Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Professional Development Toolkit for Instructional Coaches

Struggling to create professional development for your teachers from scratch? This Kit includes everyone instructional coaches need to provide training to teachers! Icebreaker activities, editable slide show templates, and handouts help you get started without designing everything yourself! Plus, the How-to PD Guide includes tips and strategies for helping your teachers get the most out of your PD. Get it today and stop stressing over PD!Building professional development that actually meets the needs of your teachers is a never-ending process, especially when you're creating it from scratch.

You start by figuring out what your teachers need (and want), find the research, dig up the resources, look at the upcoming curriculum, figure out how to differentiate the activities, find the videos... and you're still only halfway done.

Then you build the handouts, figure out how the teachers will respond, create the presentation, construct the activities, make the copies, sort the stuff, set things in piles, gather materials, and make your list...

Ugh, seriously, I've gone through this process hundreds of times and, as much as I love providing PD, the work that goes into is it NO JOKE. There are just so many moving parts!

And when you're an instructional coach, that's just one little part of your very big job. You're doing this inbetween visiting classrooms, coaching teachers, intervening with students, sitting in leadership meetings, and doing all the things that coaches do every day. And sometimes you even get to eat lunch!

So I know what you're going through, and I also know how important it is to provide top-notch PD to teachers, because they deserve it. The #1 rule of PD? Don't waste your teachers' time. But what can you do to save some of your precious time?


Everything you need to plan and deliver PD from start to finish.

Struggling to create professional development for your teachers from scratch? This Kit includes everyone instructional coaches need to provide training to teachers! Icebreaker activities, editable slide show templates, and handouts help you get started without designing everything yourself! Plus, the How-to PD Guide includes tips and strategies for helping your teachers get the most out of your PD. Get it today and stop stressing over PD!
This is for you, coaches.
This is for you, campus PD providers.
This is for you, principals who are instructional leaders.

The PD kit was designed for coaches & campus leaders who want to provide high quality professional development to their teachers but struggle to find the time to create everything from scratch.

Struggling to create professional development for your teachers from scratch? This Kit includes everyone instructional coaches need to provide training to teachers! Icebreaker activities, editable slide show templates, and handouts help you get started without designing everything yourself! Plus, the How-to PD Guide includes tips and strategies for helping your teachers get the most out of your PD. Get it today and stop stressing over PD!

This is not content for professional development - you know the content. This is everything else that you'd have to create yourself: the PowerPoint and Keynote presentations, the editable handouts, the activities, the surveys, and the icebreakers!

This kit includes EVERYTHING for planning and delivering PD.

Struggling to create professional development for your teachers from scratch? This Kit includes everyone instructional coaches need to provide training to teachers! Icebreaker activities, editable slide show templates, and handouts help you get started without designing everything yourself! Plus, the How-to PD Guide includes tips and strategies for helping your teachers get the most out of your PD. Get it today and stop stressing over PD!

Struggling to create professional development for your teachers from scratch? This Kit includes everyone instructional coaches need to provide training to teachers! Icebreaker activities, editable slide show templates, and handouts help you get started without designing everything yourself! Plus, the How-to PD Guide includes tips and strategies for helping your teachers get the most out of your PD. Get it today and stop stressing over PD!I can't wait for you to see it.

I'm so excited to share it with you, because if I'd had this as an instructional coach, I could've turned some of those PD prep hours into quality time spent in classrooms instead.

I spent five years as a coach on an elementary school campus, and since then, I've been supporting coaches and teachers.

I know firsthand how time-consuming it is to build every single component of professional development yourself, but we do it because we want the best for our teachers and kids.

Now you can have the best without the soul-crushing hours spent reinventing the wheel.

This resource will give you back your time and free up hours on your calendar for doing the work that only you can do: supporting teachers and students in the classroom rather than sitting at a desk, searching for handouts you can download and designing PowerPoints from start to finish.

With the PD Toolkit, you'll be able to...
  • Find out what your teachers want (and need)
  • Plan purposeful PD that actually meets teachers' needs (and wants)
  • Plan PD faster, without all of the frustrating legwork
  • Engage teachers in different kinds of learning 
  • Choose from a bank of activities and strategies that are ready-made
  • Get teachers talking and thinking during your PD sessions
  • Follow up on PD to make sure it changes teaching and learning in the classroom 
  • Focus on preparing quality content for your teachers instead of figuring out how to package it
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Professional-Development-Toolkit-for-Coaches-Administrators-Editable-4147465

Just a few of the highlights include:

The How-To Guide to PD: 15 pages of information that take you from figuring out where to start to
delivering effective training!

