Professional Development 18-19

REgistrationMCCL Cohort members have a certain number of free seats at each of these trainings and will need to use their passwords to register for their free seats. Email Linda Laughlin ([email protected]) for your “free seats” code. Registration numbers must be large enough to justify running each of these sessions, so please register as early as possible so our decisions to cancel a session are not made from a lack of accurate data.


2019 MCCL BookTalk

“Swimming in the Deep End: Four Foundational Skills for Leading Successful School Initiatives”

By Jennifer Abrams

May 23rd & June 13th 2019 @ 3 p.m. Register Here  Brochure

xScreenshot 2019 04 05 18.21.24In an effort to build our skills at communicating the details of the transformational changes we are making in our learning communities, we are hosting a discussion about Jennifer Abrams’ book, “Swimming in the Deep End, Four Foundational Skills for Leading Successful School Initiatives”.

Teachers, learning facilitators, building level and district level leaders, consultants, etc. are all invited to join us for live, online discussions about how Abrams’ messages apply to the challenges we have experienced while communicating the details of our vision.

Participants are responsible for purchasing their own copy of the book which is available through and doing some reading before attending each of our two live sessions. Our two live book talk sessions will be held on May 23rd and June 13th at 3 p.m. EST. Each session will be 90 minutes long.

As a benefit of their MCCL membership, participants from MCCL member schools will receive a certain number of free seats to this book talk. See your district/school leaders for access to those free seats. We welcome non-MCCL members to join us for a minimal cost of $35/seat.

In the Fall of 2019, all our book talk participants will be offered a reduced rate to two webinars with our author, Jennifer Abrams, on September 18th and October 1st, 2019.


Spring/Summer 2019 Webinars & Summer Summits

April 4, Thursday @ 3 p.m.  Webinar: How Are You Using Learning Progressions to Design Ideal Learning Experiences?

April 23, Tuesday @ 3:30 p.m. Webinar: How To Integrate Habits of Mind & Critical Thinking in Daily Lessons

April 25, Thursday @ 3:30 p.m.  Webinar: Instructional Design: How To Integrate Explicit Teaching of Critical Thinking

April 29, Monday @ 3:30 p.m. Webinar: Teaching Habits of Mind: How Teaching HOM Improves Instructional Effectiveness

April 30, Tuesday @ 3:30 p.m.  Webinar: Measuring & Providing Feedback On Habits of Mind: How Teaching HOM and Providing Learners With Effective Feedback Improves Instructional Effectiveness  (1 day + MCCL HOM Learning Path)

May 2, Thursday @ 3:30 p.m.  Webinar: New Teachers/Learning Facilitators: A Review of Year #1: What Will You Do Differently Next Year? (A Three Part Series That Will Continue Into the Summer)

May 13, Monday @ 3:30 p.m.  Webinar: Communication: What Are Our Key Messages? What Are The Major Misunderstandings About What We Are Doing to Provide Every Learner With An “Ideal Learning Experience”? (Communications Project)

May 16, Thursday @ 3:30  Webinar: Instructional Design: Intrinsic Motivation

June 10, Monday @ 9:00 a.m. Webinar: How to Use Social Media to Communicate Your Vision (Communications Project) Postponed until Fall 2019

Spring/Summer Book Talk: “Swimming in the Deep End” (Communications Project) Registration Link

July 16-18 Tues. – Thurs.  National MCL Summit in South Dakota

July 31 & August 1 Wed. – Thurs.  MCCL Summer Summit: Registration Link

**Webinars will include a combination of direct instruction and an exchange of ideas between participants. All Webinars will be 60 mins.


Quarterly Empower User Group Meetings

September 10, 2018: All Online

November 15, 2018: Face to Face Session in Brewer, Maine

February 12, 2019: All Online

May 16, 2019: All Online


Curriculum/Learning Progression Revision Projects

All learning progression work is done online. Please review the signup spreadsheet and consider who from your district you can recruit to help continue the development of our documents. It is helpful to have a mix of those who have been working with the progressions and those who have an understanding of critical thinking and how to use our complex reasoning taxonomy. If you have teachers/learning facilitators who do not have either of these two experiences but are interested in learning, please feel free to sign them up. 

