Instructional I. Instructional Interactions

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1 DIRECTORS TRAINING Instructional Alignment Module Session Ten: Instructional Improvement (Professional Development)

2 ENHANCING LEADERSHIP AND EARLY LEARNING SERVICES (ELELS) The overarching goal of the ELELS series is to enhance early care and learning directors knowledge and skill of effective leadership strategies associated with promoting school readiness for young children. The ELELS series consists of three connected modules, Leadership, Center Environment, and Instructional Alignment; a support module, Family Engagement (integrated into ELELS but can be delivered as a stand-alone module); and one stand-alone module, Business Practices. The bolded module and session title indicates the specific content for this session as well as where this session fits in the flow of the ELELS series. MODULE LEADERSHIP CENTER ENVIRONMENT INSTRUCTIONAL ALIGNMENT FAMILY ENGAGEMENT BUSINESS PRACTICES SESSION Orientation and Leadership Dynamics Leading and Managing On a Mission with a Vision Conflict Resolution High-Quality Preschools Classroom Climate Instructional Climate Instructional Tools Instructional Interactions Instructional I Improvement Assessment of Young Children Instruction Informed by Assessment Instructional Diversity Strategies to Increase Family Engagement Business Development and Financial Literacy Services Objectives: Provide learning opportunities that will enable directors to: o Implement collaboration/team-building activities with their staff and o Support their teachers ongoing professional learning. Big Ideas: Directors will understand the following: o A key to ensuring young children have effective teachers is to engage teachers in effective professional learning opportunities. o Children in the care of teachers with more education and training in early childhood have better child development outcomes. o Investment in early education provides the greatest return on investment when compared with other interventions during the K-12 years. Essential Questions: o How can teachers be involved in designing and implementing professional learning opportunities to maximize the learning experiences? 2

3 o How do education standards and outcomes for children relate to building learning communities? o How can staff meetings be improved to focus on collaboration/team building? Directors Will Know: o Icebreaker activities can be used to develop collaboration and team building among staff members. o Professional learning plans can be developed with individual teachers to meet their needs for growth and improvement. Directors Will Be Able to: o Relate professional learning opportunities available to teachers directly to children s performance standards, child outcomes, and teachers needs. o Implement professional learning during staff meetings including icebreakers, shared decision making, and how to plan teaching/learning experiences for adults. o Schedule professional learning time for teachers. o Develop professional learning plans and schedule time for teachers to complete them. Evidence Objective Is Met: o IN-SESSION (Completed Developing Goals activity sheet): Read a scenario of a fictional teacher, identify a specific need observed in the teacher, and make decisions using a three-step plan that could be followed to create and accomplish an improvement goal. o JOB-EMBEDDED ASSIGNMENT (Completed Calendar, Agenda, and Developing Goals activity sheet): o Schedule/calendar of professional learning opportunities for teachers; o Agenda and minutes from a staff meeting that documents use of icebreaker activities, shared decision making, and planning for professional learning experiences; o Completed Developing Goals activity sheet where a specific need is identified in one teacher and a three-step plan is followed to creating and accomplishing an improvement goal. 3

4 Length/ Format 10 minutes/ whole group 5 minutes/ whole group 10 minutes/ whole group 10 minutes/ small group, whole group 10 minutes/ whole group, individual, partner 25 minutes/ whole group, small group, individual 30 minutes/ whole group, partner 5 minutes/ whole group Session Outline with Materials List (BOLD ITEMS ARE PROVIDED WITH THE TRAINING MODULE) Activity Title Gather and Focus: Ice Breaker - The Big Wind Blows Session Agenda: What Are We Going to Do? Reflection: In the Bag Activity #1: Commonalities Activity #2: Check Myself Activity #3: Let s Learn Something New! Activity #4: Matching Supply and Demand Review: Using What You Have Learned Materials Needed for Activity Computer and projector Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development PowerPoint (Slides 1-2) Chairs Computer and projector Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development PowerPoint (Slide 3) Computer and projector Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development PowerPoint (Slide 4) Bag Per Director: Piece of candy (with Prompt label attached) Completed Reflect n Write activity sheet Computer and projector Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development PowerPoint (Slide 5) Chart paper and chart markers Computer and projector Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development PowerPoint (Slide 6) Per Director: Check Myself activity sheet Pen or pencil Computer and projector Chart paper and chart markers Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development PowerPoint (Slides 7-14) Per Director: Effective Professional Development handout Computer and projector Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development PowerPoint (Slides 15-21) Per Director: Teacher Description handout Developing Goals activity sheet Pen or pencil Per Director: Developing Goals activity sheet 4