Printable PD surveys: editable and pre-formatted surveys help you get the information you need from your teachers so you can plan relevant PD!

13 styles of Editable PowerPoints & Keynotes plus editable activity slides to drag and drop into your presentation! (My favorite is the blue and yellow floral - it's my thing - but I also LOVE the Dot Dudes clipart from Sarah Pecorino!)
Struggling to create professional development for your teachers from scratch? This Kit includes everyone instructional coaches need to provide training to teachers! Icebreaker activities, editable slide show templates, and handouts help you get started without designing everything yourself! Plus, the How-to PD Guide includes tips and strategies for helping your teachers get the most out of your PD. Get it today and stop stressing over PD!

PD Planners and Agendas: Get organized quick with these editable planners and agendas for your teachers.

Editable surveys and handouts to help your teachers reflect on their learning and their PD experience. Choose from 7 editable surveys and 19 different responses!

Ten fun icebreaker activities that get your people engaged and talking including the Selfie Scavenger Hunt and the Find Someone Who: Smartphone Edition!

Struggling to create professional development for your teachers from scratch? This Kit includes everyone instructional coaches need to provide training to teachers! Icebreaker activities, editable slide show templates, and handouts help you get started without designing everything yourself! Plus, the How-to PD Guide includes tips and strategies for helping your teachers get the most out of your PD. Get it today and stop stressing over PD!

19 Handouts and response sheets including graphic organizers, exit tickets, and more, to help teachers process and reflect on their learning.

Struggling to create professional development for your teachers from scratch? This Kit includes everyone instructional coaches need to provide training to teachers! Icebreaker activities, editable slide show templates, and handouts help you get started without designing everything yourself! Plus, the How-to PD Guide includes tips and strategies for helping your teachers get the most out of your PD. Get it today and stop stressing over PD!

Seriously, it includes everything from start to finish, and it's EDITABLE so you can make it work with any content or grade level! You can get the whole thing on TpT. It'll save you time and make your PD planning so much easier and less stressful.

Struggling to create professional development for your teachers from scratch? This Kit includes everyone instructional coaches need to provide training to teachers! Icebreaker activities, editable slide show templates, and handouts help you get started without designing everything yourself! Plus, the How-to PD Guide includes tips and strategies for helping your teachers get the most out of your PD. Get it today and stop stressing over PD!

Are you ready to stop drowning and start coaching?


Struggling to create professional development for your teachers from scratch? This Kit includes everyone instructional coaches need to provide training to teachers! Icebreaker activities, editable slide show templates, and handouts help you get started without designing everything yourself! Plus, the How-to PD Guide includes tips and strategies for helping your teachers get the most out of your PD. Get it today and stop stressing over PD!

Want to try it out first? Get a free download that includes...
  • The Classroom Sweep document
  • Planning professional development guide
  • A PD plan document and a completed sample 
  • Ideas for following up on a training
  • The PD Checklist: preparing for PD

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Five Tips for Better Professional Development

PD for teachers doesn't have to be torturous. In this post, I share five tips for making your next workshop better. Learn abou thow to differentiate professional development, why to plan one more activity that you might not need (but would still love to do), and and some ways to help teachers envision the topic of the training happening in their classrooms! Educators everywhere will thank you! #professionaldevelopment #pdforteachersI've given a LOT of PD. And I've suffered. Oh, how I've suffered.

One time, I resorted to using tape to try to protect the back of my heel from my hateful, horrible shoe.

It did not work.

So here's my first piece of advice: Wear. Comfy. Shoes.

These shoes need to be the most comfortable shoes you own, because you will be on your feet all day long.

When I was a teacher, I at least got to sit down for a read aloud or guided reading or small group or something. But when you've giving a PD?

Nope.

You're front and center, all day.
So wear comfy shoes.

I've got four more tips that will help make PD a success for you!

#1: Have personality.
I know, some people think, "I'm boring." But that's not true. (I mean, I guess it's possible, but it's highly unlikely.)

Your personality can shine through in the little things, like which materials you select to use during the workshop. Want to model a lesson about the solar system? Sure, you use Solar System by Seymour Simon.

But where's the joy in that?

