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Best Practices

About our Best Practices courses. These courses mostly relate to pedagogy or teaching practices that are relevant for any content area.

View complete session schedule for details.
Not all courses are offered each session.

Courses and Descriptions


BP-01 Creating and Using Meaningful Rubrics that Assess Student Work

As defined by rubric guru Heidi Goodrich, a rubric as "a scoring tool that lists the criteria for a piece of work or 'what counts.'" This course will give teachers the tools to clearly identify the goals and objectives of a student product and to assess various aspects of those student products. Participants will investigate various theories for creating rubrics, visit websites with online rubric creators and develop their skills for creating meaningful rubrics that can enhance the quality of their student work. Participants will engage in readings, discussion, exploratory activities and create rubrics that assess student products for learning while focusing students on the goals and objectives of their assignments.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-02 Improving Teacher Success through Effective Mentoring

One of the most effective ways to keep new teachers in the teaching profession is to provide a mentor that supports their professional growth. Coaching is an essential tool the mentor uses to help new teachers develop. The process of coaching involves being non-judgmental, helping teachers to solve their own challenges, and using data collected during observations to help new teachers solve problems that they’ve identified. In this course, you will study and experience the steps of the coaching cycle, as well as gain additional practice in coaching techniques that you can use to increase your effectiveness as a mentor and guide new teachers towards increasing their skill and confidence.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-03 Data Driven Teaching

No Child Left Behind and high-stake testing have changed the way teachers conduct and apply assessments in their classroom. This course will prepare you to make data driven decisions in your teaching. This course is intended to introduce participants to various types of assessments used in the classroom, focusing primarily on the use of formative and summative assessments. During the course, participants will develop their understanding of formative and summative assessments and be able to determine how assessments can guide teaching decisions. This class is designed for both Regular and Special Educators.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-04 Using Differentiated Instruction Effectively in the Classroom

This course has been designed to provide as a model of differentiated instruction (DI) and to provide educators with the tools to assist them in the development of a lesson plan, meeting standards for all students. Kindergarten through grade 8 classroom teachers will be attracted to this online course, though it is appropriate for all grade levels. It is well suited to both novice and intermediate level teachers in differentiating instruction. Each year teachers are challenged to successfully and capably teach students in a heterogeneous classroom. Today's classrooms are rich with diversity; providing a range in abilities, learning styles, and educational needs as teachers strive to teach everyone and at the same time. Differentiated instruction moves the teacher away from the "one-size-fits-all" philosophy of teaching and toward the understanding that there are differences in all students.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-05 Understanding the Follow the Child Philosophy

Participants will study the critical attributes of the Follow the Child Initiative in New Hampshire, analyzing the 8 Conditions that Make a Difference and reflecting on the presence of those conditions in their schools and educational experiences. Participants will understand the relationship between No Child Left Behind and Follow the Child and work together to identify best practices for the complementary implementation of both initiatives. Throughout the course, action plans will be developed that address the 8 Conditions that Make a Difference that can be used in your schools to ensure the success of all students.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-06 School Policies for 21st Century Learning

This course provides an opportunity for teachers, technology coordinators, and other school leaders to learn about school legal and policy issues involved in creating safe 21st century learning environments. Participants will gain a better understanding of legal issues related to Internet access and effective Acceptable Use Policies for Internet use, including use of new Web 2.0 tools used for social networking and collaborative learning.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-07 Using an Online Professional Learning Community to Support Teacher Leadership Development

This seven week course is designed to introduce the power of collaborative leadership through a professional online community. Participants will define key leadership qualities that produce effective teacher leaders. Practical tools and resources will be explored which enable teacher leaders to work for school improvement and change, content and curriculum development, and enhancing digital citizenship using 21 century skills, ISTE Standards for Education Leaders, and the Learning Forward standards highlighting the importance of leadership, learning communities, and collaborative work provide the framework for participants’ learning. Each participant will work on a "Building a learning Community" project.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-08 Using Reflective Writing to Develop Metacognition in the Classroom

