|Professional Development News|
Professional Development Opportunities Summer 2017
Here are some summer PD options, some of which are slated for stipends. Peruse these catalog links for the course codes then register in MyTalent
CMS IT Department PD Digital Learning Offerings
CMS PL Department Offerings
UNC Charlotte Center City, 320 E. 9th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
Free parking at First Ward ES
Sign Up in MyTalent with the Code: 433913
Keynote Speaker: Dean Shareski author of Embracing a Culture of Joy: How Educators Can Bring Joy to Their Classrooms Each Day
Interested in learning more about strategies that practicing PL educators have been incorporating into their classroom? Then come join us for our PL Showcase by educators for educators. The goal of the showcase is for PL educators to share resources and current examples of Personalized Learning practices and strategies from their classrooms to help others gain ideas. You will have the opportunity to interact with ideas, people, and possibilities with Personalized Learning expertise in a safe environment to network, learn, and share. We look forward to learning with you!
MY TALENT CODE: #417853
Are you new to Personalized Learning (PL) in your school and want to better understand the connection between EC and PL? Join us in this training where you will gain background knowledge surrounding the PL philosophy and get a chance to collaborate with EC teachers. We will also take a look at student motivation and how it may look different in each of your students. Getting to better know your students' interests and passions is a good first step but what else can you do to build that grit within your students. In this session you will learn tips and tricks in developing student motivation inside your classroom. Be sure to bring a device that you want to utilize!
Here is the updated Title IX Harassment and Bullying Lesson Training for Teachers (replaces that other Canvas course which was removed)
On May 31st here at Piedmont, all students must receive this anti-bullying and harrassment lesson unless parent/guardian returns the opt-out form. Ms Gurthie will teach the make up lesson during sessions on June 1st (We will call down students who were absent).
TRAINING Link (prior to May 31)
All licensed staff are required to access and complete this Canvas training, which should take no more than 10 - 15 minutes. You will need to sign into NCEdcloud to access
Course Name: Title IX Harassment and Bullying Lesson Training for Teachers
TEaching LinkS- Use on May 31st
(These are here for your convenience and are also available from the canvas link above. Lesson plans are a google drive link- sign in using your cms email. lesson slides are a link to the canvas course - sign in with NCedcloud)
Note: middle school teachers don't have any additional resources, you just use the slides and lesson plan
See Gurthie if you have any questions or problems. Notify a counselor if a child has an issue.
Whats best for kids Isnt for every teacher to Reinvent the wheel
Outside the door I could hear Ms Beckham explaining the activity. Students were to make connections between terms they'd been learning. She explained clearly not skipping a beat as she sensed my presence and opened her door without turning her back to the class.
Students immediately got to work on their group's poster, a quiet hum of discussion as they made decisions together on which words could link and how.
It was academic conversation at its best. Students in control of their argument and reasoning and practiced in the process of respectful disagreement.
I returned at the end of class to take a photo of the choices and the first thing Ms Beckham said was "Its not mine" she may have said that out of consideration to not take credit for someone else's lesson design, but she couldn't be more wrong - it was hers, regardless of where it originated and it reminded me to write this post for others:
It isn't more nobel to wrIte the lesson - the Internet is full of great ideas It's all about the student and you - why reinvent the wheel if there's something ready-made out there that will work?
The secret is doing what Ms Beckham did: choosing carefully a high interest lesson that will work for your curriculum and students, and owning it well enough to explain to the class what you want to see at the end!
No guilt! Make it yours!
Adaptable strategies For Middle And High School Classrooms from Personalized Learning Elementary Schools .
It's natural to want to learn from those who teach the same grade and content as ourselves. However, there's no denying that the older kids get, the less they like school so it's worth our time to take a look at what's working in elementary. (It's a cop out to say that disengagement is a natural part of growing older- and research on non- traditonal strategies and homeschooling anecdotes prove it a lie.)
I have recently seen a lot that can apply to middle school from elementary school personalized learning classroom tours. Below are photos of things you may want to try. Scroll through and if you see something that could work for you, I can help you adapt it to your students. If a photo doesn't appeal to you, keep scrolling. The goal is to find one or two things that inspire you.
You don't have to officially declare yourself a "Personalized Learning" classroom to adopt some of these. In fact, you may find that your classroom is somewhat personalized already and it's not even about the tech you use. Mr. Monismith as a health teacher always begin class by giving students the final exam. From there he could decide what to teach and what had already been mastered. You could do the same with the terms concepts or curriculum goals of your class.
Thanks to the schools for letting us tour and for the teachers featured.
Creating a "Choice Board" that appeals to multiple intelligences means that more of your students will be engaged in learning your content. Without a choice board, only those who have a similar taste to you will be truly engaged. I can help you make a choice board, if you are drawing a blank. Work as a PLC to design them or even let students brainstorm some ways to show what they know using their own strengths.
Older students still need practice in social and emotional areas yet we let that training slide when they reach middle and high school because we don't think we can afford the time or we don't think it "relates" to our content. Why not make a shoutout board so students can thank each other for kindness?
If Elementary School kids can own their learning and make their own choices, your students can, too. When they own it they will see the value in it. Older kids shut down when work is thrown at them with no choice, relevance, or ownership, You're kidding yourself and selling your students short if you think that they can't. It will be a challenge, yes, but don't you have some kids who are challenging you right now? That's part of our job and why punish all the others for those who will resist nomatter what.
Below are two slideshows of strategies in use in Pineville and Smithfield Elementary classrooms. Each photo was taken because I thought it could be adapted to work in an upper level teacher. What do you think?
