Another Twist on PD!
At the end of February, I was scrolling through Twitter (like I do every day) and stumbled upon this brilliant idea by Paula E. Auble. I immediately responded to see if she had a blog post written up about it, but she hasn't started her own blog yet. So...this was a chance to see if Paula would give "blogging" a chance! Our #PD4uandme chat discusses blogging every month, so I figured this would be another way to encourage others educators to give it a try. I asked Paula if she would write a guest blog post to get her awesome idea out there for the education world to share and here it is!
Check it out and pass it along! Make sure to reply to her on Twitter if you try it in your own school because, sharing is caring! ~Pam & Paula
PD in A Cup by: Paula E. Auble
As an Instructional Coach at a public high school, I am constantly looking for ways to help support our teaching staff, preferably without adding more meetings if possible. I wanted to find a way to expose teachers to some of those articles, blogs, websites and videos without asking more from them.
Coincidentally, I recently attended an amazing Train the Trainer workshop with Anne M. Beninghof where she had QR codes cut out and sitting on the tables in the morning before the conference started. Some linked to articles, others to videos - and we could look at them on our own time as we were snacking on breakfast before the conference started, or later in the day during breaks. A colleague and I loved the idea and immediately discussed how we could bring this back to our staff during our professional development time. However, our school’s PD model focuses on differentiation for staff as often as we can, so we are rarely together as a whole group. Even then, my goal was still to try to help teachers fit some personal professional development into THEIR schedules. I wanted to find a way to take this idea TO the teachers and make it as easy and accessible as possible. I’ve seen PD in a Box and Learning in the Loo and so many other creative ideas and I wanted to find something that might work for my campus.
Sitting on my desk was a plastic cup with our school name and logo on it - and it hit me.
Well, the cup didn’t actually hit me, but the idea for PD in a Cup did!
So I gathered articles, websites, strategies, and videos and turned them into QR codes. I started with relevant resources to support our school’s focus on PLCs, evidence-based grading, and then kept going to share ideas on checking for understanding, other instructional strategies and found some inspirational videos.
I typed up directions explaining the cup would be in the teacher workroom for a week and then a new cup would follow each week. My campus has five teacher workrooms so I made five different sets of QR codes and directions and plan to rotate them weekly. I can do another round of rotations for the next 5 weeks after that.
Inside the cup I also included an instructional reflection question they can think about or discuss with peers (teachers in our wings have weekly lunch meetings). The first one was “What are some ways that you have formatively assessed students this week and given them feedback?
I included a “Fill Your Own Cup” question to have them reflect on how they are taking care of themselves. Each week I will swap out the reflection questions for new ones. I gave the whole campus the same questions so they can discuss them with other colleagues in departments or friends in other wings.
I also included a QR code to a Google Form where teachers could give me feedback on what was in the cup and ask for things they might like to see in future cups.
Maybe some teachers will never look at anything in the cup, but maybe some will. Maybe while a teacher is sitting at the table waiting for their copies, they will read or watch something they might not have otherwise. Maybe something inside can spark a conversation, inspire growth, or encourage someone to try something new. Who knows, but I’m excited to find out!
I placed one in each workroom and hoped for the best. I shared this idea on social media and am thrilled to see other Coaches now talking about it and planning how they could do something similar for their own teachers. After twenty-two years in education, I still get excited to learn something from other educators and I’m eager to see if PD in a Cup can help excite others to learn as well.
Teachers are busy. So if I can gather some ways to support, educate and inspire them in an easy, convenient way - that they can fit in to their own time and space… I’m going to try it!
Feel free to try it, tweak it, and use it too. ~Paula E. Auble
Have you ever been to an Edcamp? If you haven't, you must check one out in your area! Yes, it's usually on a Saturday, but it's FREE! Not only is it free, you also get to meet other teachers with a growth mindset just like you! What do you have to lose?
You can find more information here and find an Edcamp in your area here.
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.
Creating a Schedule
I start creating a schedule by asking teachers to present on something they would love to share. I may have to encourage some based on something I've seen while walking through classrooms. Once they agree to present, I add them to a Google Sheet (just a list) so I can use it for the schedule as well as a resource list
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!
Once I have my template filled out of all the sessions, I create a Google Form with multiple choice options of all the sessions so they can sign up for the ones they want to go to.
I do this especially for the teachers presenting so they know how many teachers to expect. This is also helpful if your administration needs some kind of accountability for teachers. When you make your form, make sure to have it set to recurve a copy of the answers automatically. It keeps you from having to tell them what they signed up for on the day of.
A sign-in sheet is also provided for each session so it can be turned in for PD credit hours. Click the image for a copy of the template!
After the schedule has been made and teachers have signed up, we chat about what the day will look like during a group lunch time. We do this for a couple reasons... It's really hard to get out of the building and back in an hour, and it's a great time for teachers to talk to their coworkers. We have a big building, so our
elementary and middle school teachers don't see each other much. It's an upstairs and downstairs neighborhood feel, so every once in a while we have to have a block party!
