the blog of the CUNY Adult Literacy/HSE/ESL Professional Development Team

Introduction to the CUNY NYSED Teacher Leader Initiative

NYSED Teacher Leader Mini Grant Presentations – March 2016

The CUNY PD Team is a recognized leader in the professional development of adult basic education, high school equivalency and English and a Second Language teachers. Our team has over 100 years of collective experience in both teaching and teacher training.

Within the CUNY Adult Literacy Program, we serve the students and teachers of all 14 of the CUNY campuses that offer ABE/pre-HSE/HSE/ESL classes.

Beyond CUNY, we work with teachers from community-based organizations, libraries, Corrections, and other providers across the city, state and country.


  • We work with pre-service and in-service teachers/student advisors/educational directors to develop best teaching practices and to build teacher content knowledge in math, science, English Language Arts, ESL, career pathways, college transition, and program design.
  • We provide training and coaching in a variety of models to meet the needs of our partners. This includes site-based workshops, demo classes, webinars, individual mentorship and Japanese-style lesson study.
  • We offer curriculum and lesson set development, as well as rigorous support for teachers using our existing materials, including the CUNY HSE Curriculum Framework and the CUNY CareerKits.
  • We support educational directors with strategies for program development and design


To inquire about professional development at your program, please contact:

To learn more about the work of the CUNY PD Team, here are examples of workshops delivered by the team, as well as descriptions of projects & initiatives, links to publications, and a list of our community partners.

  • The CUNY CareerKit Project (2016-present) – A comprehensive career preparation resource for educators to lead adult students as they learn about different career paths in ten industry sectors, integrating the literacy, numeracy and academic skills they need for college and career.


  • The CUNY HSE Curriculum Framework (2015- present) – The Framework provides direction, structure and materials for teaching math, science and social studies (integrated with reading and writing) in the new era of HSE instruction. The framework is a research-based instructional guide with resources to support HSE teachers with coherent lesson plans, engaging student activities, curriculum maps, descriptions of topic units and more.


  • CollectEdNY.org (2015-present) – The go-to website for adult education teaching materials, CollectEdNY connects teachers with free, quality teaching resources, vetted and reviewed by adult education instructors for adult education instructors.


  • The NYSED Teacher Leader Initiative (2014-present) – Through an unprecedented NYSED investment in teachers, we create training institutes to foster a community of teacher leaders across the state, and develop leadership dedicated to improving teaching practice in our field. In addition to providing the trainings, our team supports these teacher leaders as they bring our trainings and teaching resources to educators in their local regions.


  • Mapping Your Future: A College and Career Exploration Conference for HSE Students – The annual Mapping Your Future Conference, co-sponsored by the CUNY Adult Literacy Program and the CUNY Black Male Initiative, brings together HSE students from across New York City to plan for next steps.  Students browse Information Tables with representatives from a range of CUNY programs and career training organizations and attend workshops to explore various aspects of college-going and career preparation.  The highlight of the event is the Peer Panel; all participants gather in an auditorium to hear a group of CUNY students, former HSE students, discuss the benefits and challenges of college.   


  • We Are New York (2009 – present) – An Emmy Award-winning television show created to help immigrant New Yorkers practice English while informing them of NYC resources. With supplemental classroom materials, and community facilitator guides.

National Conference for the Coalition of Adult Basic Education (COABE)

  • Sense-Making vs. Answer Getting in Our Math Classrooms
  • Teaching Science Through Inquiry
  • Perseverance and Sense-Making in Mathematical Problem-Solving
  • Mathematical Modeling – Questions from a Math Teachers’ Circle
  • CUNY HSE Math Curriculum Framework – How to Introduce Functions
  • CUNY HSE Math Curriculum Framework – The Power of Rate of Change
  • Exploring Algebraic Thinking in a Math Teachers’ Circle


TESOL International Convention

  • Time Efficient and Effective Student Journals


National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Regional Conference

  • Japanese Lesson Study: A Model for Teacher-led Professional Development
  • Teacher-Driven Learning Circles


NYC Adult Basic Education Conference

  • Using Visual Patterns to Introduce Algebraic Thinking
  • 3-Act Math Tasks – Letting Students Build the Problem
  • Exploring the CUNY HSE Math Curriculum Framework:  Problem-Solving in Functions and Algebra
  • Pendulums and Turning Points: Connecting Past and Present in the TASC Classroom
  • Using Timelines to Teach Key Content and Skills for SS/ELA TASC Preparation
  • 100 Things Every New Yorker Should Know: An Approach to Teaching ESL Civics
  • We Are New York “My name is…”: Setting Low-Level Students Up for Success with Reading


NYU Literacy Review Workshops

  • Make It Messy!: Teaching Revision in Our Students’ Own Words
  • Take the Subway: Writing the Stories of Our Daily Lives
  • Using Simple Poems to Help Student Language Grow
  • The Learner’s Lexicon: Supporting Student Vocabulary Building
  • Effective Ways of Responding to ESL Writing in an HSE Writing Class
  • Journal Writing Workshop


CUNY College Transition Conference

  • Academic Approaches to Student Advisement


RISE: Social Work in an Era of Change Conference

  • Introduction to Community-Centered Problem-Solving


New York Association for Continuing & Community Education (NYACCE)

  • Teaching TASC Math for Understanding

Appleton, A., Farina, S., Holzer, T., Kotelawala, U., Trushkowsky, M. Problem Posing and Problem Solving in a Math Teachers’ CircleJournal of Research and Practice for Adult Literacy, Secondary, and Basic Education, Volume 6, Number , Spring 2017, pp. 33-39

Trushkowsky, M. Math Memos: Letting Students Struggle, Letting Students Think. The Math Practitioner, Volume 22 (Issue 1) Fall/Winter 2016, pp. 5-10

Appleton, E. A Strategy for Teaching in a Multi-Level Classroom: Push and Support CardsThe Math Practitioner, Volume 22 (Issue 3) Summer 2017, pp. 7-13

Taylor, M. (2014). Recycling and Reviewing Classroom Vocabulary. In A. Coxhead (Ed.), New Ways in Teaching Vocabulary, TESOL Press.

Taylor, M. “My Name is …We Are New York Lessons for Low-Level Learners: A Guide for Teachers,” published by The New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and CUNY, 2016.

  • Black Male Initiative (BMI)
  • Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Bronx Community College
  • Brooklyn College
  • Capital/North Country Regional Adult Education Network (RAEN)
  • Central/Southern Tier Regional Adult Education Network (RAEN)
  • City College of New York
  • College of Staten Island
  • CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP)
  • CUNY Service Corps
  • CUNY Start
  • Finger Lakes Regional Adult Education Network (RAEN)
  • Hostos Community College
  • Hudson Valley Regional Adult Education Network (RAEN)
  • Hunter College
  • LaGuardia Community College
  • Lehman College
  • Long Island Regional Adult Education Network (RAEN)
  • Medgar Evers College
  • NYC College of Technology
  • NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
  • NYC Regional Adult Education Network (RAEN)
  • NYS Department of Education, Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services
  • Tenement Museum
  • Queensborough Community College
  • West Regional Adult Education Network (RAEN)
  • York College
  • Young Adult Literacy Program (YALP)