Monday 30 September 2013

Challenging Student Behaviour

The final professional development engagement that I attended for the 2012/13 school year was called Challenging Behaviour: Responding to Individual Students. It was sponsored by the BCTF. For the last two years in particular, I have had some very challenging student behaviour and I wanted a refresher on how to meet the needs that drive these behaviours. Fortunately, that is exactly what this workshop addressed. In fact rather than just addressing the goals of attention-seeking and power-seeking misbehaviour, it also addressed the misbehavior due to self-regulation needs, avoidance of failure, and avoidance of pain/humiliation. Even now with starting up my new class, I catch myself looking over these notes in an attempt to determine the needs of some of my more needy students. I'm so glad that I took this workshop!

Professional Development Day in February 2013

On this day in February, I attended three workshops presented through the Langley School District. The first was on "Social Networking in the Classroom with Edmodo". Although I was impressed with the ideas on ways to use Edmodo as a classroom teacher, I confess that I have not acted on this knowledge. With teaching primary, I think I might try a website using weebly instead to communicate with parents. Then I attended a workshop called "Intro to Inquiry". The ideas of inquiry learning are certainly nothing new as this is an age old natural method of learning which I saw used frequently when I worked with homeschooling families. The challenge is how to use this in the classroom when the ratio of students to educators in primary is 24:1. Since the following workshop that I went to was on using PREZI, I decided to make a simple summary on Inquiry Learning with a PREZI during the workshop.Here is my PREZI in Inquiry Learning
Later this summer, I decided to play around with PREZI more as I think it is a great way to present information to today's youth and I developed another one to present a project my daughter worked on with her grandpa. I confess that it took me quite awhile and I ended up using a formatted template as a blank template would have taken me forever. Here is a slightly more sophisticated PREZI that I created.

Stuart Shanker and Classroom Strategies for Self-Regulation

Another pivotal aspect of my professional development in the 2012/13 school year was attending an presentation on Classroom Strategies for Self-Regulation by Stuart Shanker put on by the Langley School District. I attended this presentation with my staff early on in the school year and we were all impressed with Shanker's ability to speak to us about increasing needs of the children passing through our classrooms these days. It was great to have a term to hang on these needs that have been such a demand in our profession as of late, "self-regulation." Shanker helped us see the various aspects or domains of these self-regulation needs, biological, emotional, cognitive, social, and prosocial. He also gave some practical strategies that we could implement to promote a calmer learning environment. I was so impressed with the ideas presented that I purchased his book, Calm, Alert, and Learning.
Calm, Alert And Learning: Classroom Strategies For Self-regulation
This book has made a significant impact on my teaching style and helped me embrace my un-teacher like quality of not wanting the walls of my classroom to be so bright and crowded with visuals! The ideas in this book complimented the MindUp curriculum. I am sure to write more about the ideas I have learned and put into practise from this book. I am looking forward to reading more by Stuart Shanker and his thoughts and research on the subject of self-regulation!