Weekly Coaching Roundup, Week 42: October 16, 2020

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Weekly Coaching Roundup - October 2020 (Half) (Seasonal)

This week we looked at a few ways you can take full advantage of your next virtual conference, the benefits of using choice boards to give students a say in their learning activities, how one coach promotes teacher engagement during weekly PD sessions through BINGO, and more. Enjoy! đź’»

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5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Virtual Conferences

While in-person conferences and PD can have a lot of advantages, Brandy Alexander believes you can still get the same relationship and connection-building benefits by knocking your next virtual event out of the park. âšľ

"When presenters move into a virtual space it can be very intimidating. . . . Keep yourself on mute when you're not talking, but use nonverbal cues to encourage the presenters and communicate your interest in the material."

Choice Boards for the Win!

Pam Hubler provides video overviews, templates, and resources for creating your own tool to give students a choice in their learning.

"Choice Boards aren't new, but they have become a life saver since education changed drastically last March due to Covid-19! The current trend for a lot of the teachers I work with or follow through social media is to create digital Choice Boards so students can have some options in the activities they do from home based on a certain topic or subject area. . . . Remember, the purpose is to give your students choice and be able to differentiate whenever possible."

All-in: School-Wide Planning + Assessing for Conceptual Understanding

Fiona Hurtado reflects on her experience working with peers to develop pedagogy to help their school become concept-driven.

" Teachers refined their plans for instruction in response to the students’ wonderings and knowledge shown during early provocations and class discussions. . . . Hearing—and recognising—that our students have thoughts and ideas beyond our expectations, that test our own understanding, made instructional decisions—56the 'what next' — very clear."

Compassion and a Little Communication

Steph Sukow emphasizes the importance of having students practice reflection, empathy, and listening skills during these less-than-ideal times in education.

"On a camera, every subtle movement is exaggerated, and our communicative exchanges are on display for many people to see. As such, we need to be intentional with the messages we send, and we need to teach our students to utilize these new platforms to amplify their voices. . . . Their words are powerful, and the critical thinking process conducted during peer reviews deepens their ability to empathize and view the world from unique lenses."

Virtual PD

Nicole Turner promotes the use of BINGO boards to increase teacher engagement during weekly PD sessions.

"It didn't take me long to figure out that I needed to convert some of the strategies I was encouraging my teachers to use with students and start to incorporate some into my weekly professional development sessions and coaching. . . . So, how can I make it more fun? Make it into a competition! This past month I incorporated Professional Development Bingo. This is a fun game teachers can play during professional development or over the course of a week or two. With this game, you decide what you want teachers to do and put them in the bingo spaces."

Developing and Sustaining a PLC

Bryce Amos shares four of the most valuable leadership actions he discovered in his journey to become a "Model PLC" district.

"One of the key PLC mindsets is "when we know better, we do better." This is why leaders need to ensure that professional learning on best practices is a non-negotiable of the school culture. Leaders cannot hold members accountable until they have provided and modeled professional learning. The key to continuous improvement in the system is leadership understanding their current reality, and then identifying and implementing the professional learning necessary to move the system forward."

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