5 PROCEDURES Gather and Focus: Icebreaker The Big Wind Blows Time: 10 minutes Format: whole group Note for Facilitator: Keep in mind that not every director will be comfortable participating in front of a whole group. This activity is designed for the first 10 minutes of the session. Materials: computer, projector, Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development PowerPoint (Slides 1-2), chairs 1. SHOW SLIDE ONE. a. Tell the directors that today s session topic is going to focus on Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development. b. Point out to the directors that one way to encourage team building is through getting to know you or icebreaker types of activities. 2. SHOW SLIDE TWO. a. Remind them that as participants in the ELELS training they have already experienced a few icebreaker activities. b. Tell the directors that the purpose of using icebreakers in this training series is two-fold. First, icebreakers help them get to know each other in this training group, and second, icebreakers give them ideas to use with their own staff. c. Tell them you are going to do an activity with them called The Big Wind Blows. d. To set up, arrange chairs (one less than the number of directors) facing inward in a circle. e. Choose one person to stand in the middle of the circle to be The Big Wind while everyone else is seated in a chair. f. Instruct The Big Wind to raise both of his/her arms and spin around saying, The Big Wind blows through filling in the blank with a true statement about him/herself such as, The Big Wind blows through everyone who has been to Canada. g. Instruct any of the directors who share this characteristic (including the person who is the Big Wind) to stand up and quickly find a new seat. h. Let the directors know that for each statement, no player is allowed to sit in the same seat or a seat directly adjacent to his or her previous seat. 5

6 i. Inform the directors that one person will be left without a seat. This person becomes the new Big Wind for the next round. j. Continue the activity for a few rounds before moving on to the next activity. Session Agenda: What Are We Going to Do? Time: 5 minutes Format: whole group Note for Facilitator: Use this time to inform the directors of today s topic. Materials: computer, projector, Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development PowerPoint (Slide 3) 1. SHOW SLIDE THREE. a. Tell the directors that The Big Wind Blows is a good ice breaker activity they could use with their staff during a professional development opportunity. b. Remind the directors once again that today s topic is Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development. c. Say, To go over the topic we are going to i. Click and read, Reflect on implementation of interaction strategies in your centers. ii. Click and read, Share specific examples of current collaboration, team building, and professional development practices. iii. Click and read, Self-assess your current professional development practices. iv. Click and read, Learn additional strategies for strengthening collaboration, team building, and professional development practices and finally v. Click and read, Strengthen the connection between what is needed and what is offered. d. Point out to the directors that engaging teachers in effective professional learning opportunities is a key to ensuring young children have effective teachers. e. Remind the directors that children who are in the care of teachers with more education and training in early childhood have better child development outcomes. 6

7 Reflection: In the Bag Time: 10 minutes Format: whole group Note for Facilitator: Make sure each piece of candy has a Prompt label attached to it (Prompt labels provided with training materials). Materials: bag, Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development PowerPoint (Slide 4); Per Director: One piece of candy with Prompt label attached (in the bag), completed Reflect n Write activity sheet 1. SHOW SLIDE FOUR. 2. Tell the directors to take out their completed Reflect n Write activity sheet. 3. Hold the bag and say, a. To reflect on your job-embedded task from last session, we are going to pass this bag around the circle and each of you should reach in and pull one piece of candy out of the bag. b. Hold your candy in your hand and listen for further instructions. 4. Pass the bag around as each director takes a piece of candy. Then say, a. Each piece of candy has a prompt written on it. b. You are going to take turns reading your prompt to us and then telling us something you did concerning the prompt. Refer to your Reflect n Write activity sheet to help you recall your experiences if necessary. c. Who would like to go first? d. After you share your reflection, you may go ahead and enjoy your candy! 5. Allow directors to take turns sharing their reflections about their job-embedded assignment. Activity #1: Commonalities Time: 10 minutes Format: small group, whole group Note for Facilitator: Be prepared to provide assistance to groups if they are struggling to find examples they have in common. Materials: computer, projector, Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development PowerPoint (Slide 5), chart paper, chart markers (2 minutes) 1. SHOW SLIDE FIVE. 7

