Saturday, November 30, 2019

Writer's Workshop: Components and Structures to Help You Get Started

What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!If you haven't been trained in writer's workshop, but you've been asked to do it, you're probably super stressing out.
  
It's a big shift from whole-class, teacher-led instruction, but I believe, with the right structure and support, you can do it!
  
This introduction will give you the language you need and some ideas on structuring your writer's workshop in third, fourth, and fifth grade, so that you can get started without pulling your hair out.

The Structure of Writer's Workshop
The basic workshop works in a one-hour model. That doesn't mean you can't use this approach if you have less or more time. It just means you have to make some adjustments!

The main components of the workshop framework are...

The minilesson
Independent writing time
Closing share
What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!
Here's what each one looks like:

The Minilesson: 15 minutes
During the minilesson, the teacher is providing instruction and modeling in one of the following areas:
Rituals and routines 
  • How to set up a writer's notebook
  • Where to get materials
  • How to come to the carpet for a lesson
  • How to talk to a partner about writing
  • What to do when you're ready to move on
The writing process (more on this in the next post!)
  • Prewriting: gathering ideas, planning writing
  • Drafting: organizing and developing ideas into a piece of writing
  • Revising: making changes to the writing with the message and reader in mind
  • Editing: making corrections to writing in spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization
  • Publishing: putting the writing into its final form so that it can be shared
 Craft (for more ideas on books to use for this, check out my mentor text post for a free download!)
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Sensory-Language-Narrative-Writing-Mini-lessons-Unit-4130579?aref=6ctmalhx
 
Conventions
  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Capitalization
  • Punctuation
  • Paragraphing
What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!
Get more ideas for minilessons and the tools you need to deliver them in this Writer's Workshop Resource

Independent Writing Time 30 - 40 minutes
Students work independently on following the writing process to create a piece of writing. Students may be at different places in the writing process. Expectations for independence need to be taught and reviewed frequently. 
The teacher should perform a "status of the class" at the end of the minilesson or the beginning of this block of time to see where students are in their writing work. A clip chart is one way to do this, but a clipboard with a checklist works well, too.

During this time, the teacher can work with small groups of students for intervention, or individual students for writing conferences. More on that below!
 
What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!
Closing Share: 3-5 minutes
  • Author's chair: one student shares their writing with the class (the student is chosen by the teacher to feature something they did well)
  • Everybody shares: each student reads something they worked on to another student
  • Favorite line: Each student underlines their favorite line that they worked on that day. They take turns sharing their lines in a group.
Other important components of Writer's Workshop
Those three components make up the main structure. However, these components are so important!

What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!Conventions: even though many people weave the conventions instruction into the minilesson, I personally think it's important to have direct and purposeful conventions instruction every single day.

Daily Oral Language, or Morning Message, where students correct errors every day isn't research based, and studies show it is not effective in the long run and doesn't change students' actual writing conventions when they create a piece of writing.

Instead, mentor sentences are an authentic, purposeful way to get more mileage out of your conventions instruction.




Writing Response Groups or Buddies: Students share their writing with a teacher-assigned partner or group to get feedback. Structures for writing response need to be explicitly modeled for and taught to students in order for them to be effective.

What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!
Get these Writing Response Group tools and more in my Writer's Workshop Resource on TpT!

What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!Intervention Group: A small group of students meets with the teacher to work on a specific skill or strategy.

It's basically a minilesson that targets what the students need and is done with lots of support and application.

Guided Writing: In a small group, the teacher walks the students through a part of the writing process a step at a time.

Writing Conference: An individual student meets with the teacher to discuss their writing, what they're doing well, and what they can do next to grow.

It helps to keep a record of conferences so you know who you've conferred with and what they're working on.

 
Need more tools for implementing Writer's Workshop in your classroom? Get the entire Writer's Workshop Toolkit with everything you need to organize your workshop, evaluate student writing,  plan and deliver minilessons, and confer with your writers!
What is Writer's Workshop? How do you structure your time? What does it look like in upper elementary? This post answers these questions and introduces the structures and components of writer's workshop. It inlcudes ideas fo rminilesons, what independent writing time looks like, and the difference between a writing conference and intervention groups. It's perfect if you're looking for ideas about out how to set up your workshop and it includes a free download too!

