New Teacher Training, Day 1b

After lunch, we continued with two more workshops.  I figured that the starting teachers (working in public schools) were most interested in classroom management techniques/routines/actions.  So, I gave most of the afternoon to:

Workshop #4 : Teacher Moves

I think this was the most important/climactic workshop of the training, as not only did we explore countless ways for controlling a classroom, but I introduced some of my debate structures.  I began with a Try Now (my variation on the Do Now that the fellows stole like crazy for their mini-lessons…which I loved!) pictured here:

After the fellows had (silently) written their responses, I discussed my debate protocol, discussed here.  I wanted the fellows to not only see the protocol in action, but I wanted them to notice how I flow into the math-debating, starting from a “fun” place of discussing TV shows.  It was really cool that in subsequent workshops, fellows still used the claim+warrant terminology/structure in sharing out.  This is why I love it so much.  It sticks, quickly.

Next we discussed group roles and protocols.  I was going to show a brief video of a classroom situation, the groups were going to discuss possible teacher reactions, as well as preventative steps, and eventually share out.  The group roles were:

  • Timekeeper: keeps an eye on the timer and holds group to time limits
  • Recorder: takes notes on ideas shared for reference
  • Project Manager: makes sure everyone is participating in the discussion and safe in the group
  • Questioner: mainly speaks in questions, forcing group members to clarify or deepen their thinking

And the protocol for each video’s discussion was:

  • Individual reaction, 1 minute silent writing.
  • Individual share out, 1 minute each (4 minutes total) What are your reactions to the video?
  • Group discussion (4 minutes) What can the teacher do resolve the situation?
  • Group discussion (3 minutes) What preventative measure could the teacher have taken?

Then we shared out.  The first time, each group shared one idea.  The second time through, since we were already running behind on time, I had only the even tables share out.  Then, just the odds.  The fellows noticed this in their reflection- easy ways to speed up the lesson plan, making on the spot adjustments.

This session lasted almost two hours.  It was great, they came up with good ideas.  Of course, we ended with group and individual reflection time.  Hopefully, they were able to jot down a plethora of ideas for managing their future classroom.  The only negative feedback from a few fellows was that the videos were not really necessary.  I think I’d still keep them.  I think it was good to break up the constant discussions going on with short (one minute at most) videos.  I like variety in my classroom.


Workshop #5: Classroom Discussion

I had intended this last session to be about an hour, watching some videos of classroom discussions, but we were short on time (as I wanted to end early to provide open work time or time for fellows to approach me with specific questions) and the first part of my plan did more than I realized it would.

As we began, fellows filled out the following survey, honestly:

From this simple survey, an entire discussion ensued, first in groups then as a whole class, about good questions, cold calling, student-centered discussions, etc.  What a great note to end on!

I ended with a few minutes of silent reflection, as well as an exit slip/evaluation of me and the workshops so far.  I asked for warm and cool feedback, as well as thoughts about a topic they would really want to see tomorrow.

The reviews at this point were pretty much glowing (not to brag), and what was mainly asked for was sessions on organizing/decorating/structuring the actual classroom and more on classroom management–both of which I had already planned for Day 2!


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