8 a. Say to the directors, Today we are going to think and talk about your professional development practices. b. Tell the directors that you want them to share specific examples of things they have done. c. Ask the directors to get into groups of four and give each group a piece of chart paper and chart markers. (6 minutes) d. Once the directors have moved into groups, instruct them to talk with one another about specific things they have done to provide professional development opportunities for their teachers and compare examples. e. Challenge the groups to make a list of as many COMMONALITIES they can meaning specific examples that they have ALL done! f. Walk around and provide assistance to each small group as needed. (2 minutes) g. Allow each group to share their list of commonalities with the whole group. h. Thank the directors for sharing their specific examples and tell them it is now time to discuss collaboration, team building, and professional development strategies more in depth. Activity #2: Check Myself Time: 10 minutes Format: whole group, individual, partner Note for Facilitator: Encourage directors to read through and respond to each question and not get caught up on one specific item. Materials: computer, projector, Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development PowerPoint (Slide 6); Per Director: Check Myself activity sheet, pen or pencil (3 minutes whole group) 1. SHOW SLIDE SIX. a. Give each director a Check Myself activity sheet and a pen or pencil. b. Explain that the Check Myself activity sheet is a self-assessment of professional learning practices. 8

9 c. Tell the directors that the Commonalities activity should have gotten them thinking about their professional development practices, and now the Check Myself activity sheet will give them a way to assess those practices. (5 minutes - individual) 2. Ask the directors to complete the Check Myself activity sheet based on the last 30 days in regard to professional development. (2 minutes - partner) 3. Ask directors to turn to the person next to them and discuss their self-assessment as it relates to professional learning. 4. Challenge the directors to think about the question, What can I do to make it even better? Activity #3: Let s Learn Something New! Time: 25 minutes Format: whole group, small group, individual Note for Facilitator: Familiarize yourself with the PowerPoint slide show prior to engaging in the activity. Materials: computer, projector, Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development PowerPoint (Slides 7-14), chart paper, chart markers; Per Director: Effective Professional Development handout, pen or pencil (7 minutes whole group) 1. SHOW SLIDE SEVEN. a. Ask the directors, When you were listing specific examples of your professional development practices, did you say i. Click then read, Workshops? ii. Click then read, Meetings? iii. Click then read, Trainings? iv. Click then read, Development? v. Click then read, Gatherings? b. Point out that there are many different names given to collaboration, team building, and professional development activities. c. Remind the directors that the name of the event usually lets the participants know what to expect but what is really important to know is 2. SHOW SLIDE EIGHT. 9

10 a. Read, What Is the PURPOSE? 3. SHOW SLIDE NINE. a. Tell the directors to imagine they are having a gathering of their staff. b. Read the bullets on the slide. i. Make sure to differentiate between a meeting and a professional development session. ii. Set the purpose of the meeting and make it clear. iii. Be sure to use adult learning strategies to maximize the learning experience for participants. 4. SHOW SLIDE TEN. a. Ask the directors what they see as the purpose of a staff meeting. b. After a few directors have shared, click and read the bullets on the slide. Point out that staff meetings should be for purposes such as i. Information sharing ii. Staff orientation iii. DCF reports or evaluations iv. Upcoming events c. Ask directors to discuss strategies they currently use for staff meetings. d. Elicit individual responses about staff meetings. 5. SHOW SLIDE ELEVEN. a. Ask the directors to imagine they are having a professional development event. b. Read the bullets on the slide as you remind directors that professional development should: i. Be aligned with what is going on in the center, ii. Have a clear and meaningful purpose, and iii. Keep participants active and engaged. (10 minutes whole group, individual, and small group) 6. SHOW SLIDE TWELVE. a. Point out that these are three keys to effective professional development. b. Read the three keys on the slide: i. Effective programs are purposeful. 10

11 ii. Effective programs are designed to promote and influence teachers thinking about teaching. iii. Effective programs are research-based both in content and process. 7. SHOW SLIDE THIRTEEN. a. Tell the directors that they are now going to think more specifically about the three keys to effective professional development. b. Give each director an Effective Professional Development handout. c. Ask the directors to count off (1, 2, 3, 4) to get into groups. d. Assign reading portions of the Effective Professional Development handout as follows: 1. Effective Programs are Purposeful 2. Effective Programs Are Designed to Promote and Influence Teachers Thinking about Teaching 3. Effective Programs are Research-Based Both in Content and in Delivery 4. Effective Professional Development Must Be Evaluated e. Allow groups to read and discuss their portion of the handout. f. Ask each group to explain their portion of reading to the whole group. (8 minutes whole group) 8. SHOW SLIDE FOURTEEN. a. Ask directors to think specifically about adult learning strategies. b. Read the bullets on the slide and explain that you want them to do an activity now called Stop and Jot. c. Read the directions: i. Think about workshops that you have enjoyed and really learned from. ii. What made them enjoyable? iii. What helped you remember what you were learning? iv. Jot down your thoughts. d. Allow directors to take turns sharing about workshops they enjoyed and what made them enjoyable. e. Write the responses on chart paper. f. Challenge directors to make a connection between strategies they have enjoyed and try using them in their own professional development opportunities. 11

