While NCTE’s online Investigations are great professional learning experiences for individual teachers, school literacy leaders are finding these to be a great resource to inform the on-site collaborative professional development efforts they lead in their school as well. Here are some examples of how the Investigations are being used to support such efforts:
- Investigations include one or more on-demand web seminars. Hook an LCD projector and speakers to your computer and play these recordings during an on-site meeting. The recording format allows you to pause at any time to allow for discussions among your team throughout the seminar.
- A variety of professional readings are offered to allow teachers to build new knowledge and consider new ideas and perspectives. Download or print an article for teachers to read and discuss at an on-site meeting.
- Together with the group, watch a classroom video to see new practices in action in real classrooms and then debrief after viewing the video and discuss how teachers in your group might try to implement the practice in their own classroom.
- Throughout the Investigation we provide guiding questions to encourage deep thinking and reflection. Use these questions as conversation prompts at your on-site meetings.
- A variety of “create” activities are offered in each investigation that guide educators in synthesizing their learning and taking steps towards implementing the ideas in their own practice. Ask those in your group to select and try an activity that best matches their role and supports the initiatives and practices already happening in your own system. Some examples of Create activities include revising or writing a lesson plan, conducting a school walk-through, and completing a needs analysis.
- Each Investigation invites participants to develop a plan of action based upon the needs and context of their own site. Ask those in your group to do that and to identify an authentic audience (administrator, literacy coach, colleague, etc.) with whom they might share their plan. For example one might write a proposal to incorporate new ideas learned into a professional learning experience for their department.