The Clemson Virtual Professional Development Library (VPDL) for South Carolina Classroom Teachers was designed to support Professional Learning Communities (PLC). As we know, powerful learning can occur when we view teaching and student learning and analyze it together with colleagues. For this reason, suggestions for how to lead a professional development based on each module are provided. The suggestions are broken up into preparing for the session, activities to do before watching the videos with a PLC, activities to do during the viewing of the videos, and activities to do following watching the video links. These ideas are simply suggestions. We know the best ideas will come from you, the teachers in the field.
Preparing for the session:
- View all the clips from the share module.
- Read through the “Question(s) to Consider” before each of the video clips, and consider your answers before watching each clip.
- View all the video clips. After viewing each clip, decide on your own responses, and anticipate other possible responses from colleagues. Then, review the suggested responses in the “Facilitator Notes.” These are hyperlinked to the questions. Think about additions or clarifications that would be appropriate depending on the needs of teachers. Please note that the responses given are suggestions only. In many cases, the questions and ideas from the participants or your own insights as you view the segments will shape the most meaningful discussion relevant to the issues confronting your particular group.
Before viewing the video clips:
- Ask participants to discuss how they feel about ending the workshop with a share session. Do they feel this is component is important? Why or why not?
- Do teachers end their workshop with a share session each day or do they seem to run out of time?
During the session:
- Watch the video clips in the module.
- After each video clip, discuss the guiding question with the group.
- How does sharing with a partner help students?
- One of the primary benefits of sharing with a partner is that it provides students with someone to listen to their writing. The kind of writing we do in a workshop session is meant to be shared (unlike diary or journal type writing). Writers want and need to share their writing with a peer to get positive reinforcement and feedback. Some teachers teach partners to provide each other with a “star” and a “wish”. A star is a compliment (often starting with the words, “I like how you…”), and a wish is a kindly worded suggestion (it is always the writer’s choice whether he or she decides to use the suggestion).
- In addition to providing students with feedback, the partner share also helps students revise and edit their own work. As the child reads his or her piece aloud, he may hear things he would like to change because they don’t make sense or sound right.
- How does the whole group share help students?
- The whole group share is most often used by the teacher to “make someone famous”. As she confers, the teacher often notices students who are using a writing technique or strategy effectively. If this is something she wants the rest of the students to do, she will ask the student if she can share his or her writing with the group. In essence, a whole group share is a second student led minilesson. This type of share is helpful because it allows students to see a peer model. Peer modeling is a powerful form of teaching (Eickholdt, 2015).
- How does the class meeting help students?
- “Class meetings help students because they may be used to clear up common misconceptions or address ongoing issues within the group. The teacher sometimes uses this time to reiterate her teaching point from that day’s minilesson.
- After the session:
- Ask participants to discuss how they feel about ending the workshop with a share session. Has their opinion changed after viewing the videos? How will they make time for this important component?