 Need some help to get started? Check out this free download for tools to help you teach writing in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade!
  • The Framework of Writer's Workshop
  • Components of Writer's Workshop
  • Minilesson Planner
  • Steps in the Writing Process
  • Guide: Guiding Students Through the Writing Process
  • Think Aloud Sentence Starters
  • Writing Process Folders: directions & printables
  • Conference Log 
  • Personal Editing Checklist
  • Revision Strategy Card: Find a Place
 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Narrative-Writing-Intervention-Toolkit-72-small-group-lessons-4620730?aref=qw1fw9zp

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Using Mentor Texts in Reading and Writing *Free download

This post gets you started with a free download full of mentor text ideas! This list of upper elementary picture books includes titles for teaching reading and writing. Personal narrative and expository mentor texts are included, as well as texts for teaching reading skills and strategies such as teaching theme, character traits, and point of view in fiction, and main idea, making inferences, and asking questions in nonfiction. Get the whole list! If you've been following for any length of time, you know that I love a good mentor text.

They're engaging and a great way to get students thinking and talking.

But how do you use mentor texts effectively in reading and writing?

In this post, I break down the steps for using a mentor text.

Hang with me until the end - there's a free download in it for you, too!

What is a mentor text?
A mentor text is a book (often a picture book, but not necessarily) that can be used to give students an opportunity to notice, practice, or apply a certain skill or strategy.

How do I use a mentor text?

1. Read the book as a read aloud, for enjoyment. The first time you read isn't about analyzing the text; it's about situating yourself in the text and thinking about what's happening to ensure students have comprehension and a connection with the text.

2. Choose a piece of the text that highlights the skill or strategy you want to practice. Re-read that piece during a minilesson. Always encourage students to think about what reading like a writer looks like by helping them think about the text from the writer's perspective. This chart helps kids think about the writing decisions authors make!

3. Model applying the strategy in that piece of text. Think aloud.

4. Have students apply the strategy in partners or groups, verbally.

5. Connect to group and then independent practice, usually in a different text.

Teaching kids to think differently when "reading like a reader" and "reading like a writer" really helps!


What does that look like in reading?
For example, in reading,  the book In November by Cynthia Rylant is excellent for helping students visualize. Rylant includes so many sensory details that it can help students make a movie in their minds.

First, we read the book aloud and just appreciated Rylant's beautiful words. Then, at a later time, we re-read it and I modeled using the details from the text to make pictures in my mind, which improved my comprehension.

Students practiced this in partners, describing their mental images to each other.

Then, I had students each take a chunk of text and create a picture representation of their mental image, explaining where the details came from by using the text to support their picture.

This post gets you started with a free download full of mentor text ideas! This list of upper elementary picture books includes titles for teaching reading and writing. Personal narrative and expository mentor texts are included, as well as texts for teaching reading skills and strategies such as teaching theme, character traits, and point of view in fiction, and main idea, making inferences, and asking questions in nonfiction. Get the whole list!

This post gets you started with a free download full of mentor text ideas! This list of upper elementary picture books includes titles for teaching reading and writing. Personal narrative and expository mentor texts are included, as well as texts for teaching reading skills and strategies such as teaching theme, character traits, and point of view in fiction, and main idea, making inferences, and asking questions in nonfiction. Get the whole list!

Here's another great way to help kids use sensory details to visualize: students record sensory details on sticky notes. Then they combine them to create a mental image that represents the text. They sketch this visualization, too. This activity (plus so many others for visualizing) is available in my Visualizing Sensory Details MiniPack on TpT!

This post gets you started with a free download full of mentor text ideas! This list of upper elementary picture books includes titles for teaching reading and writing. Personal narrative and expository mentor texts are included, as well as texts for teaching reading skills and strategies such as teaching theme, character traits, and point of view in fiction, and main idea, making inferences, and asking questions in nonfiction. Get the whole list!

But it doesn't stop there. This book can be used as a mentor text for writing, too

What does it look like in writing?
1. Read the book for enjoyment.
2. Revisit a piece of the book to use as a model. Read it aloud or project it so all students can see it.
3. Think aloud about the strategy or skill the writer used in that piece of text. For example, in In November, I pointed out the sensory language that Rylant uses to describe trees, the animals, food, and so much more. As we read parts of the book aloud, we added the language to our anchor chart.

This post gets you started with a free download full of mentor text ideas! This list of upper elementary picture books includes titles for teaching reading and writing. Personal narrative and expository mentor texts are included, as well as texts for teaching reading skills and strategies such as teaching theme, character traits, and point of view in fiction, and main idea, making inferences, and asking questions in nonfiction. Get the whole list!
 
