Literacy Today Logo

Questions to ask when Planning PD

Here are some key questions experienced PD leaders ask themselves when planning PD:

1. PD Goals:

  • What do I want teachers to learn in the PD? (“I want teachers to learn that kids need to talk in order to learn.”)  

    • Specifically, what practices do these teachers need to learn in order to better support their students? (“I want teachers to build in time for students to discuss the big ideas about their texts in small groups at each stage of the response process.”)

2. PD Outcomes:

  • What should teachers be able to do by the end of the PD? (“Teachers will be able to teach students a structure for talking about the big ideas in a text by the time they leave the workshop.”)

    • Specifically, what will it look like in the classroom if they implement what they learn? (“If the workshop is successful, I should be able to go to many of the teachers’ classrooms and see pairs or small groups of students discussing their ideas, while the teacher circulates and asks focusing questions to keep the talk on track.”)

3. PD Activity Planning:

  • What exemplars of expert performance do teachers need in order investigate the new practice? (“I’m going to show teachers videos of small groups of students discussing a text and have them analyze how the teacher might have set up those juicy conversations.”)

  • How can I get teachers to try out the new practice within the PD session? (“I’m going to have teachers practice the talk structure themselves with an anchor text so they internalize the process.”)

4. PD Follow-Up:

  • After the workshop, how can I give teachers the additional time and support they need to develop the practice? (“I’m going to visit these teachers in their classrooms when they set up small group discussions in the response process, and I will make some suggestions for continued growth.”)