Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Professional Development Day- DL, SBG, & Active Learning

Monday was a full day of PD for me.  I have to say it was a nice way to ease back into school after a four-day weekend due to Thanksgiving Break.  The main focus of the day was Disciplinary Literacy and Standards Based Grading Work with a bit of PD on Active Learning Strategies courtesy of our 5-12 Math Coach.  I'm always curious about how other schools handle PD so this will give you a glimpse of how I spent the day.

The planned schedule for the day was:
7:30-8:30   PD on active learning strategies to increase student engagement
8:30-10:00    DL PD and grade level work.
10:00-11:30    Grade level SBG work
11:30-12:45   Lunch
12:45-2:00   7/8 Math Dept. Meeting
2:00-3:30    Math 7 Work on DL/SBG

We started out the day by having a discussion about Questioning/Discussion Techniques using an Active Learning Strategy called “Paired Verbal Fluency”.  Another strategy we used was called “Commit and Toss” which I’ve previously heard of as “Snowball Fight”.  We also were introduced to Kahoot which is a free game based classroom response system. I will definitely try this out.  I think it will be very engaging for students and give me great feedback on their understanding of concepts.

We then had a presentation on Disciplinary Literacy.  We have already implemented the following strategies:
  • Marking the Text
  •  Critical Concept
  • Do/WhatJustification

Today we were introduced to four different Graphic Organizer Templates for students to use when taking notes:
  • Boxes and Bullets
  • Four Square
  • Visual Summary
  • Step Notes  

I will have some upcoming blog posts explaining these strategies and sharing some examples of how I’ve used them with students.  Our 7th grade math team is lucky to have Charla coaching us on our DL strategies.  She has done a great job of keeping us focused and making sure we are implementing strategies in every chapter we teach.

One of the best parts of PD days is getting to go out to lunch and today was no exception.  Charla and I ended up picking up soup from Panera and dropping off lunch at home for my boys and then took our lunches back to school and ate them in my classroom.  I was also able to pick up a Soy Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks for after lunch.  Starbucks is something I always treat myself to on PD days.  We were at the high school all morning and it was FREEZING, I don't think I finally warmed up until I sat next to the fire this evening.

After lunch we met as a 7/8 math department to discuss how our Standards Based Grading Implementation is going.  We had a long discussion about reassessments, rubrics, and other SBG topics.  I don't know that we resolved anything, but we are finding that flexibility and patience is necessary as we work through this first year of SBG.  I'm very glad to have my 7th grade math team to go through this process with. We keep each other sane.

We ended the day with an hour and a half to focus on creating/modifying some SBG formatives and summatives, as well as finishing up DL strategy plans for upcoming units.  It was a busy and extremely productive day with some good laughs (that always happens when we write our own real world assessment questions).

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a pretty interesting day! I look forward to your posts regarding the Graphic Organizer Templates. I am recognizing more and more that my students simply do not know how to take good notes. I'm trying to overhaul how I give notes, so having more organizers to pull from will be very helpful!


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