Instead, go with The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk. Same vital information, but so much more fun!

PD for teachers doesn't have to be torturous. In this post, I share five tips for making your next workshop better. Learn abou thow to differentiate professional development, why to plan one more activity that you might not need (but would still love to do), and and some ways to help teachers envision the topic of the training happening in their classrooms! Educators everywhere will thank you!
#2 Differentiate, differentiate, differentiate
This might seem like a tall order - and sometimes it is. When you've got preK-5th grade in one room and you're working on the six traits of writing, somebody is going to feel left out.

Unless you differentiate like a boss.

And you really need to. It's not right to waste teachers' time, and frustrated teachers are not a fun audience.

I recently provided a training to preK - 5th, all in the same room. I was sharing expository rubrics and writing strategies, and boy, did I ever need to differentiate that content!

And I think I did. I'll tell you how:

I introduced the traits and then I used a mentor text as a read aloud. Each teacher had a copy of the text typed up that they used to hunt for examples of the trait in action.

But for Pre-K and kinder, I had them look for the traits in the pictures. Then, when I shared examples from the book, I shared examples from the words and from the illustrations so everyone saw their kids in those examples.

PD for teachers doesn't have to be torturous. In this post, I share five tips for making your next workshop better. Learn abou thow to differentiate professional development, why to plan one more activity that you might not need (but would still love to do), and and some ways to help teachers envision the topic of the training happening in their classrooms! Educators everywhere will thank you!

When teachers analyzed student writing samples, I provided them with
different rubrics for their grade levels. I created a PreK-K rubric, a K-2 rubric (those kinders grow a lot), and a 3-5 rubric. And each grade had their own writing samples to analyze.

At the end of the training, teachers took a book and used it to write a response that demonstrated the six traits. I provided carefully chosen books to each grade: preK had books appropriate for preK, 3rd had books chosen just for 3rd. etc.
PD for teachers doesn't have to be torturous. In this post, I share five tips for making your next workshop better. Learn abou thow to differentiate professional development, why to plan one more activity that you might not need (but would still love to do), and and some ways to help teachers envision the topic of the training happening in their classrooms! Educators everywhere will thank you!

What are some other ways to differentiate? 
  • Have teachers work with the standards for their grade level
  • Have them bring their own grade level resources for planning
  • If you're working with teachers who teach different content areas, focus on strategies that can be used in any content and show examples of what that might look like.
#3 Model something
Don't get stressed out, but the thing that benefits teachers the MOST is seeing something in action.

If you've got a good amount of time for your PD, identify something you can model.

It can be short - modeling a think aloud (for example) in any subject only takes a few minutes, but that might be the key to your teachers visualizing what the strategy or content could look like in their classroom. They'll appreciate it!

PD for teachers doesn't have to be torturous. In this post, I share five tips for making your next workshop better. Learn abou thow to differentiate professional development, why to plan one more activity that you might not need (but would still love to do), and and some ways to help teachers envision the topic of the training happening in their classrooms! Educators everywhere will thank you!

#4 Plan one activity you don't think you'll need
Once you've done a lot of trainings, you get a pretty good idea for how long things will take - but you never know.

I once worked with a middle school who worked through things so quickly that I had extra time at the end of the session. Except I didn't, because I had my go-to closing activity.

In this case, it was Pass-the-Paper. I had six pieces of paper, and on the top of each one, I wrote a different topic from the training. Each teacher started with one paper and wrote everything they knew about that topic until my timer went off. Then we passed it to the next person and continued.

It was a good way to recap the information and see what everyone learned, so it wasn't wasted time. I was actually excited that I got to use it, because usually it's just on stand-by!

Here are a few other good closing activities in case you need one more thing:
  • Graffiti Wall: I shared about that in my last post
  • Personal Goal-Setting: asking teachers to write on sticky notes about what they plan to do to use the learning
  • Find A Place: If teachers have access to their lesson plans or curriculum, have them find a place to apply the learning in an upcoming unit or lesson
  • Visual Representation: Give teachers a piece of paper. Have them visually represent the information they learned from the day. They can include words, too.
PD for teachers doesn't have to be torturous. In this post, I share five tips for making your next workshop better. Learn abou thow to differentiate professional development, why to plan one more activity that you might not need (but would still love to do), and and some ways to help teachers envision the topic of the training happening in their classrooms! Educators everywhere will thank you!

