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PD Activities


Teachers need the chance to grapple with new ideas and practices in a variety of different ways in order to learn. Megan Webster


When planning activities for PD, we need to offer teachers a variety of different ways to engage with core content. Below, we outline a selection of activities that can be used to support teacher learning.


Whole group discussion


According to Teachingworks.org, the facilitator and all of the participants work on specific content together, using one another’s ideas as resources, as they respond to and learn from each other’s contributions. The purposes of a discussion are to build collective knowledge and capability in relation to specific instructional goals and to allow students to practise listening, speaking, and interpreting.


Click here for a video example of accomplished PD leader facilitating a whole group discussion.


Analyze video/transcript of classroom practice


Facilitator shares video of classroom practice for participants to analyze and deconstruct. Effective questions highlight teacher practices that support student learning. Analysis of video allows participants to collaboratively reflect on their practice while expanding their vision of what is possible. 


Delivering content


The facilitator shares information and ideas with participants.


Discuss classroom practices


Facilitator or participants share examples (videos, transcripts, ideas, anecdotes, learning activities, student work) from own practice.


This activity is an important way to illustrate how pedagogical concepts can be grounded in classroom practice.


Journaling/reflecting


Journal writing allows participants to reflect up our beliefs about students, our orientation as teachers and our practices in the classroom.


Think-pair-share


Think-pair-share is a collaborative learning strategy in which participants build collective knowledge by spending time writing their response to an answer by themselves, sharing and elaborating upon their response with a peer, and finally discussing their ideas in a small and then large group. This strategy can maximize participation and focus attention.


Co-planning


Facilitator provides time and resources for participants to co-create lesson plans and assessment tools.


Analyze professional literature 


Facilitator invites participants to read an article, book, or online resource and engage in professional dialogue. This allows participants to grapple with the principles and practices of current educational research.


Jigsaw


A collaborative learning structure that offers participants the opportunity to develop an expertise, contribute meaningfully to a discussion, and learn from each other.


Gallery Walk


Participants share the products of their group work on large posters so that others can view and discuss the ideas presented while mingling and walking around the room, as one might in a gallery. 


Classroom observations


Teachers are invited to observe a colleague’s classroom instruction in order to see key practices enacted.