Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday Think Tank: #Learn2Inspire

Learn2Inspire is what we call our summer professional development, teachers from all over the district submit session proposals for consideration. At the end of last year I submitted two, one by myself and one as a co-presenter with my lovely friend Andrea Keller! Sadly neither was picked up, but I will try again!

I did attend two great sessions that were not art related, one called Brain Powered Strategies to Engage all Learners by special guest presenter LaVonna Roth. She takes current brain research and uses it to help teachers reach students in the most effective ways. The technique I loved most was her kinetic word web. Each student gets a note card with a term and the students must make connections to figure out the main idea and the branching descriptive terms. I definitely want to use this in my room this year!

The second session I attended was about Self-Efficacy. The presenter made reference to this book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Some of the studies on how children react to certain kinds of praise and how it effects their efforts in the classroom or when they are presented with challenges that they might find difficult. Which reminds me of this short excerpt of Sir Ken Robinsons TED talk.

The session was a great way to gear my thinking and how I approach teaching my students. I definitely want them to understand that being an artist is not about perfecting everything, but experimenting and trying new things even if you feel like you might fail.

In my art related PD I finally was able to meet with my middle school art teachers! We had a great time hearing from our new Fine Arts Director, and getting our hands messy with some clay totems. Our art teachers are so talented!

What is your favorite part about professional development? What are some things do you wish they would cover in your PD before school?

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