Professional Development

Professional Development Opportunities for Staff:

BERAC-Biddeford Equity & Race Advisory Committee

Chapters & Chatter 2021 - Hosted by Patsy Gendron

For those who are new to the district, Chapters & Chatter (C&C) is a series of professional book talks that offer participants an opportunity to engage in dialogue with each other about teaching and learning. Many of the titles are direct recommendations from staff, and we go to great lengths to select quality, timely books for discussion. Please click on this link or view the C&C information as well as a live link that will allow you to register for each book talk you would like to attend.

Come for one or several professional book talks this year! Selected books are purchased by the Biddeford School Department and distributed prior to the meeting date so that participants will have time to read. You can earn six (6) contact hours per book session that you attend. If you are using C&C contact hours for recertification, you will need to make a plan with your PLCSS representative prior to the book talk. 


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2021 @BMS LIBRARY 3:15-4:45 (part 1)
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2021 @BMS LIBRARY 3:15-4:45 (part 2)

Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain: Energizing and Enhancing Instruction,
K-12, 1st ed. by Dr. Janet Zadina (2014) 288 pages Jossey-Bass

Description: From an award-winning neuroscience researcher with twenty years of teaching experience, Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain uses educator-friendly language to explain how the brain learns. Steering clear of “neuro-myths,” Dr. Janet Zadina discusses multiple brain pathways for learning and provides practical advice for creating a brain-compatible classroom.

While there is an abundance of books and workshops that aim to integrate education and brain science, educators are seldom given concrete, actionable advice that makes a difference in the classroom. Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain bridges that divide by providing examples of strategies for day-to-day instruction aligned with the latest brain science. The book explains not only the sensory/motor pathways that are familiar to most educators (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic), it also explores the lesser-known pathways--reward/survival, language, social, emotional, frontal lobe, and memory/attention--and how they can be tapped to energize and enhance instruction.

Educators are forever searching for new and improved ways to convey information and inspire curiosity, and research suggests that exploiting different pathways may have a major effect on learning. Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain allows readers to see brain science through the eyes of a teacher―and teaching through the eyes of a brain scientist.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2021 @BMS LIBRARY 3:15-4:45 (part 1)
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2021 @BMS LIBRARY 3:15-4:45 (part 2)

Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading: Shifting to a Problem-Based Approach by Vicki Vinton
GR. 2-8 (2017) 248 pp. Heinemann 

Description: How do we prepare students for a world that’s changing so rapidly that a majority of those sitting in classrooms today will go on to hold jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t yet been invented to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet? For Vicki Vinton, the answer is to help build students’ capacities as critical and creative thinkers by shifting to a problem-based approach for teaching reading.

Problem-based teaching has taken hold in STEM classes across the country, but it’s not common in reading, where we tend to think of problems as existing only at the word level. Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading, however, will help you become more aware of the problems texts pose for readers at the literal, inferential, and thematic levels, and then show you how to create opportunities for students to read closely and think deeply as they wrestle with those problems.

Additionally, you’ll learn how to:

  • Develop a repertoire of dynamic teaching moves that will help you probe student thinking and provide responsive feedback when students most need it.

  • Shift your focus from the teaching of complex texts to complex thinking.

  • Help students develop lines of inquiry as readers.

Chock-full of classroom examples and the voices of students figuring things out, Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Reading connects the practices in the book to all sorts of current thinking and trends—from growth mindsets to the Common Core State Standards and from productive struggle to educational neuroscience. That breadth and depth ensure that Vicki’s book is one that educators will be talking about—and you don’t want to miss.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2022 @BMS LIBRARY 3:15-4:45 
Ink and Ideas: Sketchnotes for Engagement, Comprehension and Thinking by Tanny McGregor,
K-12 (2018) 184 pp. Heinemann 

Description: Ink & Ideas is Tanny’s tried and true toolkit to get you and your students started, including templates, tools, suggested reading, ideas, inspiration, and more. She outlines the how and why behind visual notetaking, including research and benefits, providing everything you need to introduce and launch sketchnoting across grade levels and content areas.

DATE FEBRUARY 9, 2022 @BMS LIBRARY 3:15-4:45 (part 1)
DATE MARCH 9, 2022 @BMS LIBRARY 3:15-4:45 (part 2)
The Writing Strategies Book: Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Writers by Jennifer Serravallo,
K-8 (2017) 424 pp.  Heinemann (more books are on the way!)

From composing with pictures all the way to conventions and beyond, you'll have just-right teaching, just in time. With Jen's help you'll:

  • develop individual goals for every writer

  • give students step-by-step strategies for writing with skill and craft

  • coach writers using prompts aligned to a strategy

  • present mentor texts that support a genre and strategy

  • adjust instruction to meet individual needs with Jen's Teaching Tips

  • demonstrate and explain a writing move with her Lesson Language

  • learn more with Hat Tips to the work of influential teacher-authors.

DATE MARCH 30, 2022 @BMS LIBRARY 3:15-4:45
We Got This! Equity, Access and the Quest to Be Who Our Students Need Us to Be,
K-12 by Cornelius Minor (2019) 144 pages, Heinemann (books are on the way!)

Description: We Got This shows how authentically listening to kids is the closest thing to a superpower that we have. What we hear can spark action that allows us to make powerful moves toward equity by broadening access to learning for all children. A lone teacher can’t eliminate inequity, but Cornelius demonstrates that a lone teacher can confront the scholastic manifestations of racism, sexism, ableism, and classism.

DATE APRIL 11, 2022 @BMS LIBRARY 3:15-4:45
The 6 Principles for Exemplary Teaching of English Learners by TESOL International Association,
K-12 (2018) 132 pp. Tesol Press (more books are on the way!)

Description: Take the next step — learn how to implement The 6 Principles in your classroom! In this first book in the upcoming suite of 6 Principles products, you’ll get detailed explanations of The 6 Principles, practical examples of how to apply them in your K-12 classroom, access to online resources and tools, ideas for building your own community of practice, and more.


Each title supports one or more of Biddeford’s foundational pillars, as outlined in our
Commitment to Students document:  BSD Commitment to Students

For more information, email