Staff Collaboration and Goal Setting with Wipebook Flipcharts
Melissa Daddabo, Principal, Guardian Angels Catholic Elementary School, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board.
As a principal, I am constantly looking for activities that engage educators in teaching and learning opportunities through professional development. Creating a collaborative culture in my school is not only important for their own educator learning, but their learning is translated back into the classroom.Collaboration comes in many forms from conversations between colleagues, observations of best practices in classrooms, and even in direct planning. One of the ways staff interact in this manner is through the use of the WipeBook Flipcharts.
At the beginning of the school year, staff undergo the process of reviewing goals for the school in order to set our direction and create a plan that will focus our intentional actions to meet the best interests of all students and assist them in achieving success. Placing the WipeBook Flipcharts in a staff collaboration space, allows them to review objectives and comment on things the school is doing well, where we can make improvements and identify the things we have in place to meet our goals. This information is then presented to our School Improvement Team and schools goals developed using this information as a guide.
When planning and designing professional development for educators, the aim is to make opportunities engaging, informative and applicable back in the classroom. Using the WipeBook Flipcharts allows staff to break into smaller conversation groups to complete learning tasks, express opinions, document conversations and share back with the larger staff group. They also give me the freedom of creating various workspaces for grade level partners, or division groups to work collaboratively and respond to related inquiries that are more specific to their assignments.
Translating Practice into the classroom
When the opportunity to co-teach with an educator back in the classroom presents itself, instead of pulling out chart paper, I bring along WipeBook Flipcharts. As staff have the experience of using them during staff activities, they see the benefit of having reusable workspaces for small groups of students as well. There is often not enough White Board exposed to use with all students in the classroom, so the transportable, WipeBooks Flipcharts allows students to work in various spaces around the classroom, in the hallways and around the school, if necessary. The reusable flipcharts allow students to inquire, question, edit, change and improve their work. As a teacher, they visually enable you to see student thinking, ask probing questions for clarification and allows for further inquiry. When opportunities to demonstrate or share, students can make the connections between groups and recognize the similarities and differences between answers.
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