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Professional Development Tools

Whether you’re looking for something as simple as the perfect icebreaker, or a plan for a full-day in-service session for 100 teachers at many grade levels, this is where we share our tried and trusted tips for successful professional development sessions.

The Coconut Wireless

Suzy Kaback finds that a novel take on community communication changes her outlook on how to reach teachers through informal networks.

Embedding Reading into Staff Meetings

Matt Renwick shares how he elevates routine meetings by embedding discussion of professional reading into them.

Never Too Late to Get to Know You

Melanie Quinn shares two rituals for staff meetings to build camaraderie and community.

A Third Way

Matt Renwick is asked to intervene by a group of teachers with a support staff member who isn't meeting their expectations for working with students. And then things get complicated.

Building from Strengths

This professional development activity from Brenda Power is great to close out the calendar year as a celebration or launch the New Year in January with a positive take on the many skills teachers have to tackle any problem.

Build More Lingering into Coaching

Stephanie Affinito finds that frustration can morph into appreciation when coaches linger long enough to let teachers know how much their work is valued. She provides many practical suggestions for how to slow down during hectic coaching days.

Breathe

Jen Schwanke resists giving time over to a teacher for an unplanned activity before a meeting she knows will be challenging. Afterward, she realizes the value in pausing to remind everyone what matters most in our work.

What We Lost

Brenda Power shares a simple activity to use in a teachers' writing workshop or professional development setting to get everyone writing and talking.

Using Padlet in Coaching

Stephanie Affinito shares the many ways in which she uses Padlet to enhance her professional development offerings and showcase the great teaching and learning in her community.

Bonding with a Collective Biography

Brenda Power is inspired by Amy Krouse Rosenthal to try a professional development icebreaker that brings any group together by talking through common experiences and beliefs.

Sketchnoting in Professional Development

Stephanie Affinito energizes a professional development session with sketchnoting, and teachers soon take the practice back to their classrooms.

Dealing with Side Conversations

It's hard to judge the engagement of teachers during professional development sessions when there are side conversations going on. Dana Murphy has some practical tips for dealing with side conversations in a tactful yet firm way.

Professional Development with 10 for 10

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan explain how to use 10 for 10 online book celebrations as a professional development tool. Now is a good time to start planning for the next event, in February.

The Evolution of a Coaching Tool Kit

Melanie Meehan moves from a cart to a bag to a small baggie . . . and then back to a cart again. She explains how the tools she brings to classrooms and the thinking behind them have changed over time.

A Chartbook Tour

Melanie Meehan gives a "tour" of her chartbook, explaining how she organizes the sketches to use in her classroom coaching.

The Power of Mini-Charts

Melanie Meehan finds that the effectiveness of the charts she uses in coaching is magnified by shrinking them down and sharing them with many teachers.

PD Playlist

Music is a potent and often overlooked tool in setting a mood in professional development settings. Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share some of their new favorite tunes for PD.

Improving Professional Learning for All

Matt Renwick explains why the work before and after any professional development session is crucial in helping teachers become invested in the work.

Using Wait Time in Professional Development

Dana Murphy shares suggestions for both embracing and powering through those awkward silences during professional development sessions.

Coaching Tool: Digital Books

In this first installment in a series, Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share one of their favorite coaching tools: digital books.

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