Professional Development - Page 2 of 55 - Steve Barkley

Guiding Learning From Complex to Patterns

The brain works in a natural process of finding patterns within complexity.  If you think about young children, living in very complex adult worlds, their brains find patterns that they bring into learning. One of my favorite examples is when you hear a young child say, “I ‘goed’ outside”. You realize that, hopefully, the child […]

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Stretching to Learn

Stretching ourselves and others as a key component of learning and understanding is addressed by Chip and Dan Heath in their book, The Power of Moments. In the chapter titled, “Stretch for Insights”, they highlight that stretching sparks self-insights. “To stretch is to place ourselves in situations that expose us to the risk of failure. […]

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PLCs: Playpen or Playground

While listening to a podcast on creativity, I was introduced to the book Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity Through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play by Mitchel Resnick. In his research paper “GIVE P’S A CHANCE: PROJECTS, PEERS, PASSION, PLAY,” Resnick discusses the research group at MIT Media which developed new technologies, activities, and strategies to engage […]

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Responding to a Teacher’s Classroom Problem

While modeling a coaching pre-conference in a workshop for instructional coaches, one teacher shared that as a first-grade teacher she was struggling with students at reading stations. She said that students often were off task or complaining to her about what another student was doing. Our conversation went something like this: Steve: Pick two of […]

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Thoughts on Mentoring and Supporting Beginning Teachers, Part 2

In part one of Some Thoughts on Mentoring,  I examined mentors focusing beyond the survival needs of beginning teachers to building belonging, power, freedom, and fun.  Teachers who know how to fulfill their passion for teaching, while meeting required standards, are empowered. Developing a new teacher’s coachability was also addressed. As the school year progresses, […]

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Thoughts on Mentoring and Supporting Beginning Teachers, Part 1

Mentors should focus on empowering beginning teachers. Years ago, I did a lot of work with William Glasser’s Control Theory/Choice Theory regarding motivating students. Glasser described a focus on survival, belonging, power, freedom, and fun. If you had a classroom where students’ survival needs were met (physical and emotional safety) and you created a sense […]

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