On Day 1, Cathy Carroll introduced a quote by John Strebe, "Teaching in a block schedule is like eternity, and eternity is spent in one of two places." According to Cathy, planning will make all of the difference. She was supposed to share a wealth of ideas for teaching English on block. What we quickly realized however, was that this mAstEr TeaCHeR was sharing GreEAt teaching StraTeGies that would work in AnY SuBjeCt. Her practical tips included having students record notes on butcher paper posted around the room, allowing students to write on the board, giving students graphic organizers to complete during direct instruction, whiteboard races, red ticket review, exit slips, pipe cleaner structures, old timey show and tell (students bring something from home related to content being studied), incorporating music in the classroom (maybe have the students select songs that relate to content), work one - check one (pairs of students are assigned two problems each works JUST one and checks the other), and voting with your feet (students stand by a poster with a number 1 - 3 that reflects how much they agree or disagree with the topic being discussed). This veteran teacher of 37 years encouraged us to inspire students to become lifelong learners by making the content relevant to their lives. She said, "If you show the kids how the subject relates to them, THEN they will learn it."
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Paula Naugle joined us via Skype to present PD in Your PJs. She shared a wealth of free resources in which participants can use learn about anything at almost anytime. Some of Paula's favorites include webinars, YouTube channels, podcasts, Twitter, Diigo, and Pinterest. From #edchats to Saturday morning educational programming, resources are readily available to continue to grow professionally.
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Oh, so many ideas packed into just three short mornings! Thank you to all who presented and those who attended. I don't know about you, but the collaboration and camaraderie left me feeling ENeRGizEd, ExciTed, and EaGeR for next year.