Today was opening day in my school district. Like many other opening days, we had an inspiring welcome from our superintendent, followed by connected remarks from union leadership, and the usual introductions of new staff and transfers. Beyond that, today was very different for us. Our administrators led a 90 minute professional development session for mixed groups of teachers on Webb’s Depth of Knowledge. I am really proud all of our building and central office administrators led the workshops, thus demonstrating strong instructional leadership.
Several of us worked on developing a clear lesson plan with multiple resources including a slide show and several hands-on, engaging activities. We shared the lesson via GoogleDocs so presenters had notes and participants had a guide and electronic resources.
Two administrators co-facilited each group. My group consisted of about 25 elementary and secondary educators. Multiple content areas and specialists were represented. I genuinely enjoyed talking with these teachers about increasing complexity of content and task. It was interesting to hear the conversations within the mixed groups emerge as teachers worked with teachers from other content areas, grade levels, and buildings. The teachers were genuinely engaged as they sorted tasks by level, reflected on current tasks they use through the DOK framework, made connections between DOK and the SAMR framework, and created a DOK ladder. (We spend significant time last year learning about SAMR. Learn more at my learni.st.)
My Assistant Superintendent and I created a feedback form where district employees could share their opinions related to the morning. The questions included:What did you like about the morning? What would you change about the morning? How did the morning INSPIRE you to THINK, LEARN and/or GROW personally or professionally? (This is our mission.) What suggestions can you offer as we plan for Opening Day 2015? Soliciting this feedback helps us reflect on our work. The data will also be used to inform our planning for next year.
What does your District do for opening day. I would love to get some ideas for next year!