We are currently working on a new set of Technology & Physical Education Learning Progressions. We are also working on adding to our current science, math, and ELA learning progressions. We always welcome any help with this work.


Board of Directors’ Meetings & Retreat

September 7, 2018: Annual Retreat 

October 19, 2018: Board of Directors’ Meeting with a focus on Learning Progression & Curriculum Management: (Sharing Artifacts)

November 16, 2018: Board of Directors’ Meeting with a focus on Navigating State/Federal Regulations with Empowering Teachers to Meet Learners Where They Are

December 7, 2018: Board of Directors’ Meeting with Principals & Guidance Counselors (The Admissions Process & Transcript Development)

January 25, 2019: Board of Directors’ Meeting with Special Education, Title I, RTI, & Gifted Talented (How We Deliver These Programs in A Culture of Growth Mindset in Proficiency-Based, Customized Learning Communities.)

March 18, 2019 (All Online): Board of Directors’ Meeting with a focus on 2nd Order Change & Staying Motivated During Heavy Lifting

April 11, 2019: Board of Directors’ Meeting with Strength Finder Training (Recruiting Quality Teachers & Leaders) from 1:00 – 3:30

May 3, 2019: Board of Directors’ Meeting 

May 31, 2019: Board of Directors’ Meeting


Training Events Offered Earlier in 2018-2019

MCCL Summer Summit 2018: August 8 & 9 @ Thomas College in Waterville, Maine

We have two full days of whole group and breakout sessions planned for both August 8th and 9th. Join us for one or both days.

Although each day has a primary focus, both days will include sessions on a variety of topics including using data to customize instruction, communicating with stakeholders, flexible grouping, using learning progressions and learner management systems, teaching complex reasoning, habits of mind and content knowledge and intrinsic motivation.

Costs: MCCL Members: $150/day or $250 for both days,  Non-MCCL Members: $200/day or $350 for both days


2018 MCCL Resource Development Project: August 13 & 15 @ T & B Celebrations Center, Waterville, Maine

This project includes helping teachers design learning experiences that include our three-circle instructional framework (content, complex reasoning & habits of mind). Participants bring a lesson, unit, etc. or start from scratch. Participants will be paid to build these resources as they collaborate and provide each other with important feedback that results in an improved set of lessons, units, etc. These exemplars will be made available to all MCCL members and regardless what curriculum learning goals you are using; your teachers and learning facilitators will be able to learn from these exemplars. 

This project also includes a review of our Habits of Mind and Complex Reasoning e-Libraries. Anyone involved will bring home plans for how to make their colleagues more aware of these resources.


MCCL Leadership Development

FYI: Cohort members have unlimited access to seats for this event!

Leadership Academy: September 27 & October 23 with Online Follow-ups BrochureBest Western Plus, Waterville, Maine

Cohort members requested that we continue and build upon our Leadership Academy which was started in September 2018 so we will return with more intensity this year. Our Academy is designed for building-level and district-level leaders as well as teacher leaders and instructional coaches responsible for leading the implementation of transformational change. All participants should understand and have a passion for developing proficiency-based, customized learning systems.

We will build upon the discussions we started last year which included using a common language and framework for leadership. Academy participants will identify their toughest challenges and we will use our collective experiences and expertise to suggest solutions and strategies. All participants will be expected to engage in problem solving discussions and share resources they have developed to transform their systems.

We have currently scheduled our first face-to-face meeting on September 27th and plan to meet at the Best Western Plus in Waterville, Maine. We also plan to meet on October 23rd with our Training the Trainer Complex Reasoning cohort and focus our discussions on how to build instructional expertise among all teachers/learning facilitators. This year we will follow-up with online communication forums and additional live sessions as determined by the group.

If we receive a strong interest in our Leadership Academy, we will consider splitting up into two different groups and identify additional days and regional locations. So, please be prepared to register as soon as registration opens on August 13th.

13+ Contact hours will be provided.


