Now... the reason I'm writing this post is because I've had quite a few people ask me about how we use an "Edcamp" model for our Early Release Days at our school. Our district has an "Early Release Day" scheduled on Wednesdays, almost every month, during the school year for our Elementary and Middle Schools (High School does a "late in" instead). Our kids leave early so we have over 3 hours of embedded time for professional development. It's so nice having this time built into our day so teachers don't have to make alternate arrangements for after-school kid pickups or just try to get home in heavier than usual traffic. We are a town of bridges, so it gets really bad!
Last year, I started using this model so we could add choice to our professional development and really try to encourage teacher leaders. Afterall, you know how enjoyable "mandatory" professional development can be! Yes, we still have to have those sometimes, but we try to mix it up a bit so teachers have some choice to make the day worth while. My favorite part is seeing how much other teachers enjoy learning from each other! I know that's how I was when I was in the classroom and I refuse to forget that! That's also what makes Edcamps so successful, so why not use the same method in our schools? Of course, I did not invent this model of Professional Development, this is just how we fit it into our set schedule.
just for suggestions to give to teachers when they want to observe other classrooms. After I get my list of presenters, I block out our required sessions first, then plug our teacher presenters into the Choice Board template you see above (template below). I always add Google sessions that I teach myself to help keep up with my 12 required sessions a year as a Google Certified Trainer.
If you can't travel a lot to present, it's a great way to get some sessions in! When thinking about time, I wouldn't go shorter than 45 minutes per window. Another option I add is a "planning" time so teachers have some flexibility to do anything they need to. Sometimes you just need a minute to grade papers, make a phone call, or just breathe at your desk (and that is okay)!
You'll also notice a Twitter challenge on the right to encourage sharing and just to add some fun. Don't forget your #hashtag! I think I need to add a Goosechase option next time we do this for the competitive teachers! Check it out if you've never seen the app before!
After the sessions, we ask teachers to give feedback to our presenters. The teachers answer the following questions on a Google Form:
1. What is one thing you learned during this session?
2. What is one thing you will try in your class as soon as possible?
3. What is one question you still have?
4. Any additional feedback (praise, constructive criticism to improve the session, etc.)?
I get this form anonymously (to make sure the feedback is constructive), then pass the information along to the presenters . The feedback I've been given has been very positive!
We encourage choice with our students, it only makes sense to give our teachers choice to "model the model". Download the template to try your own PD Choice Board (created in Google Sheets) below and please share how it goes! ~Pam @specialtechie
My Pencil Made Me Do It #MPMMDI
Over Winter Break I read Carrie Baughcum's book My Pencil Made Me Do It and I absolutely loved it! After posting about it, one of my 5th grade teachers asked if I'd come in and demonstrate Sketchnoting for her class so she could give them another note taking option in class. I was super excited to pull something together for them!
Sketchnoting Wakelet Collection!
I started to gather my resources in Wakelet (which is basically how I plan out my presentations and lessons for kids - give it a try!) so their teacher could add it to their Google Classroom for further research. I figured that the kids that really liked the idea would want to explore more.
Here it is if you want to make a copy of it and add your own resources to it.
⓵ I talked with the kids about what Sketchnoting is and why it's helpful with the visuals in the Wakelet collection.
⓶ Then I showed them the video from Carrie, "A Beginner's Guide To Sketchnoting".
⓷ After the video, I showed them some of my own Sketchnotes (making sure to mention that I've been drawing a lot longer than them so they wouldn't compare themselves to me or not do it because they don't feel like they can draw). I use them for reflecting and capturing my favorite parts of my professional development books so I always have them with me to refer to.
⓸ Next we talked about icon libraries and how that would help them in different subjects for notetaking.
⓹ Then I showed them the video of student examples, which was perfect because they are not picture perfect examples. I wanted to make sure they understood that it's not about how good the drawing is, it's about their thinking!
