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Professional Development Experiences Fall 2015

September 2015 - Olivia Wahl Curriculum Training: I was able to attend one
of the Olivia Wahl Training days to introduce faculty to the first language
arts unit of study. The training included discussion about administering
running records and using them to inform instruction. Then, she shared
how the Reading and Writing Workshop is implemented. This was
interesting to me because a lot of the planning and set up of the workshop
approach reminded about my Language and Literacy methods class at
Rider.
October 2015 - Hopewell Valley Professional Development Day: The day
began with a presentation by Rick Wormeli. Following the presentation Ive
got to experience another TeachMeet with my cooperating teacher. One of
the key aspects both of us took from this was learning about Kahoot in the
classroom. It is such an engaging tool to help and motivate students to
study for tests. I look forward to getting to use this engaging tool in my
classroom. In the afternoon sessions of the workshop, I attended a
Language Arts Workshop about helping students comprehend texts better.
The focus of this workshop was for students to pay attention to important
signposts in their reading. I spent time working with the 4th teachers to plan
for the week some of the Historical Fiction unit. I enjoyed this collaborative
time planning with the 4th grade team. It is especially important that
teachers collaborate when putting a new curriculum to practice in their
classrooms each day.
November 16, 2015: Faculty Meeting at Stony Brook: In lieu of the attacks
on Paris over the weekend, teachers were reminded of the various safety
drills that the Stony Brook community practices in the event of an
emergency and general times when they can expect the drill. Teachers
bounce ideas off each other about safety drill procedures, scheduling
holiday events, half day schedules during conferences, and connection of a
variety of events going on around the school. There was also more
discussion of a new math piloting program to explore other programs that
are specifically aligned to Common Core and are other alternatives for

trying another math curriculum. The piloting program is offered to all grade
levels to try for a one month in January and content materials and unit
would be transferred to the new content unit.
November 2015: PLC Meeting- 4th grade team: Discussion of new math
piloting program. Weighing the benefits of switching to Go Math, Singapore
Math, or EDM Math for one unit in January. The fourth grade team wanted
to get a sense of individual feelings regarding the new program switch.
Discussion involved the possibility for some confusion in switching the
current Everyday Mathematics program for the month among students,
families, and teachers, questions involving SGOs and high stakes testing,
and the amount of planning time over the holidays.
December 3, 2015: Preparing your Teaching Resume: This workshop was
about tips to create a stand out resume, preparation for interview
questions, networking with colleagues and other professionals, and demo
lesson prep tips. I found the tips and expectations for the demo lesson and
debrief session extremely useful. One of the most important aspects of this
workshop I learned was about being confident to take ownership of my
student teaching experience. Since I learned so many great strategies from
my cooperating teacher, this is the time that I must be confident to share
and explain my experience with these strategies, and how I will use them in
my classroom.
December 7, 2015- 4th Grade Team PLC Meeting: Discussion was focused
on last years PARCC scores that just came in. The data received was
mostly about comparison of the school to the district and state. Discussion
involved how teachers can help students on future PARCC assessments by
helping the students use the technology effectively to answer the questions
and thoughts about teaching other lessons to improve vocabulary and
Language Arts scores (context clues lesson).