Maine Cohort for Customized Learning Summits & Think Tanks

Pacing Learner Progress Through Flexible Grouping & Teachers “Sharing the Load”: September 11, 2018 Brochure @ Manchester, New Hampshire                  

Instructional Design & Defining Proficiency Through Multiple Forms of Evidence: October 5, 2018 Brochure @ Manchester, New Hampshire  

Replacing Grading with Learner Feedback with a Focus on Designing 4 Evidence/Learning Tasks: October 11, 2018 Brochure @ Best Western Plus, Waterville, Maine

Instructional Design & Designing Motivating Learning Opportunities: October 24, 2018 Brochure @ Best Western Plus, Waterville, Maine

Intrinsic Motivation: October 25, 2018 Brochure @ University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine

Instructional Design & Designing Motivating Learning Experiences: October 30, 2018  @ Washington County Community College in Calais Brochure 


Reaching High Levels of Rigor: Teaching Critical Thinking

3 Day Teaching Critical Thinking: October 29, December 10, 2018 & January 23, 2019 Brochure & @ Brewer Community Center, Brewer, Maine

This training is a 3-day learning opportunity that focuses on how to explicitly teach critical thinking. It includes how to integrate the teaching of critical thinking with content knowledge and how critical thinking skills help us define proficiency. Teachers, Administrators, and Instructional Support Staff are encouraged to attend. Schools that are not members of the Maine Cohort for Customized Learning are welcome to send their staff.

Participants will learn how to teach each of the critical thinking skills in Marzano’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives as presented in Marzano & Pickering’s Dimensions of Learning Teacher’s Handbook and return to their classrooms to practice between training dates.

Costs: Non-MCCL Members: $350/participant, MCCL Members Extra Seats: $250/seat

Complex Reasoning Train the Trainer: September 28, October 23, November 27, & December 11 (with online follow-ups TBD): Brochure & @ Best Western Plus, Waterville, Maine

Participants will learn how to explicitly teach each of the complex reasoning skills in Mazano’s Taxonomy and return to their learning communities to help lead the training of their colleagues. These sessions will serve as a follow-up for those who have previously participated in our traditional 3-Day Complex Reasoning Training. We will also accommodate those who have not had the previous training but are committed to doing some additional reading, etc. to build their own background knowledge.

Sessions will include sharing artifacts of classroom experiences where the integration of teaching complex reasoning skills is clear and intentional. Participants will return to each session prepared to share their experiences in an evidence-based, reflective practice environment.

We will discuss and problem solve how schools can build capacity and what the evidence is that learners are thinking at higher levels of rigor. We will explore different strategies for building a culture that supports learners thinking at higher levels of rigor.

On October 23rd, we will combine this cohort with the Leadership Academy cohort for a conversation about building instructional capacity, etc. The four days of face-to-face work will be followed by ongoing, online live sessions as well as discussion board conversations throughout the year, to support these teacher leaders and administrators. Implementation of MCCL’s New Complex Reasoning Curriculum will also be included in this learning experience. We are currently planning for one cohort for this training and therefore have scheduled the group to meet in Waterville, Maine. If we have a large registration we will consider splitting up the group and hosting two cohorts, one in the Hampden area and the other in the Portland area. So, please register early so we can determine our level of interest.

Costs: Non-MCCL Members: $400, MCCL Members Extra Seats: $300/seat 


Maine Cohort for Customized Learning Summits & Think Tanks

Our summit format provides participants an opportunity to share and collaborate in an effort to problem solve and create new methods and action steps that help address our largest implementation challenges. We offered a number of different summits in September and October. Our Professional Development Committee will discuss what additional summits we should offer throughout the rest of this year. If you have any special requests, please email Linda Laughlin: [email protected]

Think Tank: Communicating with All Stakeholders: March 6, 2019, 8:30 – Noon  Online for everyone


Building a Culture for Critical Thinking (One Day Training)

This learning opportunity will focus on how to build a culture that supports learners thinking at a deeper level of content knowledge and to develop an evidenced-based reflective practice culture. Participants will share and collaborate about their efforts to develop thinking skills among their learners. This could provide a follow-up/extension for those who have already participated in our 3-day teaching Critical Thinking Training but it can also serve as an introduction for those who have not yet been able to participate in our 3-day Teaching Critical Thinking Training.

Costs: Non-MCCL Members: $250, MCCL Members Extra Seats: $150/seat


Habits of Mind 

Providing Feedback for Habits of Mind Follow-up (One Day Offered Online later in the Spring) Date: TBD