⓺Application time: Their teacher then had them re-read a section in their Social Studies workbooks so they could add their visual thinking right in the book or in their notebook. Some of them added speech bubbles next to each paragraph with a character as a summary, some of them drew out a time line, and some of them underlined the vocabulary and drew something that helped them remember what it meant. All great examples!
Everyone used Sketchnoting differently, and that's exactly what we wanted to happen. It's personal and unique to each student, just like their beautiful minds!
If you use it, please tag me on Twitter so I can see what was helpful for you! Feel free to comment below and share this post if you know other #educoaches that might find it useful.
For directions on linking slides and other Google Slides tricks, check out this @ShakeUpLearning post or click here to sign up for Kasey's Google Slides Master Class! It's super affordable and totally worth it!
2019 In Review!
1. 2019 Kick Off! #FETC
I've been in education for 23 years, and I've probably gone to FETC at least 15 of those years. It's still the best conference I've been to! Not only is it amazing, they treat their presenters SO well, even paying for their conference tuition. That goes a long way in an industry that doesn't usually have a big budget professional development opportunities! The best part of going to this conference has been the connections I've made over the years. Check out this blog post to find some EDURockStars to follow!
As far as reading books, I have to give DBCInc. crediThanks for most of my inspriation! I seriously love their books! Here's a link to all of my book blog posts if you need some ideas for your professional reading list.
5. All Things Shake Up Learning!
I'm one of the Community Managers for Kasey's Facebook groups, including for her online book studies. If you are reading the book Shake Up Learning, you need to check it out! It's a great way to read the book and connect with others for ideas. You can join the Facebook book study that starts in February 13th and runs through March 19th today! I also had my school bring Kasey to our school for her Dynamic Learning Workshop last October. It was great to have her in town and get the chance to hang out as well! The final treat of the year was getting to be on her podcast to talk about how I use #PottyPD. Here's the post and podcast if you want to check it out. I'm inspired by all that Kasey does for educators and value her friendship! If you aren't already connected with her, don't wait any longer!
7. EdCamp #EDUCoachSC
Jen Shuffler! EdCamps can be an amazing PD opportunity and it's FREE! If you want to find an EdCamp by you, check out the organization site. You can also check out our site for our last event, and I'll let y'all know when we hold our next one! We hope you'll connect with us on Twitter.
8. #PD4uandme Twitter Chats
If there is one pedagogy I completely agree with, it's "Personalized Learning". What does that mean? Here's the definition that's used on our state framework here in South Carolina: "Personalized learning is an educational framework that supports all students as they seek to achieve the knowledge, skills, and characteristics identified in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate.
What does Sketchnoting have anything to do with Learner Profiles? Here's an #sketchnote I created based on Carrie's idea of creating a Learning Mascot! It is basically a character you create to give your learner profile a life of it's own. Mine had to have an owl because I love them for no apparent reason, but I feel like they fit the education theme, the rest of the image is pretty self explanitory. ?
Learner Profiles + Learning Mascots
When I saw the questions asked to come up with a Learning Mascot, I realized that this activity also helps identify "unique strengths, needs, and goals" by creating a character to help students describe themselves. It's like having a friend that says what you want to say, but are too scared to say it.
Step 1 to create your Learning Mascot:
*What does it's heart look like? #SEL
It's like giving your learner profile a life of it's own!
Of course, I can't explain this part like Carrie would, so you have to check out her videos that I have linked above and grab her book while your at it! I can't wait to demonstrate this process in classrooms to give life to our learner profiles to help Personalize learning. I hope you'll join us on our journey by following the hashtag #learningmascot on Twitter and Instagram!
I'm an Instructional Coach at Daniel Island School in Berkeley County South Carolina.
I have experience teaching K-8 special ed. and General Ed. as well as instructional & technology coaching. Since I enjoy technology more than some, I started this blog for educators who love it too. Thanks for visiting!
Google Certified Trainer
My One Word