Thursday, August 19, 2010

Creating Classroom Communities

I had the great fortune to work with an exceptional group of educators today. Our focus was on establishing and maintaining a sense of community in the classroom. Those who know me well understand how strongly I feel about the need for having a strong sense of community in our classrooms. If teachers are frequently having to put out fires dealing with discipline problems, disagreements among the students, and students working against one another, high levels of learning cannot happen. I had a wonderful day working with this faculty! Everyone exhibited such tremendous respect for young people. It was obvious that these teachers find joy in what they do. I promised them that I would try to post a link to listening bookmarks. Unfortunately, technology is not being agreeable right now, so I'll just e-mail the bookmarks to Leslie. I hope they are helpful. I also hope that everyone has a great opening to the school year!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Differentiated Planner

I just got off the phone with a friend who asked me to e-mail her a copy of the differentiated planner that I use when explicitly planning for differentiation. I told her I'd just post it here, so that others can use it, as well. It's available now as a link to the right.

Professional Development

Wow! I've spent the last few weeks immersed in my own professional development! I attended the Kagan Summer Academy for a week. While I've been a Kagan fan and follower for many years, I'm always amazed by how many new tips I pick up to make my teaching more engaging for learners each time I attend a Kagan training. I also attended the National Differentiated Instruction Conference in Las Vegas that SDE hosts each summer. I participated in numerous sessions where I gathered a lot of great ideas for better meeting the individual needs of learners. When I am able to participate in such outstanding professional development opportunties like both of these, I am reminded how exciting teaching is -- and how none of us ever outgrows the need to continue to learn more!