#5 Make sure teachers can envision applying the learning
You can do this in a few ways. After each activity or bit of learning, have teachers share with a partner about how they can use that in their classrooms.

You can also show pictures of the activities or content in action. This works really well when you're working with strategies that can be used across the curriculum.

PD for teachers doesn't have to be torturous. In this post, I share five tips for making your next workshop better. Learn abou thow to differentiate professional development, why to plan one more activity that you might not need (but would still love to do), and and some ways to help teachers envision the topic of the training happening in their classrooms! Educators everywhere will thank you!

Another good way is the Find a Place activity from tip #4. Have teachers identify a place in their upcoming lessons where they could use your strategy or approach to teach!

Or use sticky note and ask teachers to use this sentence starter: I can see myself using this when... It's an easy game-changer!

PD for teachers doesn't have to be torturous. In this post, I share five tips for making your next workshop better. Learn abou thow to differentiate professional development, why to plan one more activity that you might not need (but would still love to do), and and some ways to help teachers envision the topic of the training happening in their classrooms! Educators everywhere will thank you!

I know if you apply these ideas, your teachers will LOVE your PD! How have you differentiated PD? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Need tools for PD? Check out the Coach's PD Kit: everything you need to plan and deliver PD from start to finish.

Or, get started with a free download that will help you get your PD ready and rolling (with less stress and more purpose)? Check out the sign up below!



Saturday, October 26, 2019

6 Must-Use Strategies for Professional Development

Planning professional development that teachers love and learn from isn't impossible! In this post I share six activities that you can use with teachers during PD. These ideas will help you create a plan for training that you feel good about and teachers love! Your next workshop will be a hit, and it won't take you days to plan, either!You're gonna want to save this link. 

Like, just pin it now, seriously. 

I'm giving you a list of 8 of my favorite activities for professional development and I'm going to share exactly when to use them so your PD planning nightmares will be over. 

I get questions about what to do during PD all of the time. And I totally understand why. Adults can be a tough crowd. 

If you're not engaging them, adding to their learning, giving them the exact right amount of time to talk and think, challenging them just enough, and making learning relevant and purposeful, you're toast.

So I've developed a bank of go-to strategies that teachers enjoy and get a lot out of, too. 

I make sure to include at least a couple of these strategies in each professional development to give teachers the time to think, process, and communicate with their colleagues.

Here we go.
#1 Word Sorts

What it is: You provide cards for each pair or group of three. On the cards are words you are going to be working with during your PD session. At the beginning of the session, you have teachers sort them into groups - whatever groups make sense to them! At the end, they can re-sort. You can also do a closed sort where you provide the categories for sorting!

Teachers like it because it'll give them time to talk and share about their experience and knowledge. You'll like it because it'll show you what background knowledge teachers have about a topic!

When to use it: Word sorts are perfect for working with academic language of teaching which is SO important. For example, if your session is all about math workshop, you can have words like, "problem solving", "number sense", "differentiation," and "operations," on the cards. This encourages teachers to talk about the language and access their background knowledge.


Planning professional development that teachers love and learn from isn't impossible! In this post I share six activities that you can use with teachers during PD. These ideas will help you create a plan for training that you feel good about and teachers love! Your next workshop will be a hit, and it won't take you days to plan, either!

#2 Graffiti

What it is: Around the room, you place charts with a topic written on the top. For example, if you're working with balanced literacy, each chart could be titled, "read aloud," "shared reading," "independent reading," "minilesson," etc. Teachers rotate through the charts, adding everything they know about the topic. They can use words or pictures. It makes a good activity for the beginning of a session to access background knowledge. Then, at the end, they can move through the charts again, adding what they've learned.

Teachers like it because they get to talk and move, but with the people they chose to sit with. You'll like it because it'll really show you what they know!

When to use it: Graffiti is good for a follow-up training. If you've introduced a topic and want teachers to think about what they know before you add more stuff to it, you can use graffiti to get them thinking and discussing their previous learning.
 
Planning professional development that teachers love and learn from isn't impossible! In this post I share six activities that you can use with teachers during PD. These ideas will help you create a plan for training that you feel good about and teachers love! Your next workshop will be a hit, and it won't take you days to plan, either!

#3 Card Matching or Sorts

What it is: You provide pairs of teachers with sets of cards. On the cards is information that needs to be matched or sorted. For example, if you're introducing the six traits of writing, you can have teachers match the name of the trait with the qualities that trait demonstrates. Then, (this is an easy one) have them turn it into a foldable by glueing the trait to the front and the qualities on the inside!

