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Curriculum Study Groups are a powerful way to join forces with other teachers of the same subject and grade under the guidance of a Master Teacher.

Instead of planning your lessons from scratch, you’ll build on the wisdom and resources of your CSG to make your teaching the best it can be. As a CSG member, you’ll:

  • Save hours of planning time each week
  • Prepare higher-quality units, lessons, and learning activities for your students
  • Draw on the experience of others
  • Connect with a community of teachers of the same subject and grade from around the country

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What’s included with my CSG?

Each week, you will receive detailed guidance and resources from your CSG’s Master Teacher, to help you plan the best possible units and lessons. An hour of videos and/or live sessions will be accompanied by a rich array of resources and collaboration opportunities in the CSG forum and mobile app.

Your Master Teacher will share:

  • Lesson and unit plans, with links to standards
  • Classroom management/materials management tips & tricks
  • Tips for carrying out activities successfully, rooted in years of experience
  • Reproducibles/handouts
  • Accommodations for struggling students
  • Assessments
  • Rubrics
  • Materials lists
  • Activity instructions
  • Reference lists, e.g. helpful websites
  • Rationale for activities & approaches
  • Student work samples
  • Assessment results and reflections

In addition, you can post ideas and resources of your own, and collaborate with colleagues from around the country.

What’s expected of me as a participant?

We understand that people will engage with their CSGs in a variety of ways. Here’s how you can get the most from your CSG:

  • Fully engage as a professional and as a learner—don’t view your CSG as a “curriculum in a box”
  • Participate in weekly planning sessions on a regular basis, so you understand the Master Teacher’s rationale for their plans
  • Share your ideas and problems of practice
  • Participate in the community and help others as you are able

Cost & Billing

Your CSG membership fee is charged to your credit card each month. Please see the individual group registration pages for pricing.

If you are interested in paying via purchase order, please contact us for details.

What will I do in my CSG?

  • Join weekly online planning sessions, in which the master teacher shares his or her plans for the week, including an in-depth analysis of the most relevant pedagogical issues for the week’s content
  • Download the master teacher’s learning targets, handouts, activity directions, printable materials, assessment guidelines, student work samples, and more
  • Modify my own materials and curricular resources to better meet the needs of my students
  • Reflect on my practice and share ideas with other colleagues in the CSG

Who should participate?

  • Experienced teachers looking for fresh ideas and resources
  • New teachers in their first three years
  • Teachers who have recently begun teaching a new subject or grade level
  • Teachers who are dealing with new content standards, e.g. Common Core
  • Secondary teachers teaching a class outside of the main content area (e.g. ELA teachers covering a section of science)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Participants

Why aren’t CSGs free?
Everything is paid for by someone, and rather than rely on third-party support in the form of grants or sponsorships, we’ve designed CSGs to pay for themselves by charging participants a small monthly fee—probably less than you’d pay for your cell phone each month.

There are tons of free resources online that few people bother to use, because time isn’t free. Your CSG’s resources are provided to you under the live guidance of the Master Teacher that designed, adapted, and used them in his or her own classroom. The small fee we charge ensures that everyone takes their participation seriously, while also ensuring the sustainability of the project.

How much time will this take?
Participating fully will take from two to four hours a week, and will probably save you twice that much time, since you can capitalize on the work and thinking of your peers and Master Teacher.

So I won’t have to plan lessons?
On the contrary—this is NOT a “curriculum in a box.” Planning your instruction is a serious responsibility, one your CSG will leave squarely in your hands. However, you’ll have the benefit of all the thinking and resources from your Master Teacher and colleagues in the CSG. Instead of building your units and lessons from scratch, you’ll start each week with an armload of plans, resources, and powerful ideas from your CSG.

Can I just download the materials?
It’s important to actively participate in the CSG, not just download the materials. The rationale and pedagogy behind what you’ll learn from the Master Teacher are an essential part of the learning, and interacting with other CSG members is a huge part of the benefit.

Can I claim CEU hours for my participation?
If you have ongoing PD requirements, we’re happy to help you use your participation in your CSG to meet these requirements. Since the requirements are different everywhere, let us know what your local rules are.

How can I pay for this?
We accept credit cards, and we’ve tried to price each CSG so that it is both affordable and well worth the cost, given how much it benefits your teaching and saves your valuable time.

How can I get my school to pay for this?
Talk to your principal about reimbursement for your monthly membership. If your school has a credit card, we can switch your billing over once you receive approval to use it—simply put us in touch with your school’s fiscal secretary or bookkeeper. Starting in the 2014-2015 school year, we will accept purchase orders for annual memberships.

What if I can’t continue to participate for some reason?
If you’re paying monthly, you can discontinue your membership at any time. If your school has paid for the entire year, you can transfer your membership to someone else.

I’m a student teacher/on leave/in graduate school/not currently teaching in the US. Can I still participate?
Yes! We believe working with a CSG to be one of the most powerful forms of professional development anywhere, so we want it to be available to everyone, regardless of their current situation.

I’m an instructional coach/teacher on special assignment. Can I still participate?
Yes! But please note that only registered participants can use the materials. If you would like others in your school or district to use materials from the CSG, they can join as well.

Can my whole team participate under one registration?
Each person must be registered, but we do offer team discounts, and strongly encourage teams to join CSGs together.

How is this different from Teachers Pay Teachers?
Teachers Pay Teachers is focused on individual items, which can be purchased a la carte from the TPT website. CSGs are comprehensive, year-long professional development encompassing all aspects of instruction in a given subject area and grade. You do not have to buy individual items from your Master Teacher; everything is included with your membership. More importantly, CSGs include not just materials, but the planning and pedagogy behind them. You’ll be learning from the Master Teacher directly, not just using the same materials.

More questions? Contact us