Modeling VNPS with teachers in professional development

"Seeing the multitude of answers often sparks deep discussion between teachers as they want to learn more about the ideas shared."

 

As an instructional coach, I know one of the best ways for teachers to solidify their learning about a new teaching strategy is to experience it for themselves. This is why I knew I needed teachers to be using the reusable and eco-friendly Wipebook Flipcharts to help initiate conversations about themes from our ongoing book study of Peter Liljedahl’s “Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics.” This book encourages the use of vertical non-permanent surfaces as a way to help cultivate thinkers and what better way for teachers to understand the value of this for students than having them use Wipebook Flipcharts as part of their experience. 

 

Teacher working out problem on Flipchart

 

Synthesizing Thinking

As professionals, teachers read a lot of information that can be used to improve their pedagogy. The hardest part of lesson planning can often be synthesizing all of the resources and ideas generated during professional development. This is where Wipebook Flipcharts can help. To kick off a recent meeting of our ongoing book studies, teachers were asked to carousel through several prompts designed to help them think critically about their own work as it relates to the chapter we had read. Each teacher recorded their thoughts on a Flipchart sheet and was able to read and discuss answers from their colleagues. This set the tone for a focused, collaborative discussion about the reading allowing teachers to synthesize all of the information.

 

Teachers working out problem on Flipchart

 

Questions included:

  • In what ways do your teaching practices require students to think?
  • Can you think of things you do in your teaching that takes away opportunities for students to think?
  • Can you think of ways in which students try to get out of thinking?
  • What are ways you currently group students in your classroom?

 

Gallery walk view of Flipcharts

 

Honouring All Ideas

Teachers bring a diverse range of experiences to professional development settings. Using the Wipebook Flipcharts allows for every teacher to voice their ideas and opinions. Seeing the multitude of answers often sparks deep discussion between teachers as they want to learn more about the ideas shared. The clear visibility of the Wipebook flip charts creates an environment where teachers can share ideas and learn from each other.

 

Teacher working out problem on Flipchart

 

Taking My Coaching on The Road

The best part of the Wipebook Flipcharts is that I can take them with me anywhere! As a coach, I am always traveling to teachers' classrooms where I don’t have access to any of my own materials. Keeping a Wipebook Flipchart with me has been a lifesaver when I’ve needed to quickly model a strategy or work with a small group of students. A handful of colorful markers are always a crowd-pleaser. There isn’t a day that I don’t use a VNPS (vertical non-permanent surfaces) in my work, and Wipebook has made that even easier for me.

 

Nicole Kelley, Teacher, Gahanna Middle School West

 

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