Teachers like it because they get to talk and defend their thinking. You'll like it because it'll show you what they think and know.

When to use it: Card matching works well after you've introduced some information. Share some background with the teachers and have them use that learning to match their cards.

Planning professional development that teachers love and learn from isn't impossible! In this post I share six activities that you can use with teachers during PD. These ideas will help you create a plan for training that you feel good about and teachers love! Your next workshop will be a hit, and it won't take you days to plan, either!Planning professional development that teachers love and learn from isn't impossible! In this post I share six activities that you can use with teachers during PD. These ideas will help you create a plan for training that you feel good about and teachers love! Your next workshop will be a hit, and it won't take you days to plan, either! 





















Need some literacy sorts to get started?

 #4 Book Pass

What it is: Provide baskets of books related to the content you're teaching. In a content area training, it could be books related to the topic of the solar system, the American Revolution, or symmetry. In a literacy training, it could be books that could be used to teach specific strategies like main idea or writing an interesting introduction. 

Have teachers dig through the baskets and record the titles they might like to use in their classrooms. They might also need to record a note or two about the lesson they could teach with that book. When they finish looking through their basket, pass it to another table and start again!

Teachers like it because it's fun to look at books, and it gives them new ideas of resources they can use in tehir classroom! You'll like because they'll actually use the authentic resources they have!

When to use it: When teachers need to look through their resources to find engaging ways to teach the content they already know.

Planning professional development that teachers love and learn from isn't impossible! In this post I share six activities that you can use with teachers during PD. These ideas will help you create a plan for training that you feel good about and teachers love! Your next workshop will be a hit, and it won't take you days to plan, either!

#5 Get the GIST

What it is:
On a piece of paper, have participants write 22 blanks. Teachers have to write a 22-word summary of information by writing one word in each blank to build a sentence. Then, you have them narrow it down to 15 words. Partners work well for this activity. 


Teachers like it because it's a challenge and it "makes summarizing like a game," as one of my seventh grade teachers said! You'll like it because it'll tell you exactly what teachers understood from an experience.

When to use it: When you want teachers to summarize their learning about a specific topic. For example, if your training has been all about using the 5E model in science, you can have teachers write a summary statement about the 5E model to see what they understood. Then they have to narrow it down even further by isolating the most essential information.


Planning professional development that teachers love and learn from isn't impossible! In this post I share six activities that you can use with teachers during PD. These ideas will help you create a plan for training that you feel good about and teachers love! Your next workshop will be a hit, and it won't take you days to plan, either!


#6 Plan a Lesson

What it is: Provide the resources and time for teachers to build a lesson that actually incorporates their new learning. 

Teachers like it because it's purposeful time to do something they need to do: plan. You'll like it because it'll give you the opportunity to ensure that teachers are integrating the new practices and learning into their teaching.

When to use it: When you've provided teachers with information about a new strategy or resource, you want to make sure teachers know how to actually apply that into their teaching. Give them some time to use that new information to create a lesson - or to add or change something in their current plans - so they get to see what it could look like in their own teaching.

Planning professional development that teachers love and learn from isn't impossible! In this post I share six activities that you can use with teachers during PD. These ideas will help you create a plan for training that you feel good about and teachers love! Your next workshop will be a hit, and it won't take you days to plan, either!

Want to learn more about planning and preparing for professional development? Then I've got the download and the tips for you! Just enter your email address below to get a free resource that will help you plan, prepare for, and deliver excellent and useful professional development that your teachers will LOVE (and learn from).


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Ameria's Disturbing Past with School Segregation: 22 Days of Anti-Racist Resources for Teachers

I'm happy to welcome Danielle of @hotmessteaching as a guest blogger today.
 
She is sharing some background on school segregation and a great book recommendation for you to use with your students to help them understand how the Mendez family fought for desegregation.
 
**************************
America has a problematic history and an incredibly shocking racist past. It's easy to believe that the bigotry and hate we see today just developed out of nowhere.
 
Upon closer examination, we realize that hatred and discrimination have deep roots in this country.
 
In the 1940s and 1950s American society widely accepted the notion that Mexican-Americans were second class citizens. This idea was prevalent throughout American society at the time, and it was horribly displayed through school separation.

