It’s a Saturday morning. What are you doing? Drinking coffee? Going for a run? Hitting up the best garage sale in your neighborhood?
I’m in a room with 30 high energy educators. We’re here to learn about using the socratic seminar, Twitter, and connecting with our professional network.
I’ll be blogging LIVE (I feel like a BBC foreign correspondant) today. Check this blog for updates throughout the day.
If you are new to the twittesrphere (yes, that’s a word), a Tweet Up is for you. Read on.
We’re starting with an improv/get to know you activity. I have to stop typing and stand up now.
I heard everyone’s names matched with a fun action. Fun way to get energy into their room.
We then break into 2 sessions: Twitter for newbies and Socratic seminar.
If you are new to Twitter, you would want to go to the Twitter session. You would learn what Twitter is, how to use a hashtag, how to find others on Twitter. The wonderful thing about going to a tweet up is that you are in real room in real life. If you can’t figure out why no one can find you on Twitter, you have someone IN THE ROOM that can help you. If you didn’t recognize that you misspelled the hashtag and you’re not showing up on the ‘feed’, there’s someone sitting next to you. It takes the mystery out of Twitter and makes it more manageable.
If you live in the person to person world and the thought of connecting with others through a computer screen seems cold and impersonal, a tweet up is for you! The first people that you follow (connect with) are actually in the room sitting next to you. The first people that will follow you are people you’ve seen in real life. You shook their hand and grabbed a muffin with them. When you leave this room, you can connect with your new friends through the wonders of the internet.
I’m now in a session about the great things happening with teacher leaders around the state. I’m listening to Jennifer Hargrave talk about how she incorporates the growth mindset in her everyday life. I hear Bryan Wanzer tell us about using real life skills to get students to work together. They fill out applications, use leadership skills, and complete tasks large and small as a team. Erin Lark talks about improving questioning strategies. Debbie Aldous shares about how she changes physical space to use one to one technology in her classroom.
We all engage in a deeper discussion of these ideas through a Q and A session.
It is so refreshing to hear new ideas from exciting educators. I don’t know about you, but it’s a tough time of year at my school. It’s testing season. It’s the end of the year, but not the last week of school. If you’re like me, you work with people who are less than positive at this time of year. The negativity can seep into your mindset. Attending an event like this reminds me all the wonderful things educators are doing in our region. I remember why I connect with others through blogging and twitter. It’s a little espresso shot of positive energy when I need it!
Time for a break and I need a cup of coffee. (Note to administrators and seminar planners: provide some snacks. It makes us teachers happy.)
I’m back with Kristin Leong who’s talking to us about Socratic Seminar. I’m a big fan of Kristin. I want to be a 6th grader in her ELA classroom. Her session is called Dinner Party Prep and Student-Led Assessment. I’m in! Her hook to 6th graders: you need social skills so you can go on dates when you’re older. Her hook to teachers: your administrator will LOVE your lessons if you use Socratic Seminar. I’m still in! Our learning target: Today we will explore resources around themes of race and education; learn strategies for using Socratic Seminars in classrooms; Practice a Socratic Seminars; Access a Socratic Seminar.
Now we are warming up by talking at data and race in education. This is powerful stuff. But talking about it makes me want to change the world.
We’re reading an article from the Atlantic (and this one from the Seattle Times, as well as an Excerpt from Indian Education by Sherman Alexie), using annotations to keep us actively engaged (….and we’re meeting a Common Core standard). After reading the article, we talk at our table about what we thought about the article. The we talk as a whole room about our thinking. Talking and processing out loud sure helps me grapple with this topic. Research tells us the same is true for students: talking and processing makes learning real.
We watched a video about the 1,000 Black Girl Books project.
This leads to a lively whole room discussion about how we choose books for children to read. We close the session with a 1 word tweet about what has resonated with us. There you go: twitter in PD.
And now I sign off for the day. Thanks for joining me in a live blog post. I invite your comments.