Today, our team of instructional coaches and our JH principal had the privilege of looking through some professional development work our JH teachers have been participating in. Imagine how excited we were to see that teachers, during third quarter, are learning new strategies and implementing them into their instruction! This time of year is often a slump for students AND teachers, but not in our building!
Gametime PD was born on a bus on our way to Denver’s convention center. ISTE was in full swing, and we were talking about the sessions we had attended the day before. In a coincidence, we had all 4 attended similar but different sessions on gamifying professional development. After much discussion, we decided to try this idea out for our JH teachers. Baseball became our theme, and Canvas our platform. We created several modules, or classes, to start (Classroom Discussion, Grading Theory 1 & 2, Google Forms, & Twitter to name a few). These modules included articles, videos, and resources on the particular topic. After going through the materials, teachers could complete a single (write a reflection on a discussion board), double (tell how you plan to use the strategy/information in your classroom), triple (use the strategy in your classroom and tweet a picture or video), or a home run (host a student-centered lab for teachers to observe the strategy being used in your classroom). It was a hit! A few modules were required, as the principal created a focus for the building. Most were voluntary. Teachers could choose what to learn about and when to learn it. Choice became the motivation. Points are given for the different levels and teams of teachers compete for prizes. As teachers complete a triple in a module, they receive a button for their lanyard.
Our experiment is a success. I’ve already mentioned that we have teachers learning, using, and sharing new strategies in their classrooms all year long.Using #wcjhgametime and our labs, teachers are sharing the strategies in action. We recently surveyed teachers and the number one reason they love it is CHOICE. We have created around 30 modules. Next up…a book study for the summer. The possibilities are endless, and students are receiving the benefits of PD in action!