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147. Facilitation Moves to Model in Your Professional Development Sessions

by Lindsay Lyons
January 23rd 2024
In today's solo episode, Lindsay is sharing facilitation moves that you can model in your professional development ses... More
I'm educational justice coach Lindsay Lyons. And here on the time for Teacher podcast, we learn how to inspire educational innovation for racial and gender justice design curricula grounded in student voice and build capacity for shared leadership. I'm a former teacher leader turned instructional coach. I'm striving to live a life full of learning, running, baking, traveling, and parenting because we can be rockstar educators and be full human beings. If you're a principal, assistant superintendent, curriculum director, instructional coach or teacher who enjoys nering out about co-creator curriculum of students. I made this show for you. Here we go. Welcome to another episode of the time for Teacher shift podcast. I am so excited to talk about today's topic which is going to be facilitation moves that you can model as you facilitate professional development sessions. So as a coach, as an administrator, as a teacher leader, whoever you are listening, you are probably an innovator, a person who tests some things out who leads change and pedagogical change in your communities. And so you're often likely designing and facilitating professional learning experiences.

And if you're not already, it's on the horizon for you. Trust me. So this episode is going to help us think about the ways that teachers are going to really experience the awesome pedagogy that we want teachers to implement as learners in the PD space. And I'll give you some tips for how we can make that a possibility in addition to a laundry list of possible things to model for your teachers. Let's get into it. So in this episode, I really want to talk about the strategic way that we choose facilitation moves or pedagogical moves or strategies to use during a professional learning session that ultimately teachers can experience as learners and then be like, whoa, this is so awesome. I want to do this with my students and now having experienced it as a learner, I know kind of the possibilities there, the emotional experience, what worked for me, maybe what didn't, what adaptations I might make for my students in my classroom, all of that. So what I wanna do today is talk through kind of the why the what, what are all the ones that I use?

And then I'm gonna direct you to today's Freebie, which is not a traditional freebie, but it's actually a youtube series. So over on youtube, I do five minute tutorials and this month January 2024 as this airs is actually going to be a series of five videos that talk about the various moves that I use and I actually walk you through within the five minutes. It's like categorized in the different categories. I'll share with you in just a moment of the types of moves that I make during PD and it shares with you literally what those slides look like as I'm facilitating and the slide resource bank, which I'll talk about in a moment and how I create that. So make sure if you are interested in this episode, if you're listening along, nodding your head saying Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I want that you can have a massive time saver by just going to those videos. And we in each video, not only do I walk you through the slide, I can show you what it could look like. I give you in the description to the video links for each of the categories that each video covers. So I'll get into all those categories and all the logistics in a minute. But I just wanted to name that that is a really great supplemental resource or series of resources honestly to this episode.

OK. So let's get into the why I was recently talking to doctor Dawn Bentley who is head of schools at RFK Community Alliance. She is an awesome leader and she referenced triple track, which I had not heard of. This is an approach developed by thinking collaborative and she was telling me about it and I looked it up and I'm like, oh, this is actually very much what I think about and I specifically only think about maybe two of the tracks. But I think it's really interesting to have in mind as we design PD basically in this approach, PD workshops are designed with three tracks in mind. Track one are like the actual strategies used in the session itself to support teachers learning. Track two is thinking about applications for the strategies with other adult groups or tips for sharing them with other educators. And track three is applications for the strategies in classrooms with students. So teachers experience it and then they bring it into the classrooms with students. Today, we're really gonna focus mostly on tracks one and tracks three, track one and three. There we go. All right. So what I wanna do now is tell you the specific categories of pedagogical moves similar to how I think about protocol purposes.

So if you've heard me talk before about protocol purposes, I pull a lot of them from el education when I talk about how we often want to have, you know, just one or two on hand ready to go for a particular purpose that will typically have like text based or discussion based or individual work time or group norms or that kind of thing. So here I'm gonna separate them out a little bit differently. Although you will see parallels to some of the things that we talk about in protocol purposes. And the first one is really the setup. So I think the set up to the PD is important for a number of reasons. One you're typically having, especially if you're doing a short kind of after school session, you're typically having teachers transition into a different space. This is a space where they are now the learner and maybe all day they were the center of attention and they were the ones who dictated what happened in the class. Different space. Right? We also have a coming together of learners typically, right by, by grade or content area team or, or the whole staff, right? Also an opportunity for conversation setting, like the new group agreements, they haven't been in these groups for maybe a week or more.

