|Emphasis on BDA a Big Hit at May PLO|
|Tuesday, 31 May 2016 13:09|
With an ever-growing crowd of participants, PIIC hosted its final Professional Learning Opportunity (PLO) from May 2-4, 2016 at The Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA. This year’s theme, “The BDA Cycle in Practice,” was threaded through every session. Over 160 instructional coaches, administrators, IU PIIC Mentors, and Regional Mentor Coordinators (RMC) from 25 PIIC-participating Intermediate Units (IU) attended the three-day conference. All of the participants attended at least one other PIIC PLO this academic year and were able to delve deeper into their learning.
Participants were welcomed by PIIC Executive Director Ellen Eisenberg after lunch on May 2. Participants were randomly assigned tables to engage in a collaborative activity while networking with their colleagues across the state.
After the table talk activity, participants moved to pre-selected breakout sessions. Participants registered for breakout sessions via an online registration form prior to the PLO. Sessions included:
After a short break, participants attended The What and Why of Document Review, a general session developed by Penn Literacy Network (PLN) Director Joe Ginotti and facilitated by IU PIIC Mentors Amy Walker and Diane Hubona. At the conclusion of the breakout session, participants took part in a reflection activity designed to help process information and plan for future use.
Participants started Day 2 of the PLO with personal reflections before moving into their preselected breakout sessions. Participants attended one of the following sessions:
After a short break, participants attended the concurrent sessions. Those attending their second PLO of the year participated in the session, Meeting the Challenge: Coaching Writing through the BDA Process, a repeat of the January 2016 concurrent session. IU PIIC Mentors Terri Lewis, Gail Porrazzo, Kathleen Eich, Lisa Kelly, Scott Snyder, Missy Petrilak, and Loriann Ruddy facilitated the concurrent sessions in three different rooms. Those attending their third PLO for the year participated in Part III, The Coach’s Role in Document Review: Analyzing Student Work. The session was facilitated by IU PIIC Mentors Barb Wilkinson, Heather Moschetta, Deb Goff, and Teri Everett in two separate rooms.
After the concurrent session and a break, participants then attended their third pre-selected breakout session. Participants chose to attend one of the following:
After a short break, participants finished the day with IU Team Time, which is an opportunity for IU groups to reflect together on their new learnings. Mentors led the discussions around three main questions: What two things from your learnings do you plan to use next year? How will you prepare yourself for next year’s forward movement? What one obstacle may get in the way next year and what strategy may help to address it? By answering these three questions, coaches are planning, preparing, and projecting around their new learnings to apply next year.
On the third day of the PLO, participants attended the World Café session, developed by IU PIIC Mentor Heather Moschetta. Participants were randomly assigned to different breakout rooms throughout the conference center. In each room, participants spent time at five different tables to reflect upon various quotes before moving to the next table. Each breakout room had the same quotes.
After the World Café session and a short break, participants attended the Afterthoughts session. Topics discussed during the Afterthoughts session were developed by the participants and were intended to continue conversations from the sessions that took place during the first two days of the PLO.
Feedback from the PLO was positive:
"I always like the opportunity to connect with other coaches. I find this the most beneficial aspect of the PLO's. I love gaining insights and knowledge from the other coaches and the way they have developed coaching in their schools."
"After each PLO, I am reminded of the reflective nature of both teaching and coaching. Too often, we are so driven by the demands of time and the attempts to ‘"fit it all in" that we forget to breathe and reflect. I have come to realize that perhaps the most critical piece of the BDA cycle is actually the After where we have the opportunity to reflect, debrief, regroup, and re-energize ourselves."
"The collaboration and sharing among the group of coaches and mentors is amazing. Everyone offers to share their expertise, resources, and experience. It is an amazing network."
You can read more feedback from this PLO on the Testimonials page. The PLO agenda is available on our Past Professional Learning Opportunities page. You can also find photos from the event in the PIIC Photo Gallery. Our next PIIC Professional Learning Opportunity will be May 2-4, 2016 at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA. Details can be found on our Events page.
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