The Mendez family and many other families were negatively impacted by the racist ideas/racist policies that existed in Orange County, California.

Schools were segregated in Westminster, California when Mexican-Puerto Rican Sylvia Mendez and her family came to town from Santa Ana in the 1940s. When Mendez and her brothers were denied access to an all-white elementary school, her parents filed a lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles against the school district, Mendez V. Westminster School District.
 
On February 18, 1946, Judge Paul J. McCormick ruled in favor of Mendez, making her one of the first Hispanics to attend an all-white school. Mendez’s case ended de jure segregation in California, setting a precedent for Brown vs. Board of Education seven years later, which brought an end to school segregation in the entire country.

Separate is never equal and the Mendez family proved this by fighting for their constitutional rights.


This historic narrative paints a picture of the resilience of Mexican-American citizens. It remind us of America's racist past and the politics associated with dividing instead of uniting people together.

The tragedy in El Paso was carried out by a homegrown white supremacist terrorist. This young man was full of hate and anger. His actions have destroyed countless lives.

As educators, we must teach that all people are created equal. We must teach people to love others and how to love them well.

The book Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation is an excellent text to use with your students to help them understand what America's history with school segregation looks like.

The Latin American and Iberian Institute of the University of New Mexico has created a free download for teachers and it's excellent. This unit incorporates GLAD strategies and more to help students understand the context and implications of school segregation. Get the resource here.



Follow Danielle Donaldson on Instagram @hotmessteaching










This post is dedicated to MarĂ­a Eugenia Legarreta Rothe. She traveled from Chihuahua to  El Paso, Texas, only to pick up her teenage daughter, Natalia, at the airport because she was returning from a trip. She never had the opportunity to be reunited with her daughter.
 
To see the complete calendar of the 
22 Days of Anti-Racist Resources for Teachers, visit this Google Doc
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DVNTXMB84LzXYdQgSMOgRrhMoBWwSqg4tfK0Kg-sc-4/edit?usp=sharing
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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Developing Student Identities: 22 Days of Anti-Racist Resources for Teachers

Hi everyone, my name is Nicole and I teach 6th grade in Southern California. When Chrissy reached out to me to be a part of an anti-racist project to honor the 22 people who died in the El Paso shooting, I could see great necessity in this campaign.
 
I am so grateful to be a part of this community that shares resources about anti-racism. It is more important than ever for students to be educated about the difficult topics and the controversial events.
 
Students deserve to be taught about systemic racism, to understand its effects on them today, and to be equipped with the tools to rise up against the injustices they face.

Creating the space for students to develop and understand their identities is especially crucial in today’s world.
 
As students are bombarded with social media constantly telling them what they are and who they should be, we as educators need to ensure that students are given a safe place for reflection, exploration, and acceptance. In my middle school classroom, we begin the conversation with exploring who we are: our identities.

The Social Justice Standards include five identity anchor standards. These standards guide my instruction for the beginning of the school year:
  1. Students will develop positive social identities based on their membership in multiple groups in society.
  2. Students will develop language and historical and cultural knowledge that affirm and accurately describe their membership in multiple identity groups.
  3. Students will recognize that people’s multiple identities interact and create unique and complex individuals.
  4. Students will express pride, confidence and healthy self-esteem without denying the value and dignity of other people.
  5. Students will recognize traits of the dominant culture, their home culture and other cultures and understand how they negotiate their own identity in multiple spaces.
I love using this lesson from Facing History entitled “Who Am I?”. Here is an excerpt from the overview on the website: “‘Who am I?’ is a question we all ask at some time in our lives. It is an especially critical question for adolescents.
 
As we search for answers we begin to define ourselves. How is our identity formed? To what extent are we defined by our talents and interests? by our membership in a particular ethnic group? by our social and economic class? by our religion by the nation in which we live? How do we label ourselves and how are we labeled by others? How are our identities influenced by how we think others see us? How do our identities inform our values, ideas, and actions? In what ways might we assume different identities in different contexts? How do we manage multiple identities? Answers to these questions help us under tand history, ourselves, and each other.”

After completing the lesson, my students created their own identity starburst map (link to a template here: https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/image/sample-identity-chart.
First, we brainstormed aspects of our identity on a map.

So many great discussion topics were brought up by just creating these identity brainstorm maps. I guided the students in a discussion to figure out which of these traits are fixed, and which can be changed. We engaged in topics surrounding race and gender. Students brought up activists like Jazz Jennings, Malala, and Martin Luther King, Jr. who fought for equality and human rights.
 
