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).


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