Our strong beliefs about what comprises effective professional learning underpin the planning for our up-coming professional learning day, BY the teachers FOR the teachers…
We have so much knowledge, expertise and passion within – It’s not always necessary to depend on outside presenters to take our learning forward.
We begin by surveying the teacher-learners to find out what sort of learning opportunities they would prefer. The results indicate they’d like a combination of time to pursue their own interests independently and facilitated workshops addressing relevant topics of their choice.
So, our student- free day next Monday will look like this-
Session1 – Teachmeet.
In the traditional Teachmeet style, teachers will present for 2 or 7 minutes, sharing a tool, a strategy, an idea or an example of practice. Without the need for coercion, we have volunteers from every single grade level (and several from some!) on a range of topics, such as:
- Team teaching
- Effective search strategies
- Capturing student thinking
- Reading ideas
- A variety of apps eg Book Creator and Explain Everything
- An approach to home learning
- Purposeful groupings
- And more…
Session 2 – Workshops
Teachers choose to facilitate and/or participate in two out of eight one-hour workshops on topics of interest, identified through the survey. Workshops will be hands on, encouraging active group participation and opportunities for participants to construct meaning for themselves, on the following topics:
- Twitter for global learning
- Supporting kids with Dyslexia
- Encouraging creative thinking
- Provoking inquiry through great picture books
- Open ended iPad apps for learning
- Promoting social cohesion in the classroom
- Exploring ePortfolios
- Using data to inform teaching and learning
Session 3 – Personal learning
Teachers choose to collaborate in teams or work individually on anything they like. For many, this is a continuation of previous personal learning time but some have chosen new areas for inquiry and others will use the time to apply their learning from the morning sessions. Ideas are as diverse as:
- Positive psychology and student wellbeing
- Using animation to express learning
- Harvard research into thinking and learning
- Vocabulary enrichment
- Augmented reality
- Building resources for Maths inquiry
- How to encourage ownership of learning and student voice
As always, we have dismissed the notion that one size fits all, and ensured that our learning principles underpin, not just student learning at our school, but our own professional learning too.
Our learning principles –
- We learn in different ways, depending on abilities, preferences and interests.
- Learning takes place through inquiry: questioning, exploring, experimenting and problem solving.
- Learning occurs by acquiring skills and knowledge, constructing meaning and transfer to other contexts.
- Learning is active and social and best takes place through collaboration and interaction.
- Learning needs to be challenging, meaningful, purposeful and engaging.
- Learning includes meta-cognition and reflection, and requires learners to take ownership of their learning.
We’ll ask everyone to reflect at the end of day, not just on what they have learned, but on what they notice about themselves as learners and on the process of learning itself.
If you’re in Melbourne and excited by the potential to be a part of this vibrant learning community, see my previous post.