The final portion of the district professional development day kicked the learning into high gear as the entire district gathered in the High School Commons. After sharing ideas through EdCamp discussions and having an opportunity to learn and do during the choice-based sessions, the teachers participated in a series of quick-moving, highly-focused speed discussions. 33 tables were set up in the Commons with one facilitator at each table. Each facilitator had information to answer one of 33 hot-button questions, and as the teachers entered, they took a seat at any table they were interested in. The facilitator at the table led a 12-minute discussion where the information was shared, discussed, and expanded on. At the end of the 12 minutes, the teachers moved to another table for their next discussion. In all, the teachers were able to participate in five different discussions to explore some of the most pressing issues facing our students and staff.
For more information on the speed discussions, including a list of the facilitators and their questions and links to many of the handouts, please click on read more below.
One of the goals of Friday's professional development day was to avoid the dreaded "sit and get" style of professional learning and to get the staff active, involved, and invested. The effort started with the morning's focus on sharing ideas through EdCamp discussions (read more here) and continued with two-hour choice-based presentations. Staff members had 18 different sessions to choose from led by people from across the district, and the sessions were all built around the idea of learning and doing - learn a new practice or tool, then put those ideas into practice.
For more information about all of the amazing choice-based presentations that were offered, please click on read more below.
The February 14th district professional development day was all about taking control of PD and learning out loud.
To learn more about the day and all of the incredible ideas that were shared, please click on read more below and check in later for more posts!
As a mother of two young boys, I clearly remember how the toddler phase of questioning was very frustrating for me at times. Anyone with a toddler knows that any question can, and will, be asked about anything. Even when you give an answer, the question “why” will naturally follow. To survive this phase, one must know that even if it is frustrating, their questioning is driven out of their natural desire to know and their personal want to have a conversation and more of your attention.
Whether we are young or older and wiser, asking questions is a natural and intuitive part of our being. Asking questions is also a natural part of every classroom lesson. As teachers, we ask questions as soon as the lesson starts and continue until the end. Asking questions forms part of any lesson because it invites the student to think, and even within a ‘lecture’ style lesson, rhetorical questions are used to invite silent agreement or begin the organisation of ideas to present a response. The question we should ask then is how we can make our questioning as effective as possible.
For more information on effective questioning techniques, please click on read more below.
This will be a resource built by the staff for the staff to encourage integration of 21st century skills into every student's learning.