Next, students took the template from Facing History to create their own map. They shared these maps with their peers as they got to know each other a little bit deeper. These identity maps helped create a classroom culture of both community and diversity. Students got to see how similar and different they are, and were given the chance to share some of their own stories that helps define their identities. 

This year, I am fortunate to be enrolled in a graduate program focused on social justice. One of the books assigned was “We Want to do More than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom” by Bettina Love. This book opened my eyes in so many ways, and I truly believe all educators need to read this book.
 
Bettina Love breaks through with her personal stories woven through historical cities and events as she begins to shed light on the injustices facing each of our students. She presents the bold and much needed theory of abolitionist teaching, a vision of educational social justice. I highly recommend this book to anyone searching for a deeper understanding of systemic racism and how to teach and love on students who continue to face it today.
 

This blog post is written in remembrance of Angie Englisbee. Angie is one of the 22 victims of the El Paso shooting.
 
 
The mother of eight children, she was taken too soon and undeservingly. She had the biggest heart and was always doing whatever she could to help people get jobs. Let us continue Angie’s legacy of helping people. As educators, we can vow to do our very best to spread anti-racism, to create safe places for students in our classrooms, and to ensure each and every student has a voice to be heard. 

Thanks for reading,
Nicole

Let’s connect on Instagram: @caffeinateandeducate
 
 
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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Planning a PD calendar

Planning a PD calendar for teachers is stressful, because you've got so much to do and you've got to figure out how to squeeze it all in! This easy to implement idea is a simple approach to planning your PD calendar. It works whether you've got teacher inservice, after school trainings, or half-day workshops, and it even applies to planning your PLC calendar! Plus, there's a free download! So you've already figured out what teachers need on your campus, whether you used the survey or the
sweep. And you've decided on a topic or focus for your PD. That's awesome!

Now what?

Well, putting together a PD calendar can be sort of daunting.

Time is not always on our side, and trying to make sure you get the PD to teachers at the right time can be easier said than done.

So let's talk about the main goals of a PD calendar for the year:

1. To help learning grow logically throughout the year

2. To meets the needs of the teachers on your campus when they need it

3. To give them time to implement a piece of the PD before you throw something else at them.

So here's the easiest way to put together a PD calendar while addressing those three goals. Seriously, this is gonna blow your mind.

1. Get a calendar - like a paper calendar. None of this fancy digital stuff. You can even just print one out, as long as each month fits on a page.

2. Mark important school dates on there, like holidays, testing dates, and big events like science fair. Note opportunities for PD: inservice days, after school trainings, early release days, etc.

3. At the top of a piece of paper, write the topic teachers are going to learn about over the long term. Then write a list of all of the smaller things teachers will need to learn about in order to grow along the way. Include opportunities to grow like book studies and coaching sessions.

Planning a PD calendar for teachers is stressful, because you've got so much to do and you've got to figure out how to squeeze it all in! This easy to implement idea is a simple approach to planning your PD calendar. It works whether you've got teacher inservice, after school trainings, or half-day workshops, and it even applies to planning your PLC calendar! Plus, there's a free download!



4. Use little sticky notes - and it's even better if you cut them in half. On each sticky note, write one of the pieces from your list. Sequence your sticky notes in a logical order of instruction.

5. Use the calendar to schedule out the sessions throughout the semester or year. If you have a full-day inservice marked on your calendar, and you can dedicate the whole day to this topic, you might be able to put two or three stickies on that day. If you only have half-days or after school trainings, or maybe 45 minute PLC times, you'll only fit one (maybe two, if they're tiny).

Planning a PD calendar for teachers is stressful, because you've got so much to do and you've got to figure out how to squeeze it all in! This easy to implement idea is a simple approach to planning your PD calendar. It works whether you've got teacher inservice, after school trainings, or half-day workshops, and it even applies to planning your PLC calendar! Plus, there's a free download!


Be sure to give teachers enough time between the new learning to try things out without letting things go for too long. It also helps to figure out which accountability pieces you will have in place after each new learning opportunity.

Using this approach helps you schedule tons of information in a reasonable way! For more details on planning great PD, get the free download below! There's a PD planner and a sample plan, too, not to mention a step-by-step guide! Or get the entire PD Toolkit for Coaches & Admin here on TpT!

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