5389- Planning the Alternative PL

Preparing our students for a successful future is our ultimate goal as teachers. These days though, we are competing with ever changing technology, video games, and unlimited supply of information at their fingertips. As teachers, we must shift to a new way of teaching, one that is student centered, hands on, interactive, collaborative, and that utilizes technology as a tool for learning. 

In my Implementation Plan, I share how creating a digital, “living document” that our students can actively reflect on and share, would help in preparing them for future opportunities. Imagine, students being able to compare what their learning from beginning of one year to the end, keeping track of goals and accomplishments, sharing their progression in collaborative learning projects, all with their own online ePortfolios. By integrating ePortfolios into the way our students track their learning, we are providing them with opportunities to easily reflect and connect what they learn as well as take ownership in that learning. They will gain self confidence and motivation to think “outside the box” and become innovative thinkers. The ePortfolios will be readily available to teachers to determine the level their students are at in their learning, get a sense of what they can comprehend, and what their interests are and what drives them to learn more.

Professional Learning
In an effort to implement ePortfolios in our classrooms, we as teachers must understand every aspect of the tool we will be utilizing. The implementation will develop through a series of phases, beginning with our 4th and 5th grade teachers, then progressing with the addition of lower grade levels, and culminating in the entire campus utilizing ePortfolios. To ensure a successful implementation, we must also shift from our traditional PL to a more engaging, and interactive learning opportunity. Following the 5 Principles of Effective PD, we will support each other in this new and exciting journey. In designing the outline for this PL, I used a 3 Column Table I adopted from L. Dee Fink’s book, Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses (Fink, 2003). The PL will consist of 6 sessions throughout a 6 month, 1 semester timeframe, with teacher support intertwined within. The Implementation Leadership team will be the “experts” available to the 4th/5th teacher cohort and additional smaller sessions will be added if needed, depending on the needs of the group.

Principle I: Duration of professional development must be significant and ongoing.
Principle II: Support for teachers during implementation stage.
Principle III: Exposure to concepts should not be passive, but engage through varied approaches.
Principle IV: Modeling highly effective in helping teachers understand a new practice.
Principle V: Content not generic, but specific to discipline.

Campus: Kriewald Road School of the Arts
Implementation Lead: Carl Dickerson
Implementation Leadership Team: Campus VP, academic coach, Technology teacher
Implementation Team: 4th and 5th grade teachers
Implementation Date: August 2023 – January 2024

Included below is the Phase I implementation outline for our 4th and 5th grade teacher cohort. We will utilize our district PL days and grade level PLG times for these sessions.

Fink, L. D. (2003) Creating significant learning experiences: an integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the teachers effective professional development in an era of high stakes accountability. Center for Public Education. Retrieved from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/system/files/2013-176_ProfessionalDevelopment.pdf

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