4. Then we brainstormed language we could use in our own writing to describe a season. In groups, students created charts for winter, spring, summer, and fall. You can get this complete activity on TpT!

This post gets you started with a free download full of mentor text ideas! This list of upper elementary picture books includes titles for teaching reading and writing. Personal narrative and expository mentor texts are included, as well as texts for teaching reading skills and strategies such as teaching theme, character traits, and point of view in fiction, and main idea, making inferences, and asking questions in nonfiction. Get the whole list!

5. I modeled using some of the language to write a piece of writing.
6. Students tried it themselves. They used the charts to write their own piece of writing describing a season of their choice.
This post gets you started with a free download full of mentor text ideas! This list of upper elementary picture books includes titles for teaching reading and writing. Personal narrative and expository mentor texts are included, as well as texts for teaching reading skills and strategies such as teaching theme, character traits, and point of view in fiction, and main idea, making inferences, and asking questions in nonfiction. Get the whole list!

Which books can I use as mentor texts?
You are seriously in luck. I have put together a free download that includes some of the mentor text lists from my Reader's Workshop Resource, Writer's Workshop Resource, Narrative Writing Minilesson Bundle, and Expository Introductions resources, and it's free!

This free download includes a recording sheet for you to start building your mentor text collection, and mentor text lists for Reader's Workshop, Writer's Workshop, reading skills and strategies in fiction and nonfiction, and writing mentor texts in narrative and expository!


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Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Book Pass: Exploring Books During Professional Development *Free download

Make the most of your time during professional development by digging into the resources teachers can use in their classrooms! Providing time for teachers to dig into picture books that they can use as mentor texts or to activate background knowledge and spur discussions is a really valuable use of teachers' time during a workshop. At your next inservice, plan to use a Book Pass with the free download of the recording sheet and the book lists included in this post! Inservice is more meaningful when we walk away with a plan! #Recently, I shared a post about six must-use strategies for professional development. One of them was a Book Pass, and it got a lot of questions!  

To help you use this awesome strategy in your next PD, I put together a free download! It includes the Book Pass recording sheets plus lists of books for so many topics!

You can use these lists to build your book baskets and get teachers excited about using books in their teaching!

Read on to learn about how to use a Book Pass during your next training, workshop, or professional development inservice, no matter what the topic is! Get your teachers engaged and thinking about books!

Why should I use a Book Pass?
Book passes are valuable, regardless of the content you are teaching. This is because all teachers are teachers of literacy.
Yes, even the math teacher who says they don't like to read. Guess what? The majority of math errors are actually reading errors that result from poor comprehension of math problems. So yes, even you, Ms. IDon'tLikeToRead is a teacher of reading.

In addition to this, we have to find different ways of reaching our students. For many students, their listening comprehension exceeds their reading comprehension. So, if we can engage them in a read aloud about the topic we are learning, we can access the part of their brain that learns by listening.

The tricky part is, sometimes teachers are struggling to find the time to dig through their resources and figure out what books could be used for teaching their content. If we can give them the time to do this during professional development, they'll be set and you've helped them overcome one hurdle to using a best practice.

So that's why you want to use a Book Pass. But how do you do it?

Make the most of your time during professional development by digging into the resources teachers can use in their classrooms! Providing time for teachers to dig into picture books that they can use as mentor texts or to activate background knowledge and spur discussions is a really valuable use of teachers' time during a workshop. At your next inservice, plan to use a Book Pass with the free download of the recording sheet and the book lists included in this post! Inservice is more meaningful when we walk away with a plan! #

Build Your Baskets
To use a Book Pass, first identify the topic of your professional development session. This will determine the kind of books you add to your baskets.
Make the most of your time during professional development by digging into the resources teachers can use in their classrooms! Providing time for teachers to dig into picture books that they can use as mentor texts or to activate background knowledge and spur discussions is a really valuable use of teachers' time during a workshop. At your next inservice, plan to use a Book Pass with the free download of the recording sheet and the book lists included in this post! Inservice is more meaningful when we walk away with a plan! #
 
For example, if you are facilitating a workshop about hands-on math strategies, you'll want to find a collection of books that involves that topic. These could include...

Place Value by David Adler

A Remainder of One by Elinor J. Pinczes


or Math Potatoes by Greg Tang



If you only have a very limited amount of time, I recommend providing one book per person in your basket. So, if you have a table of five people, put five books in the basket. Place the basket in the middle of their table. Each person gets one book which they will browse and share about with their team.

