Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Having fun with PD: Micro-teaching

Professional development days can be fun. No, really. Case in point:

A group of teachers sit around a table while one of them heats some water in a couple of soda cans and then puts them in an ice bath. I won't tell you what happens in case you've never seen the demo, but the teacher delivers this lesson as if we were students, and he is looking for feedback about his questioning techniques.

After he's done, all of us, including the teacher who presented, take a few minutes to write down positive feedback and things that could be improved on. Then we go around and share out, and we finish off with the teacher sharing his reflections.

This is called "micro-teaching," and it's #13 on John Hattie's  ranking of factors affecting student learning. That's #13 out of a total of 252 factors listed. That's a big deal. Micro-teaching has an effect size of 0.88 on Hattie's scale, where 0.40 represents the amount of student learning you would expect in a year, on average. That means micro-teaching could double your impact on student learning.

We decided to try this out on a PD day at E. O. Smith, and it was lots of fun. It's a chance to try out a new teaching strategy you are working on, a new lesson idea, or to get feedback on something you are struggling with. I came away with a few cool new tools for my teaching toolbox and some great feedback on my own practices. I'm looking forward to our next session this week.

Here's the protocol and feedback form.

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