narrowly focused on instructional questions, they are likely to be most useful to those who teach teachers directly.

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What do I need to participate in the Coaching Institute?

A laptop or tablet is required for access to digital resources. Internet access is required to live-stream. No other supplies are required.

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What are the requirements for participation?

All participants must attend the pre-class discussion every day that they observe a class. All observers must remain silent while observing the laboratory class. This event includes group work with other participants and teacher candidates, and early departure from the event affects the individual participant experience and the experience of other participants and teacher candidates. Except for emergencies, please plan to stay for the entire event.

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What is the dress attire for this event?

Business casual.

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What are the COVID-19 protection measures that will be taken?

Your health and safety are important to us. We will evaluate appropriate COVID-19 precautions closer to the time of the event and communicate any requirements to attendees prior to the event

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