Metacognition is a important piece of effective learning. Reflective writing increases metacognition and provides a pathway for deeper understanding. This course will provide NH Educators and Administrators with the opportunity to collaborate with other professionals while learning how reflective writing and metacognition can better prepare their students for 21st Century learning. Whether you teach writing, literature, art, social studies, science, or math, or aid students in the development of their digital portfolios, or other classroom projects, this course will give you strategies for integrating reflective writing into your curriculum. During the course you will explore ways to use reflective writing to help your students develop the metacognitive skills they need to increase their understanding and achievement. At the end of the course you will have developed a lesson plan which will integrate reflective writing activities into your existing curriculum.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-09 Using Web 2.0 Tools for 21st Century Teaching and Learning

There has been a tremendous increase in the use of Web 2.0 tools and resources for education purposes. The content available in this Read/Write web is open for sharing, editing, commenting, and collaborating in a dynamic way. There are literally thousands of web-based tools available for use in our teaching and learning. These tools can empower students and engage them in new and innovative ways that can make teaching relevant and purposeful. Students by nature are creators of content, and you allow them opportunities to exercise their creativity and productivity when you use Web 2.0 tools as part of your instructional activities. In this course, you will explore a variety of tools and techniques that you can use to enhance your teaching. As a final project, you’ll develop a lesson plan that incorporates one of these tools and best practices into a unit or lesson.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-10 Incorporating Project Based Learning into Your Classroom

In order to develop skills to prepare students for their 21st century careers, their education must be active and engaging. Student must learn how to ask questions, develop their critical and higher order thinking. Through Project Based Learning (PBL), teachers can create opportunities for their students to develop real world skills and tackle meaningful issues. This course will have you examine what PBL is, its strengths and how you might use it in your classes. Participants will create a meaningful project, integrating technology and Web 2.0 tools to enhance learning of content curriculum.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-11 Writing Effective Proposals for Successful Grant Funding

This course is an introduction to grant writing for administrators and educators interested in pursuing funding options through grants. Throughout the course, you will explore possible grant funding sources and resources that are available to you . You will examine successful grants and determine the characteristics necessary for writing successful proposals based on your needs, goals, objectives, and timeline for completion of your project. You will be exposed to the specialized vocabulary unique to grants and requests for proposals. As a course project, you will complete a draft grant proposal, completed in parts within the various units of the course while examining examples of successful proposals.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-12 Creating a Successful Response to Intervention Plan

This course will guide participants in examining the Response to Intervention process. The focus will be on taking current RTI theories and practices and using them as the basis for the development of a working plan for implementing the existing RTI plan of schools or for updating/creating an RTI plan in schools.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-13 Homeless Children and Youth: Ensuring School Access and Academic Success for Our Most At Risk Students

This course engages local homeless education liaisons, Title I managers, special educators, and other interested individuals (i.e., school nurses, teachers, guidance counselors, administrators) in acquiring knowledge, skills, and perspectives of the educational needs and challenges of homeless children and youth, from the perspective of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act. An explicit goal of this course is to assist districts in the identification and immediate enrollment of children and youth in homeless situations. Participants will work to identify the specific challenges and needs of unaccompanied youth - including youth in their school service area that may have already disengaged (dropped out) from school. Youth outreach strategies to identify and re-connect youth to education for completion of high school, and in some cases, preparation for post secondary education will be covered. Activities in this course include readings, video resources, and postings to the online discussion area. The final project for this course involves developing local strategies, policies, and practices to identify and remove educational barriers and develop community collaboration strategies to assist homeless families, children, and youth.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-14 Universal Design: Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century

Education has changed dramatically for both teachers and students. With mandated testing, increasingly diverse student populations, and constantly increasing professional responsibilities it is now more important than ever for each of us to use all available teaching strategies to make sure that we effectively and efficiently teach every student. This course will provide opportunities for you to identify and use a variety of such strategies in your classrooms and to develop lessons incorporating key elements from several of the most current learning theories. Concepts and methods presented in "Universal Design for Learning," "Differentiated Instruction," "Gradual Release of Responsibility," and "Constructivist Teaching" will be addressed in order to help you to build an expanded set of instructional tools for your classroom practice.Equally important to the design of good lessons is the development of authentic and appropriate assessments to guide your instructional planning. In this course you will also design pre- and post-assessment instruments to evaluate your students' prior knowledge, to measure their learning in response to your instruction, and to evaluate and deconstruct curriculum standards so as to present their content in student-friendly language.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-15 Inquiry-Based Teaching Using a SmartBoard and Web Resources

