Monday, January 24, 2011

Feeding our Curiosity

I don't have any official leadership titles at my school, but I have taken on a leadership role of sorts. For the past few weeks, I have been collaborating with a fellow teacher (and member of my PLP cohort), Dana, on a weekly professional development for our Lower Division teachers (3's through 5th grade). We borrowed the idea from our Middle School colleagues, one of whom is also a member of my PLP cohort. Like the Middle School, our PD is called Breakfast Boosters, and the idea is that once a week for a half hour in the morning, we meet with half the teachers in the Lower Division and present a topic for discussion or exploration or just a "show and share" of something cool going on in one of our classrooms. Then the next week, we present the same topic to the other half of the faculty. Sometimes the topic is technology-based and sometimes it isn't. For the first few weeks, Dana and I will facilitate the discussion, but our hope is that after a few weeks, we will have other teachers volunteer to present topics. Our goal is to create an atmosphere in our division where teachers share ideas, teach one another, and try new things. And it's called Breakfast Boosters because, of course, there is always yummy food.

I would love to know what great ideas you have presented to colleagues and co-workers. What topics do you think would make for a great discussion among teachers hoping to learn and grow together? I welcome your comments!


  1. You already know that I think what you are doing is wonderful. Whether you realize it or not, you are setting an example of professional sharing. For that alone, you should be commended!

  2. I have tried lots of different models for trying to reach faculty colleagues. And I agree that teachers teaching each other in short little spurts is the way to go on most busy school days! I'd love to hear more about some of the topics you are addressing.

  3. Chris - I love the idea of Breakfast Boosters! It's a great way to build community and collaborate with colleagues. The last thing I shared with colleagues was the use of a LiveScribe Smart Pen. I used it to record the process for a math problem and sent a "pencast" link home in an email so the kids could see a refresher lesson before doing homework. It's great for kids that have missed a lesson while out sick, too! Our big faculty discussion lately is about grades. Do you use grades at your school for K-3?

  4. Patti, I love the LiveScribe Pen. What a wonderful, practical use of a really cool piece of technology. I wish we could have had something like that set up when my son missed a week of school last year. Long division nearly killed us both.

    My school doesn't give traditional grades on report in grades K-3. We do use progress reports, but the "grades" are letter codes indicating a child's understanding/progress within certain areas of the curriculum. These range from exceeds expectations (EE) to needs support (NS). Actually the girls don't get traditional grades on their report cards until 6th grade. I do know that most of the teachers grade individual assignments using the traditional grading system. It's a nice system, where students and families get concrete feedback, while acknowledging the fact that children at this age are at various developmental stages in their learning.