Make the most of your time during professional development by digging into the resources teachers can use in their classrooms! Providing time for teachers to dig into picture books that they can use as mentor texts or to activate background knowledge and spur discussions is a really valuable use of teachers' time during a workshop. At your next inservice, plan to use a Book Pass with the free download of the recording sheet and the book lists included in this post! Inservice is more meaningful when we walk away with a plan! #

If you have a good amount of time, you can put 2-3 books for each person at the table into the basket So, if you have a table of about 5 people, you can put 10-15 books in the basket so people can choose the book that appeals to them and browse through it, and then possibly have time to choose another.

Make the most of your time during professional development by digging into the resources teachers can use in their classrooms! Providing time for teachers to dig into picture books that they can use as mentor texts or to activate background knowledge and spur discussions is a really valuable use of teachers' time during a workshop. At your next inservice, plan to use a Book Pass with the free download of the recording sheet and the book lists included in this post! Inservice is more meaningful when we walk away with a plan! #

How to Manage a Book Pass
As with all PD activities, you need to set a clear purpose for what people are doing. Do this in a few ways:
  • Introduce the idea that every teacher can use picture books in their teaching for different purposes (read aloud to build background knowledge, reinforce concepts, build vocabulary, create engagement in a new topic for learning, mentor texts for reading and writing strategies, etc.)
  • Explain that teachers will have access to a basket of books related to the topic of the workshop. Tell them how much time they will have to browse through the books.
  • Show what to look for: ideas for minilessons, namely. You can do this by reading or scanning the book. You can model this if you need to.
  • Provide the recording sheet and explain that, by the end of the activity, they will need to have added any books they'd like to use to their list.
  • If you have time for it, set the expectation that each person will share one book from the basket with their group so their colleagues can add the book to their list if they'd like.


Important Ideas to Remember
Make the most of your time during professional development by digging into the resources teachers can use in their classrooms! Providing time for teachers to dig into picture books that they can use as mentor texts or to activate background knowledge and spur discussions is a really valuable use of teachers' time during a workshop. At your next inservice, plan to use a Book Pass with the free download of the recording sheet and the book lists included in this post! Inservice is more meaningful when we walk away with a plan! #You want these books to be accessible to teachers. Books they have in their classroom libraries, the school library, or that you have available to loan out are ideal because they are already on campus.

If you do not have access to the books you need on campus, get them from the public library. The BEST TOOL EVER is the public library "hold" feature on their website. I don't know if everyone can do this everywhere, but I go to the website for my local library and put books on "hold" that I want to use.
 
I search for the books I want, and if they're not available at my library, they will transfer them over. Then I get a notice when the books are ready to be picked up, and I stop by and pick up my stack. It takes five minutes to pop in and out. It's amazing and free.
 
If you notice teacher aren't using the time you provide, you will need to step in. Just pop over to the table and ask, "Have you found a book you'd like to use in class?" If they say yes, ask about it. If they say no, pull one of the books out of the basket and introduce it to them. Ask them to take a look at it and tell you what they think.
 
Time to look at books is too precious to waste. They may have questions about how to use books in their content or subject area. Spend the time you need to help the teacher make the change in their thinking, right then and there. Or offer to model/coteach and set up a date! Then you can choose a book together!
Make the most of your time during professional development by digging into the resources teachers can use in their classrooms! Providing time for teachers to dig into picture books that they can use as mentor texts or to activate background knowledge and spur discussions is a really valuable use of teachers' time during a workshop. At your next inservice, plan to use a Book Pass with the free download of the recording sheet and the book lists included in this post! Inservice is more meaningful when we walk away with a plan! #

Want to get started with a free download? Yes! You totally should! This freebie includes the recording sheets, plus so many lists of books to help you prepare for your book pass activity (or to recommend mentor texts to teachers)! In this free download...
  • The Book Pass Handout: teachers can build their list!
  • Starting Reader's & Writer's Workshop
  • Building Community
  • Science
  • Math
  • Social Studies
  • Diversity
  • Narrative Mentor Texts for Writing
  • Expository Mentor Texts for Writing
  • Fiction Picture Books for Teaching Strategies
  • Fiction Picture Books for Teaching Skills
  • Nonfiction Picture Books for Teaching Strategies
  • Nonfiction Picture Books for Teaching Skills

 *This post includes affiliate links*
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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!



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