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
- Twitter PD! Check out @PD4uandme on Saturday mornings at 8:30-9:00 am EST
Coaching Choice Board
Elementary school teachers are usually more familiar with the role an Instructional Coach plays in their schools, but not as much in Middle School. To help clarify, I decided to take our district job assurances and make them public so teachers knew what was required of me on a daily basis.
I took it a step further and made a "Choice Board" for my "services" so teachers had some ideas of how I can help them and/or their students.
This isn't a long post, I just wanted to share my resources in case someone else wanted to do the same for the schools they serve. This is a time consuming process and I genuinely feel like #sharingiscaring! I have my Google Slides Choice Board featured below. Click the link below the image to make a copy for yourself!
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!
Shake Up Learning Episode #34
This episode can reach almost all educators in some way. If you are a teacher who doesn't have access to Google Classroom, I am so sorry! I would definitley keep fighting for it! You could still use a lot of the ideas with a Learning Management System (LMS) your district already uses.
If you already use Google Classroom, you'll still get a lot of ideas from this episode. The ideas listed below are from Kasey's podcast, I'm just highlighting how I use (or plan to) the idea.
To Demonstrate Google Classroom as a Tool for Teachers
Of coures, my poor children (6th and 10th grade) are often in my test classes as well. Then I can log in as them to see what it looks like. They have learned to ignore those. LOL!
Hopefully, Google will eventually give us a "student view" so we don't have to have a class just for that, but it works in the meantime! Keep asking for that feature if you want to see it happen too!
To Teach an Online Course
1. Instead of attaching documents as an assignment , you would click submit, but you would put a link to your materials in the class comments so others could comment on them. This works well because the "teacher" doesn't need to remember to "return" the assisnment, and "students" get to view and comment on each others' work easily. It makes for great collaboration and valuable discussion. I use this strategy now with our school Google Classroom.
2. Sharing your documents so anyone with a link can comment. Then you get lots of feedback without anyone editing your document. Tony was good about making a copy of the original document, making the changes, then sharing the link in the comments so you could see what he was trying to explain. Using this with students would be the perfect example of authentic feedback!
Ongoing Support and Coaching
To Facilitate Online Book Studies
We are working on a year long book study using Shake Up Learning since we had the chance to get Kasey Bell to our school for a workshop this year! We passed out the books at the end of the year to give teachers the opportunity to read over the summer instead of keeping up throughout the year. We also created a Google Classroom to share resources, assignments, and eventually for a place to turn in our end of the year "culminating projects". I also made a bookmark to go with the books so teachers knew what to expect throughout the year. It's a great way to keep everyone involved and engaged since book studies tend to lose momementum after a while.
To Share Resources and Templates
*Assign and Discuss Podcast PD
Kasey has a Podcast PD Choiceboard on her site and Laura has a blog post that shows how she used this option for professional development. I can't wait to try it!
*Support and Track Challenges & Badges for Teachers
Streamline Announcements & Communication with Staff
*To Support Absentees
Since you can assign and share resources to the students you want without sharing with the whole class, it's easy to share something with one student at a time with a personal message so they know they were missed. This can also help with "repeat offenders" to hopefully reduce the number of absences. If they know they are missed, they may be less likely to just stay home and get their work done there. If you are working with teachers, it can show that they are appreciated and their opinions and conversation is missed when they can't be there in person.
To Organize and Blend Teacher Workshop Assignment
Kasey says "Google Classroom is a great way to organize your face-to-face teacher workshop materials and assignments. This also allows you to model what blending learning will look like in the classroom."
I wrote a post on Blended Learning a while back that might be helpful if you are trying to do that in your classroom or in your school. It walks you through the different ways you can create a Blended Learning environment.
Updated Post! Summer 2019 Edition!
What Does It Mean to Be a Google Certified Educator?
My Top 3 Reasons for Becoming A Google Certified Educator?
That being said, here are my main reasons for encouraging others to become certified.
⓶ Professional development at your own pace in your own place.
⓷ Find a network of like minded educators to connect with, and learn from across the globe.
What Types of Certifications Are Available?
- Google Educator Level 1: Prove your proficiency of Google tools in the classroom with this certification.
- Google Educator Level 2: Take it a step further and show your rock star level of expertise for using Google tools in the classroom with this certification.
- Google Certified Trainers: Show you are a Google Guru with the next level of training and become qualified to provide training to schools and districts. *GAME CHANGER
- Google Certified Innovators: This level is for those who strive to create "true change" as an "innovative leader" where you will "join a community of more than 1,500 passionate educators in over 50 countries who are designing creative solutions to the world's toughest challenges in education". *NEXT GOAL!
I'm Convinced! Where Do I Start?
Check out my success story here, thanks to Kasey Bell and her courses!
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