As I continued to think about creating some materials, I realized that there were quite a few challenges inherent in the task. First of all, the materials had to be appropriate K-12: there had to be places for teachers at all grade levels to connect. Secondly, any "stuff" had to be cheap and readily available---no special equipment and very little time/effort in preparation for those delivering the PD. Finally, there had to be a direct connection to the classroom. I know this last part seems obvious; but you and I both know that there is plenty of staff development floating around which does not provide time or opportunity for adult learners to apply what is relevant to their classrooms.
I struggled to come up with the perfect thing. And then...I did. An Inquiry activity involving no more than paperclips and paper...integrated with a Ray Bradbury story that framed the discussion...and tools for engaging with the standards that were flexible for every grade level. I captured my thoughts---and frankly, I think the basic plan is one of the very best I have ever created. I am sad that I will never get to present it.
I only made one mistake in this whole process: I told two people about my idea. And with me out of the picture (job-wise), these two people have decided to wholesale steal my idea and pass it off as their own. They are not ready to publish their version...but they are very close. You can be very sure that my name will not be credited anywhere in their information.
So, my friends, I am sharing my professional development experience with you. Although the references to the standards within are for WA, I'm quite sure every state has something on Inquiry and Forces/Motion. Just sub in your codes for ours.
- This is the plan for delivering the PD. It includes a step-by-step for the content, list of materials (including possible tech needs, depending upon your mode of delivery), and extensions (depending upon the time you have available to work with teachers).
- This plan requires a copy of The Flying Machine by Ray Bradbury. You can find this short story in a few of his anthologies. You can also find it on-line (speaking of copyright issues), but I won't point you there.
- There are two handouts for participants: Exploring Cross-cutting Ideas and Assessing Student Learning. I also have an example of each filled in as a guide for presenters (Example ECI and Example ASL).
- Finally, there is an Exit Ticket for evaluation purposes.