Category Archives: Professional Learning

#BetterTogether Teacher-Led PD #sstlap

On Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 6 pm PT I will guest host a Twitter Chat for #sstlap on Being Better Together: Teacher-Led Professional Development. I will be delivering an afternoon EdTalk at Cal Poly Pomona. Thanks so much to Alex Kajitani, Emily Davis, Nick Salerno and Peter Paccone for giving me this great opportunity to talk about Teaching Listening First.

On Friday, July 28th, the 3rd annual Better Together: California Teachers Summit will bring 12,000 teachers to 35 locations across the state together for a powerful day of learning led by teachers, for teachers. The Summit is a unique opportunity for teachers to come together to collaborate, re-energize ahead of the new school year and be a part of a teacher network that will last beyond the Summit. The CA Teachers Summit will feature TED-style EdTalks presented by local teachers, Edcamp discussions on teacher-selected topics, and opportunities for networking and sharing ideas and resources with fellow teachers.

By bringing California teachers together, the Summit will empower teachers to support our students, protect our values as educators and set an example for the nation. The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, the California State University and New Teacher Center organized the Summit. The event is free to all California pre-K-12 teachers, teacher candidates, school administrators and other educators. If you are a California teacher, it’s not too late to register and choose from locations across the state at www.CATeachersSummit.com. If you aren’t a California teacher, but want to follow the events look for @CATeacherSummit on Facebook and Twitter and join the conversation using the hashtag #BetterTogetherCA.

#SSTLAP Questions

:07 Q1 Describe the most powerful professional development experience you have had in your teaching career.

:14 Q2 List a teaching tip that has helped you improve your practice and credit the person who gave you that tip.

:21 Q3 What is the best favor/teaching tip that you have ever given one of your teaching colleagues?

:28 Q4 What professional development events have you participated in that utilized the EdCamp model?

:35 Q5 How would you compare the EdCamp model to the PD you normally receive from your school/district?

:42 Q6 What professional learning events and organizations have helped you learn from teacher leaders?

:49 Q7 How can schools and districts improve teacher leadership?

:56 Q8 What role would you like to grow into as your career in education matures?

Resources

http://cateacherssummit.com/wp-content/themes/cateachers/img/FINAL_Agenda-Web_NTC17.pdf

https://www.edutopia.org/discussion/what-ideal-back-school-house-professional-development

https://www.edutopia.org/blog/about-edcamp-unconference-history

https://www.edutopia.org/edcamp-organizer-resources

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may14/vol71/num08/Edcamp@-Teachers-Take-Back-Professional-Development.aspx

https://www.teachingquality.org/content/blogs/jozette-martinez/how-create-teacher-led-professional-development

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept07/vol65/num01/Ten-Roles-for-Teacher-Leaders.aspx

https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/03/16/7-qualities-that-promote-teacher-leadership-in-schools/

 

Indy Book Projects

As I start to reflect on the end of another school year, I want to focus on a couple of pieces of student work that have made me feel like an accomplished teacher. I always try to integrate an independent reading project into my history class. I am purposefully vague with students and only tell them that they need to complete a project that convinces me they have read the book. This year, I had two Gaby’s that exceeded my expectations.

The first student read Dead Wake by Erik Larson, which is a fantastic book to help students understand an important turning point in WWI history. This student was part of our school’s Teaching Academy and she decided early on that she wanted to transform this book into a children’s book. I was very impressed by the details she recorded and how she made the author’s text accessible to lower level readers.

Lusitania Children’s Book by scottmpetri on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/349231228/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-qkru3nHqDM8pImqlIteb&show_recommendations=true

The next student wrote a review of the book Forty Autumns by Nina Willner but responded to my feedback with at least five new versions of her review. I especially enjoyed how she included some questions for the author. I was able to contact the author on Twitter @ninawillner and she agreed to respond to the student’s questions. I love how technology has helped bridge a previously insurmountable gap between authors and readers.

Garden of BeastsInfographic Template

The-Great-InfluenzaGreat Influenza Foldable

I love doing projects like this where students have voice and choice as to the type of book they are reading and the project they are creating. The only instruction I give them is that their project should convince me that they read the entire book. The fun part of teaching is seeing how different and creative students can be.

#NotatCUE but Not for Long

For several years, I have heard the buzz about CUE’s annual conference in Palm Springs. Many of my teacher friends have gone. I have heard that 15,000 teachers attend. Instead of going to CUE, I have been doggedly close-minded about only attending “History conferences” to increase my content knowledge and get better at my craft of being a history teacher. I have enjoyed attending and presenting at conferences sponsored by The California Council for Social Studies, The National Council for Social Studies, The Southern California Social Science Association, the UC History-Social Science Project, and The World History Association, but I have realized that the speakers work the circuit and can be repetitive. Over my teaching career, my pedagogy has shifted from delivering content to increasing historical thinking.

CUE History Teacher

The influence of common core and college readiness standards have honed my focus on using historical content to teach skills. I have examined listening skills, writing skills, speaking skills, collaboration skills, basically, anything that is difficult, if not impossible to measure with a standardized test. From what I understand about CUE, their mission is to inspire innovative thinkers and bring them together. This aligns nicely with my philosophy that great teaching is teams of teachers working together, not individual teachers working alone.

For those who have never experienced a CUE Rockstar camp, this video explains their program.

Later this spring, I will attend the CUE Rockstar – History Teacher Edition on the USS Hornet. I want to shred a session on speaking and listening instruction because I have not spent enough time improving these skills in my academic program. I hope that many History teachers will sign up and join the CUE Rockstars in Nor Cal for a memorable and powerful learning experience as we host a sleepover on the USS Hornet.