Sexual Harrassment Prevention Lessons
"All licensed staff are required to access and complete the Canvas module, which should take no more than 10 - 15 minutes"
Preparing to Teach the Lesson: Complete the Canvas Course:
(Slideshow below shows how it will look)
Teaching the Lesson:
See Gurthie for questions you have before the day of the lesson, and she will work with counselors to make sure you have the answers.
CMS has assigned all teachers and admin to complete a 21st Century skills assessment by April 28th.
We last took a 21st-century skills assessment through Atomic Learning in 2014.If you are new to Piedmont, this will be your first time. If you have taken it before the assessment is a different one than it was before.
The test is required by CMS. Your score is meant for you to see which areas you are stronger stand and where you might wish to improve.
Here is step-by-step guide to logging in. (See photos below)
Use Chrome browser plus the password I sent in your email and contact me if you have issues.
Our wonderful IT specialist Heather Ramsey also created this 2 minute video showing how to log in.
The test will take you approximately half an hour, more or less depending on how fast you read and how much pondering you do.
Would you like parents or out of town people to watch special events or student presentations in your classroom? Here are 10 steps to livestream events in your classroom:
1. Notify viewers of the time to tune in and the URL of the Facebook page you'll be livestreaming from ( for example, your personal page, a school site or other. If you use your personal, you'll be able to set the Live feed to "public" before you begin the stream)
2.Disconnect your phone from school wifi (sorry, you have to use your own data)
3. Open your Facebook app
4 At the top left, press the red movie camera icon that says "live"
5. Make sure to select your audience as "public" from the dropdown menu next to your profile pic
6. Type the title/topic of what you are filming in the text area where it says "describe your live video". Use the map pin icon to add a location check-in if desired (we're listed on Facebook as Piedmont Open Middle)
7. Press the blue "Go Live" button at the bottom. It will countdown 3,2,1 then begin broadcasting (live streaming)
8. You will see the confirmation "You're live we're building an audience for you." People will be watching
9. Press the speech bubble icon at bottom to view the comments the live audience is leaving, if desired (you'll be able to read them later if you don't watch them during the livestream)
10. Press "finish" when you are done with live streaming the event. From there you can:
a. Download a copy of the video to your camera roll (that will let you then be able to upload it to google Drive or Youtube or edit it via imovie first)
b. Post your video to facebook for those who want to watch it later – you can even send the link in your parent newsletter.
c. If you don't want people to be able to replay the livestream, you have the option at this step to delete it.
Below are screencaptures of how these steps will look in the app:
Mr. Chandler shared how to have an Academic ConverStation! He got the ides from the teaching channel website, which he highly recommends. This system allows students to chunk their readings (a close reading strategy) by pausing to discuss and then share out. At the end of each ConverStation question, only ONE person moves to the next station for question 2. Mr. Chandler points out that this is a great system because it allows students to populate the ideas from each group throughout the class, and gives students something to say that no one else in their circle has heard since many issues reappear from question to question.
Both the Science and Math departments talked about using Envelope Pull Questions as a conversation starter for their topics. Mr. Kollar pointed out that many students in his class had NEVER had to explain math to another person before that exercise. He recommends the method because students tire of listening to a teacher and enjoy hearing from each other and listen more closely that way. He recommends the structure employed by Ms. Adornato and Beckham for their science lesson you see on the green sheets in these photos) Ms. Beckham and Adornato say that questions that involve some gray area are essential - ones that can be debated. They note that students who thought they could use common sense to "fake" a response without having read were held accountable by classmates who corrected them by referring back to counterintuitive facts listed in the text.
Until I heard Ms. Thornburg, I always thought alpha boxes were very low level and just a step away from busywork. But Ms. Thornburg shared with us how it enhances her lessons in several ways: She begins a unit by having students fill an alphabox. The words they generate function like a pretest, giving her an idea of what they know. Then they watch a video or read a reading from a DBQ set, pausing after each to fill in even more blanks in the alpha box. Through this strategy, students pay closer attention as they listen and look for words they "need." Then they have a class discussion and explain to each other what they chose. As a bonus, the alphabetical constraint forces creative divergent thought (Ms. Thornburg mentioned students comming up with "eXcommunication for the X in the alphabox and with "New Ideas" for the I. Who would have thought that you should give students boxes to get them out of the box?! Great job, Humanities folks (and this works with any content area) After the conversation, students used their alphabox full of vocabulary as notes with ready made ideas for writing.
Years ago, expensive and unweildy 3 ring binders were stored here at school for each student and took up almost a whole room for each grade level. Now after a bunch of starts we have devised a method to use Google Drive for students' IB portfolios. Below is all you ever wanted to know about electronic IB Portfolios, possibly more:
What Is an IB Portfolio?
How do Students Get an Electronic IB Porfolio?
How is the IB Portfolio organized?
What goes in to the IB Portfolios:
When do students add work to their portfolio folders?
How do students add work samples to the appropriate IB Portfolio subfolder for the class?
How are competed rubrics added to the IB Portfolio Subfolders ?
To add a paper copy :
To add an Electronic Copy:
Earn Renewal Credits for Planning
November 8th, 2016 (11:00-1:00pm)
Register for Think Tank
MY TALENT CODE: 416080
Need some additional collaborative work time? This is not a traditional PD, but instead a open work session time! This is a chance to collaborate with other grade level teachers and PL Specialists and front load your planning by creating playlists, pathways, choice boards, PBL's, etc. During this work time, you can walk away with a product to use during this school year! Be sure to bring any standard resources, tasks, or a device that you would want to utilize!
Read Write for Google
link to a Canvas course Ms. Newburger shared. (Reminder You will have to log-in to NCedcloud)
Twitter for Educators
This blog is a compendium of District and Piedmont -specific PD opportunities, trainings, and notes.