Guiding Principles

  • Student achievement and well-being serves as the foundation and purpose of our work.
  • The path to increase student achievement lies in building both individual and organizational capacity to continually improve.
  • Adult and student learning are enhanced through example and modeling in an environment of trust.
  • Quality staff development involves a comprehensive and sustained effort.
  • Professional growth opportunities must reflect the individual needs of the learner.


As schools and districts become increasingly accountable for raising student achievement, the need for high quality classroom diagnostic tools has become imperative. National and state testing results shared with classroom teachers on a yearly basis are insufficient for making strategic instructional decisions on a day to day basis. While many districts and schools have moved to “benchmark” or “interim” assessments, given on a more frequent basis (quarterly, semester, or 6-8 week intervals), the cumulative nature of such tests are wholly inadequate for measuring student mastery of individual content standards, and fail to provide student achievement data in a timely manner.

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In order to successfully meet the demands of a changing educational environment, schools and districts must be prepared with the knowledge, skills and expertise to effectively adapt and transform their organizations.  As educational institutions, schools can no longer afford to ignore the challenge of preparing every student to be a successful participant in their own future.

The Focus on Learning program provides schools with an opportunity to acquire the tools and strategies of an adaptive organization, the resources to facilitate needed changes and the capacity to lead their institution into the 21st century.  Life Long Learning & Associates believes that by focusing on the teaching and learning process, schools and districts will become the highly effective institutions our communities have come to expect.

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  • The role of the collegial coach in supporting reflection and professional growth at the school site
  • The basics of the reflective process
  • Developing and maintaining trust among professionals
  • Questioning strategies to stimulate reflecting thinking and analysis
  • Non-verbal communication in the reflection process
  • The process of cognitive coaching vs. clinical supervision as a vehicle for improving teaching
  • Taxonomies to assess growth in reflectivity


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Welcome to Life Long Learning

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Professional Development Series

Critical Thinking and Intellectual Rigor Grades K-12

Prepare your students and your school to meet the demands of the Common Core Standards.   The Common Core Standards reflect the kind of thinking expected by both colleges and industry.  To ensure your students are college and career ready, as well as equipped with the skills to perform well on the new Smarter Balance or PARCC assessments, this series of professional development sessions is absolutely a must.

Session #1  Higher Order Thinking and Questioning

  • What is the difference between higher order thinking, reasoning  and critical thought?

  • How do we develop a classroom culture conducive to thinking?

  • How do the  “Three Questions” help us to establish a purpose for the work?

  • Why is the cultivation of critical thinking pertinent to today’s educational outcomes and the Common Core?

  • How well do standardized tests capture student thinking?

  • Using Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK)  framework for determining intellectual rigor.

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About Us

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Raising the standards of education since 1995

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