Professional Development Plan the Design Essay

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¶ … Professional Development Plan

The design of professional development should be a result of a district's professional development planning process. It is best done as part of a comprehensive district plan in which the planning process includes, at a minimum, a collection of needs assessment data, i.e. student and teaching staff needs; root cause identification; proposed activities; identification of resources; and proposed evaluation of the impact of planned activities/approaches. Hence, this professional development planning process is dynamic, reflecting teaching staff and student performance benchmarks of increasing rigor as skill levels are attained. Enhanced teaching and learning is the foundation upon which individuals and districts should plan the content of all professional development.

Mindset, Learning Environment & Differentiation

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TOPIC: Essay on Professional Development Plan the Design of Professional Assignment

Create a warm and inviting environment - One of the first things a teacher does at the beginning of the school year is organize, arrange, and decorate the classroom. The physical environment of a classroom plays a part in the ownership students feel about their school and more specifically their class. The classroom environment should do as much to foster cooperation and acceptance as the instructional method the teacher uses. Children are sensitive to the atmosphere created in the classroom. Is the classroom warm and inviting? Are all areas of the classroom accessible to all children? Are the walls bleak and lacking in color or do the decorations help to make the students feel comfortable? Are areas well defined as to their design and purpose (Scott, Leach, & Bucholz, 2008)? Decorating a classroom with some kind of warmth can help promote a sense of comfort and security. Classrooms tend to be rather cold, bare places until they are decorated. Adding a splash of color can bring life to a sterile environment. Color choice is important when decorating a classroom. Teachers should keep in mind that red and orange can make children feel nervous and unsettled while blue and green can help students feel calm. Furthermore, dark colors take natural sunlight out of a room and can even make people feel drowsy and listless. Plants, soft chairs, rugs, and pillows can help to add warmth and comfort to a class environment.

b. Incorporate diverse teaching strategies - if teachers employ varied instructional strategies to reach varied intelligences, a student can learn new material in various formats. Concepts will be grasped and solidified, thus achieving mastery level of the acquired material. Certain behaviors and instructional strategies enable teachers to build a stronger teaching/learning relationship with their culturally diverse students. Many of these behaviors and strategies exemplify standard practices of good teaching, and others are specific to working with students from diverse cultures. Focus on the ways students learn and observe students to identify their task orientations. Once students' orientations are known, the teacher can structure tasks to accommodate. For example, before some students can begin a task, they need time to prepare or attend to details. In this case, the teacher can allow time for students to prepare, provide them with advance organizers, and announce how much time will be given for preparation and when the task will begin. This is a positive way to honor their need for preparation, rituals, or customs.

Timetable: This should occur throughout the school year.

Obstacles: Trying to meet the needs of a diverse student base may be daunting. Carefully planning lessons to include multiple needs will overcome this obstacle.

Curriculum & Differentiation

Goals:

a. Design curriculum delivery to reach multiple intelligences - Everyone has ALL the intelligences. The intelligences are not mutually exclusive -- they act in consort. Multiple Intelligence (MI) Theory was not developed to exclude individuals, but to allow all people to contribute to society through their own strengths (Helding, 2009). For example, have students to create a mock spread/layout (two pages that face each other) about their life. An activity called "All About Me," is used in preparation for them to transfer these skills to create their school yearbook. Below is a list of activities that align with seven intelligences.

Verbal -- write copy and captions about chosen photos

Logical -- place elements strategically on spread that allows balance on the spread

Visual -- sketch and creatively design elements with lots of color/art

Musical -- maintain pica width between elements and identify any patterns

Intrapersonal -- choose pictorial items that represent your values & beliefs

Interpersonal -- give a presentation of spread in small/whole groups

Kinesthetic - construct the spread incorporating other intelligences

b. Build upon student's prior knowledge - by connecting the lesson to a personal experience, teacher may build upon students' prior knowledge. Tapping into the intrapersonal intelligence allows students to personalize the experience with real-world application. Interestingly, the amygdala located in the brain, which is responsible for emotions. If a personal connection is made, this part of the brain contributes to long-term memory. People may forget what a person may have said, but they never forget how he or she made them feel during the experience. Scaffolding and schema strategies are definitely paramount. If teachers cannot connect to prior knowledge and scaffold this knowledge to new concepts, a meaningful learning experience may not occur.

Timetable: This should occur throughout the school year.

Obstacles: If prior knowledge does not exist due to lifestyle or background, this may create challenges for students to identify with the material.

Assessment & Differentiation

Goals:

a. Include pre, during, and post assessments - Summative or formal assessments are considered "one size fits all" standardized testing that attempts to summarize students' learning at some point in time. They are not designed to provide immediate, contextualized feedback to help teachers and students during the learning process. Portfolios are a better representation of a student's success. Traditional testing is not collaborative, plus it is very limited in assessing a defined range of assignments that may not match what students are actually doing. Additionally, these test are either scored mechanically or scored by teachers who have little input. Unfortunately, universal testing assesses students on the same dimensions. The diverse or uniqueness of the student is not taken into account. A primary difference is that portfolios link assessment and teaching to learning, whereas testing separates these elements.

b. Provide alternate assessments for struggling students -- Using graphic organizers, alternate textbooks, or oral assessments may prove beneficial for struggling students. These alternative textbooks are designed for students who struggle with reading and language or students with a learning difference. Additionally, student text is a slower pacing and more accessible reading level, but material has the same scope and sequence. Text also contains lessons, as well as reinforcement practice, in a format with high-interest, age-appropriate graphics (PCI Education, n.d.). Furthermore, using activity journals will reinforce materials and provide content-area writing practice with graphic organizers and writing prompts.

Timetable: This should occur throughout the school year.

Obstacles: Using alternative textbooks or creating alternate assessments is time-consuming. However, establishing such tools before the school year, with minor adjustments during the school year, will prove to be beneficial.

Student Readiness & Differentiation

Goals:

a. Have students to engage cooperative learning - Desks arranged in neat, orderly rows may make movement throughout the class easier but this arrangement may not help to create a warm, friendly environment. Patton et al. (2001) found that 94% of the K-3 teachers they surveyed use a semicircle or cluster to arrange the desks in their classrooms. These teachers felt that grouping desks offered several benefits including encouraging cooperative learning, building a sense of class community, and making the best use of the space. Ideal desk arrangements create opportunity for students to be actively engaged in learning and have the opportunity to work cooperatively, when appropriate, with their peers, while still allowing students to navigate the environment safely.

b. Allow students to engage in journal activities and to personalize their journal covers -- Create a tradition by incorporating daily journal writing. Traditions can help create positive feelings and bond students to their class. Journal writing allows students to participate in reflection exercises. Additionally, students are able to articulate how they are feeling regarding a lesson, a critical thinking exercise, or just to write about the day's events. The use of a thought provoking and memorable quote is another possible way to create a special tradition in class. Begin by reading a quote to the class and have students share their thoughts and feelings about what the quote means to them. Traditions can also be used to end the day. Teachers can give students time at the end of each day for a reflective activity.

Timetable: Daily engagement is important.

Obstacles: Finding the time to allow journal writing may be a challenge; however, incorporating it into the daily lesson plans, this should eliminate this issue.

Student Interest & Differentiation

Goals:

a. Enable students to select high-interest projects/materials to create a portfolio - Portfolios are more than a folder for housing daily work; it is a comprehensive profile of each student's progress and growth. Portfolios are a process and we work together in the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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