12 Activity #4: Matching Supply and Demand Time: 30 minutes Format: whole group, partner Note for Facilitator: This activity is critical in order for the job-embedded assignment to make sense to the directors. Materials: computer, projector, Collaboration, Team Building, and Professional Development PowerPoint (Slides 15-21); Per Director: Teacher Description handout, Developing Goals activity sheet, pen or pencil (6 minutes whole group and individual) 1. SHOW SLIDE FIFTEEN. 2. Tell the directors that the last activity for the session will focus on strengthening the connection between what is needed and what is offered in professional development. 3. Point out that the purpose of this activity is to get them thinking of ways to connect what they suggest, plan, and organize for professional development with what the teachers are doing in the classrooms. 4. Give each director a Teacher Description handout. 5. Ask the directors to read the What does Ms. Yellow need? page of the Teacher Description handout. (12 minutes whole group) 6. Tell the directors that you are going to work together to develop an improvement goal for Ms. Yellow. 7. SHOW SLIDE SIXTEEN. a. Explain to the directors that step one is to determine if a need exists. b. Point out that step one has three parts. c. The first part is to identify specific, observable evidence of the need. d. Ask the directors what evidence they see of a need in Ms. Yellow. e. After a few responses have been given, click and point out the three examples of evidence in the text: her class is often out of control, the children do not follow rituals and routines, and it is difficult for her to accomplish her plans for the day. 8. SHOW SLIDE SEVENTEEN. a. Point out that the second part of step one is to identify possible causes of the problem. b. Ask the directors what possible causes they see for Ms. Yellow s problem. 12

13 c. After a few responses have been given, click and point out the two possible causes of the problem in the text: Ms. Yellow is very soft spoken and has a hard time implementing classroom rules and this does not appear to bother Ms. Yellow. 9. SHOW SLIDE EIGHTEEN. a. Point out that the third part of step one is to identify people affected by the problem. b. Ask the directors who they see to be affected by this problem. c. After a few responses have been given, click and point out that the children and Ms. Yellow are among the people being affected by the problem 10. SHOW SLIDE NINETEEN. a. Point out that STEP TWO for developing a professional development goal is to state the need or problem as an improvement goal. b. Click and say, First we need a desired achievement. c. Click and say, Then we need to determine a timeline for achievement. d. Click and say, Then we need to decide how success will be measured. e. Click and say, For Ms. Yellow, a desired achievement might be to routinely utilize classroom rules and consequences. f. Click and say, An appropriate timeline for Ms. Yellow would be two weeks. g. Click and say, Ms. Yellow s success at implementing classroom rules could be measured by observation or self-assessment. 11. SHOW SLIDE TWENTY. a. Point out that the end result for Developing a Professional Development Goal is to be able to write the actual goal. b. Click and say, An improvement goal for Ms. Yellow might be that she will improve her classroom management skills. (12 minutes - partner) 12. SHOW SLIDE TWENTY-ONE. a. Give each director a Developing Goals activity sheet and a pen or pencil. b. Ask each director to get with a partner for a Pair and Share experience. c. Tell the pairs of directors to choose one of the other three teachers on the Teacher Description handout (Ms. Blue, Ms. Red, or Ms. Green) to read and think about in order to complete the Developing Goals activity sheet. 13

14 d. Point out that the information to fill in on the Developing Goals activity sheet is the same as the topics we just discussed concerning Ms. Yellow. 13. Walk around and provide assistance to each pair as needed. 14. During the final two minutes of this activity, allow each pair of directors to share one or two ideas from the improvement goal they created for the teacher. Review: Using What You Have Learned Time: 5 minutes Format: whole group Note for Facilitator: If a director is absent, mail him/her this assignment for informational purposes but do not expect it to be completed accurately. The discussion and experience in the session will be strongly connected to the success of the job-embedded assignment. Materials: Per Director: Developing Goals activity sheet 1. Tell the directors that you hope they are thinking about ways to improve their professional development practices. 2. Challenge the directors to bring a calendar of professional development opportunities as well as a staff meeting agenda that includes a quote related to their vision/mission and evidence that an icebreaker was used. 3. Give each director a Developing Goals activity sheet. 4. Challenge the directors to choose a teacher in their center who has a specific need and complete the Developing Goals activity sheet with that teacher. 5. Ask the directors to bring with them to the next session their completed Developing Goals activity sheet, a calendar of professional development opportunities, and a staff meeting agenda. The modules presented here were funded in part by the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education as part of the Virtual School Readiness Incubator Project. The content of these modules does not necessarily reflect the views or policies or imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the University of North Florida. These prototype materials are still in development and refinement and should be used with this caution in mind. 14

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