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.
If you still need to join one of these groups or are making your own, please leave your name and book or group in the comments section of this post.
The PD Book Clubs for 2014-2015 are formed! Discussion Groups meet monthly on the third Wednesday at the location of your group's choosing. At this first September meeting next week, please decide your book group's norms and create a reading and assignment schedule. Please have one member of your group post it here in the comments so members can refer back to it.
So we have time for full staff discussions, please allow for time to create the presentation by April 1st. You can send me the link/links to it and I will post them here for the full staff if you are doing a flipped presentation. Take a look at this page get ideas of what your group might choose to do. Ideas included one pagers, videos, powerpoints and other slideshows, powtoons, etc. Other ideas are welcome.
Our Summer Reading Book Information and Online Discussion Link
The 2013-2014 Piedmont PD Book Club Presentations and Summaries
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
A Diane Ratvich Book
Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity
Beyond Gifted Education
With Rigor For All
Teaching with Love and Logic
White Teachers/Diverse Classrooms
The following books are available with multiple copies in our PD library, but do not have group members yet:
How Children Succeed- Tough
Since our balanced literacy pd at staff meeting, I've learned a few more things about "disciplinary literacy" the secondary school term for it. First off I learned that Ms. Adornato is a great resource on the subject. She pointed me to an immediately useful site for integrating this into your teaching. Go to Achieve the Core to search for literacy materials by your subject and grade level
Also, I recently attended a three day very intensive training on Reading for Understanding: How Reading Apprenticeship Imrproves Disciplinary Learning In Secondary and College Classrooms.
Here is a 21 page PDF of the most useful resources and tools for learning and practicing the Reading Apprenticeship strategy. I am a big learning geek so I really enjoyed the three days immersed in educational theory and practice around disciplinary literacy.
I will gladly discuss this more one on one with you, run a sample of the kind of reading they advise with your students, or do a mini-PD on disciplinary based literacy for your PLC. Let me know!
What I learned at Reading School Last Week:
In this PD presentation (Slides can be found at http://bit.ly/supportedread ) we discuss and practice the 4 components of balanced literacy. Read on to see how.
Our March faculty meeting demo'd the 4 pieces of Balanced literacy according to CMS. Balanced Literacy includes these 4 areas:
More on Balanced Literacy
More on Close Reading-
More on Common Core Reading and writing in general-
Below is an embed of the article we read for the close reading demo. we annotated electronically using diigo or on paper .
This blog is a compendium of District and Piedmont -specific PD opportunities, trainings, and notes.