This course has been developed with a wide variety of K-12 educators in mind. Teachers in all content areas, as well as special education, paraprofessionals, and administrators could all gain a better understanding of inquiry-based education in general, and specifically how to incorporate using a SmartBoard with Web 2.0 tools or internet resources to engage students in an inquiry-based education that is technology rich. You will investigate how to apply the Five E Instructional Model (Engagement, Exploration, Explanation, Elaboration, and Evaluation) and apply it to inquiry-based lesson planning that focuses on using a SmartBoard with your students as they engage in their lessons using Web 2.0 tools and internet resources. As a final project, you will develop a lesson plan that you can use in your classroom that applies the concepts covered in the course. Applications of inquiry-based education will also be discussed for using web tools with a SmartBoard to increase the 21st Century skills of both you and your students.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-16 Understanding Gender Equity Issues in STEM Education

This course is designed to inform both teachers and administrators about general issues of gender equity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and ways in which to increase the opportunities for girls and women in your school STEM programs. The course uses resources from STEM Equity Pipeline Project which is sponsored by National Alliance for Partners in Equity. Throughout this course you will explore the issues surrounding equitable academic opportunities for girls and women in the STEM areas and become familiar with the process you can use in your schools to help build, support, and sustain the involvement of girls and women in STEM courses and career pathways. As a final course project, you will design a plan for improving gender equity throughout your school, district, or SAU.
Syllabus | Rubric

BP-17 Moving to Competency Based Teaching and Learning

Competency based learning systems support personalization and flexibility by focusing on mastery of academic content and abilities, regardless of the time, place, or pace of learning. In this seven week course, you will be introduced to competency based learning and strategies for implementing it in your school or district. You will explore best practices for unpacking and using quality learning standards, developing flexible curriculum, shifting pedagogy, and assessment strategies as they pertain to competency based learning. You will also explore the school wide system of support, policies and procedures, and legal implications that should be considered when moving to competency based learning in your schools. As a final project, you will draft an action plan that can be used in your school or district to begin to move towards competency based learning.
Syllabus | Rubric



online professional development to meet your needs
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Online Course Model

Online Course Orientation
All OPEN NH courses begin with an optional face-to-face orientation, allowing participants to become familiar with course login procedures and overall course requirements. Orientation to the course continues online during the first week, so that participants become familiar with course expectations and get acquainted with their instructor and fellow classmates.

Online Content and Practice
Following the orientation, courses continue for six weeks, emphasizing theory-to-practice applications. Course work includes online discussions, reflections, readings, and projects. Course participants receive a certificate of participation that may be applied to their individual professional development plans.

Ready for Online Learning?
Find out if you're ready for online learning. Sample our online course model by exploring our free mini-course, Being Successful with Online Learning



Take a Course

Register for courses by visiting the Registration link in the Navigation bar.
Early Bird registration special apply up to two weeks before course session begins.
If you plan to register in the last week before courses start, contact the e-Learning for Educators Project , or visit the e-Learning Blog, to find out the course status. Not all courses may run.

Download Registration Forms
General OPEN NH Registration (pdf format) for mail in registration. Online registration is available.
Mail-In Form District Cohort (spreadsheet format)

Course Offerings
Courses are not offered during all sessions. View complete session schedule for details of course offerings in each session.

Course Content
Course syllabi are available online to review. The link to the syllabus is available under the course description in each course category. You can also view the complete list of course syllabi links on the Course Syllabus Page.


Self Paced Tutorials

On Your Own e-Learning
While our regular course registration fee is $130, we also offer self-paced tutorials at even lower cost. These tutorials have an assessment component and will earn you professional development CEUs after successful completion. District cohort deals are also available. View the full list of available tutorials and all the details about them on the Self Paced Tutorials Page.

NH Department of Education Tutorials
The New Hampshire Department of Education is committed to providing guidance and service to schools and districts. OPEN NH offers free online tutorials that support NHDOE initiatives and programs.

Institutes in a Box
As part of the NH Digital Resources Consortium, OPEN NH is hosting the online workshops and Institutes.

Coming Soon.

Conservation Education
As part of the NH Environmental Literacy Plan implementation, OPEN NH is hosting freely accessible tutorials on Conservation Education.

Free Tutorials
There are also free tutorials available, which do not earn CEUs. These will help introduce you to the online learning environment and introduce you to our course model and content. Click on the Moodle Course Login link in the Upper Right hand corner and select "Self Paced Tutorials".



Last updated February 14, 2019