How can teachers get meaningful professional development embedded in the school day? This question that was posed by Kaitie O’Bryan in the spring of 2016 drove her to write a grant that secured funds to begin a “Lunch and Learn” program in which teachers would learn from their colleagues about specific strategies in the classroom. “Our teachers know a lot about their craft, but in the past, we haven’t had a lot of platforms to share that knowledge out to other teachers in our building,” said O’Bryan. “Our goal is to provide teachers opportunities to share and learn from one another.”
During a hectic school day with classes to plan for and papers to grade, it can be difficult for teachers to take even 30 minutes to engage in professional learning. Lunch and Learn seeks to solve this as the added incentives of a catered lunch and the opportunity to connect with colleagues make it much easier to commit the time.
Here is a brief sonopsis of the Lunch and Learn program:
- Up to 8 Lunch & Learn sessions will be held during the 2016-17 academic year
- All Lunch & Learn sessions will occur during teacher lunch periods
- Up to 45 teachers (15 during each of the three lunch periods) will be able to attend
- Lunch and Learn is 100% voluntary and no stipends or CEU’s will be provided for attendance
- Presentations will center exclusively on creative and innovative instructional practices and all presentations will be provided by Mounds View teachers, for Mounds View teachers. This includes success stories as well as attempts that perhaps did not go as expected (we can learn from all our experiences)
- An objective evaluation methodology will be crafted to gauge the effectiveness of Lunch & Learn
What Teachers are Saying
Lunch was great, seminar great, it was all great. Happy I attended.
It was great to just think about ways to incorporate in-class reading time again. I know a lot of reading strategies and how important reading is, yet I forget to do it. This was a great way to jump-start my thinking about it again.
Feedback from teachers who have attended has been overwhelmingly positive – the only complaint we have had is that they wished they had more time.
Doing Lunch and Learn has provided us a space to talk across content areas, which we don’t regularly get to do.
L&L #1: Reading Strategies for ALL Students (Nancy Johnson, Science)
In October, Nancy Johnson shared reading strategies that she uses in her science classes with staff from all different disciplines. We usually think about English courses when we think about reading, but reading skills should be developed in all courses, especially with the post-secondary readiness goal that we have in place at Mounds View. Nancy did an excellent job of putting attendees in the situations that students face every day and how difficult it can be for students who are not strong in basic academic vocabulary.
If you would like to hear more about this topic or access the handout that attendees were given, please talk to Nancy.
L&L #2: Circumlocution: How to Build and Strengthen Vocabulary (Ingrid Koenig, World Language)
Circumlo-what? “Yes,” Ingrid Koenig assures us, “it IS a real word!”. The official definition of circumlocution is “the use of many words where fewer would do, especially in a deliberate attempt to be vague or evasive.” This concept can be used in the classroom, the World Language classroom, to get students to “talk around” key content or vocabulary words in order to deepen understanding. Ingrid gave attendees different examples of how to use this strategy in order to help students develop greater understanding in class.
If you would like to hear more about this topic, please talk to Ingrid. You can also access her presentation here.