“If we want students to remember the things they learn in school, then JOY has to be the overriding feeling students experience.“
I work with schools and communities to create meaningful and memorable experiences for educators where joyful teaching and learning is the goal. Below find some of the structures and topics I most often support in schools and educational communities. Have an idea for something different? Email me to find out more or to schedule a conversation.
In school-based coaching, we start with goal setting and a discovery phase to assess the strengths and challenges your school community faces. School-based coaching can be for one day or multiple days across the year.
Designed to be interactive, engaging, and FUN, my workshops are memorable and enjoyable for teachers. Workshops can include half or full days on a range of topics. Drawing from my experience as a classroom teacher and instructional coach, I weave stories, research-based strategies, and opportunities for teachers to TRY something new.
Sometimes scheduling makes school-based learning a challenge for schools. Virtual learning is a highly effective option especially for working with small groups of teachers such as a grade level team or administrative team. My workshops can be shared via Zoom, Google Hangout, or other digital platforms.
Curriculum review can be a daunting process for teachers and school leaders. Whether you are creating, adopting, or adapting curriculum, bringing joy to the process is essential. Curriculum support can be designed to fit your school’s needs and calendar through a combination of school-based workshops and virtual learning.
Keynote presentations offer audiences inspiration to take action. My presentations are a powerful way to ignite change in a school community particularly on topics like designing instruction for student happiness and joyful routines that build independence.
In education, we have been designing instruction for understanding for decades, isn’t it time we started designing for happiness as well? Using the seven pillars from my book Start with Joy, teachers (and/or families), will learn research-based methods for how to design for students’ happiness as a part of the learning process. This professional development can focus on literacy learning or general classroom practice. Applications for parents and families to apply the seven pillars can also be shared for designing for happiness at home.
In a workshop model, students grow as they learn new skills and strategies to become more independent and fluent. But, workshop teaching isn’t anything goes. Rather, it combines the art and science of teaching to make learning stick. The study of workshop teaching can range from classroom observations and coaching, lesson or unit curriculum development, modeling of demonstration lessons, or the analysis of student work.
After decades of growth as a field, balanced literacy practices have been the hallmark of strong schools. But, knowing which method to use, when, for what purpose, and with what frequency can be challenging to enact. Balanced literacy methods workshops can focus on an overview of balanced literacy or can hone in on specific methods including: read-alouds, guided reading, strategy groups, shared reading, independent reading and conferring, shared writing, interactive writing, independent writing and conferring.
We want learning to be energizing and engaging. We sometimes mistakenly think that we need big changes in order to have an impact. When, really, small shifts in our teaching practice can have a big impact on student learning. Small Teaching workshops will focus on research-based methods to harness student interest and to keep student engagement high.
Supporting students to be lifelong inquirers starts with the power of wondering. Inquiry can be integrated into daily teaching structures like mini-lessons and conferring with students. Inquiry can also be supported through joyful, memorable, project-based learning. Project-based learning partnerships can include the creation or revision of capstone grade-level projects at the elementary or middle school levels, interdisciplinary learning projects, and multimedia projects like student podcasts and website building.
At Home in a World of Books workshops focus on new titles and teaching ideas for how to use books to support all students as readers, writers, communicators, and creators. Picture books, early readers, graphic novels, and middle grade literature are featured to help teachers grow classroom collections, select read-alouds, and make independent reading suggestions with an emphasis on children’s and young adult literature that represent our diverse world.
As a former teacher in an international school, I learned how to integrate the essential elements of the Primary Years Program with workshop based teaching. Partnerships with international schools can include an emphasis on the PYP program, literacy and culturally and linguistically diverse students, and how to celebrate the multiple literacies of students and families.
© 2019 Katie Egan Cunningham