Summer teacher feature

What kind of PD did you attend?

On July 31 and August 1, Natalie and I attended the CUE Rockstar Camp at Minarets High School. Other than a little heat and smoke (couldn’t see the nearby Sierra), it was a beautiful site. I’ve been to several Rockstar Camps on my own, but if you’re interested in attending, go with a buddy. It’s much more fun. The sessions are small and there are three 1¾ hour sessions each day. Intimate and fun (Witter).

It was about implementing good [teaching] practices, mainly through technology, in the classroom to facilitate critical thinking (Chilese).

What are 2-3 things you can do to implement what you’ve learned in your class next year (teaching specific)?

16C17D7B-E9D5-45A1-ACCA-67D605C17982-1Natalie: Specifically for next year, I was able to better envision using blended learning in the classroom through:

  • Twitter (whaaaaat?) for Professional Development
  • Stations. We learned specifically about the blended station models, similar to what you see in Station Rotations.
  • Pear Deck. I am most excited about this – I want to experiment with that more and I would love to use a day to show everyone how to use it, since it could apply to pretty much every classroom. It’s a great program that is pretty easy to use.
    “Pear Deck Slides is very similar to a slide show, like PowerPoint or Google Slides. But instead of just static, informational sides, you can make interactive slides that let every student participate in your questions or prompts, right from their own devices.”

    Source: What is Pear Deck Slides? by Pear Deck Knowledge Base (2018).

Laura: There were so many other ways to stimulate learning and so many fun discussions. All of the leaders and teachers were positive, inspiring, and welcoming.  They encouraged us to continue to communicate with them.

  • EduProtocolsThere wasn’t really a session on EduProtocols, but each session reinforced the concepts in Corippo and Hebern’s book. The idea is to establish a set of learning protocols and start the year with them, in low-stakes activities. Then move into using the protocols with the actual course content. The key protocols I’m planning to use are Iron Chef, Fast & Curious (vocab iterations), the Frayer Model, QFP (Question Focus Prompt), Google My Maps, Pecha Kucha, a curation protocol, station rotations, and a prayer protocol that I am developing. I’ve used these in prior years, but I have a much more intentional plan for this year.
  • Iron Chef. I’ve tried this before, but this time it really clicked and I saw lots of ways to use it in both Hebrew Scriptures and Western Religious Art. The iteration aspect of these slideshows will help students remember without memorizing. And then there are ways to go deeper, as well.
  • QFP. This is a protocol that encourages students to design questions. It comes out of The Right Question Institute. In small groups, students brainstorm questions based on a prompt (which can be an image, a quotation, a short news story, a statistic, etc.). No judgment, just brainstorming. Then they identify questions as close- or open-ended and change the close-ended questions into open-ended ones. They then prioritize their questions so that they come up with the three most important questions in the group’s judgment. And that’s the starting point for their research.
  • FlipGrid. Heather Marshall had some solid tips for using this with students to do all kinds of things. Natalie also gave me ideas on how I could adapt this to my religion classes.
  • Adobe Spark. There wasn’t a session on this, but lots of teachers created their presentations using Adobe Spark. This is something I want to play with and use.

Oh! And Natalie was the big winner of swag… a roll of blue masking tape and two WipeBooks (which are cool, portable whiteboard type posters).

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