So there's a lot of things there in addition to modeling things that we want either teachers to be aware of and cognizant of or practicing with students. So there's a lot to this setup in addition to the fact that some teachers may not want to be there, right? They have a lot of planning to do their time is precious. And so we need to set up the session in a way that brings people in and engages them in the learning, gives them a sense of what they're in for and allows them a bit of co creation. Like how would you like this to go? What am I not thinking about as I'm sharing the agenda, I'm sharing the community agreements that we've laid out before. Like where can we find space for learner voice? And in this sense, I mean teacher voice in this space. So these are all kind of the considerations. That's a lot to consider. That's a heavy lift. And we don't want to take too much time during the setup because then we don't get to the actual content. So how do we balance off that? Typically, my arc of a setup is I will open with a land acknowledgment. So I share native dash land dot C A as an opportunity for teachers to explore independently, learn more about the land they occupy, have historically lived on and occupied maybe where they traveled to also think about ways that they might use that with students.

I then talk about uh and I'm experimenting with this, this is newer this year in 2020 23 I should say it's new and, and then 2024 it'll be kind of like the second year I'm trying this out, but a recognition of my intellectual ancestors and contemporary. So as as a presenter saying, like I am not the person who holds knowledge, right? That's just not my pedagogical style that is not factually accurate. These are all the folks I've learned from. I'm in learning communities with currently, I'm consistently learning from them, even if I don't know them personally, I'm learning from reading their books or listening to their podcasts or whatever. I am in a community of learners and I'm constantly evolving and growing, right? And just kind of acknowledging that I think it's important. Then I start with opening activity. Typically, I will use something that is an engage to the session. So it might be like we're creating units today. So like what was a unit you loved as a student? Right? Or um maybe we wanna practice, maybe our, our community wide goal is that we want to use more asset based language this year. So we might practice using asset based language on ourselves or on the of our team and our staff. And we might do this using a scaffold that we can also use with students such as values in action.

The values in action researchers are positive psychologists who came up with all these traits. They are wonderful. I have shared numerous times about them before in the podcast and have great stuff to share about them and a resource as well. If you'd like it, you can reach out, then I list the learning targets. Here's what we're learning today. And lately, I've been kind of experimenting with this idea of like here's what we're going to create today. So sometimes I feel like there is this, I don't know this. We attend PD and then it's like the book on the shelf and the book stays on the shelf. So we take the notes, we have the binder, whatever it's on the shelf. Five years later, we never implemented it into what we do day to day because it just stayed a binder, right? Like it wasn't, we weren't given space to create in the moment that we were learning and apply it immediately into something that we could use in our class the next day. So I like to design PD with those activities in mind. And so we might actually list out the learning targets. It's like not, I will know or I will be able to, it's like, no, I will have created by the end of today, I will create this, right?

And it might be one thing, it might be several things. And then I would, so I, I think I was gonna say the next thing is to share and get consensus for collective agreements. I actually would practice the consensus process or at least like a thumbs up, thumbs down or like any objections kind of like wedding simulation, like stand up a few objects, right? Like something like that for the learning targets as well because sometimes someone will say like, well, actually within this umbrella topic, I think we should do XYZ and that's different or I see you have X but not Y right on this learning target list? Or is that part of a series? Are we gonna do that later? Are we just omitting it? Right? Like what's the rationale? And you can kind of have a conversation there? But if we get consensus on the learning target, then we have this like momentum moving forward and then finally, we might be doing something that requires group work or discussion or high emotion topics, right? And, and it's important to have a reminder, ideally, we've co created these from day one. But if you haven't important to do, get consensus for the collective agreements of how we will engage with one another in this journey, I think that's really important.

So I usually use fist to five as my consensus protocol. again, use yours. But if you have this setup of like every time we are going to share the same slide with the same agreements that we came up with. Day one, we will invite people to edit if like something has arisen, something happened. Last meeting, we want to change something. But we, we always have these slides that we just remind people of. We don't need to spend a ton of time on them, right? Unless something major has happened. Unless a major conflict has happened, we need to adjust them whatever, but we do have them and that's part of our setup. OK? Then throughout the session, I like to have moves to personalize. So just one option, I'm just gonna share one thing here with you because there are so many things that we could do. But I like using win time or what I need time with adults because I think it's also great to use the students and I give the following options. So I will typically have this in partnership with like a choice board. And so I will say one option is you can explore the choice board. Now with the choice board, I like to give various content subs specializations. So if we're learning about something like curriculum design, I might have someone who is like a brand new teacher, they're very overwhelmed.

And it's like here's how to unpack a standard and now I might have here's how to unpack a standard. Here's an example of like a standard unpacked. Here is a video walkthrough of my think loud of unpacking a standard. Here is a standard with a prompt for like asking you some questions about it and then you unpack your own standards was like an activity. There's different modalities as well as various content sub specialization. So that's one content subs specialization in all the modalities that could go with it. I may then share different subs specializations for content areas such as we're making a great project question or essential question, whatever you call it at your school. I'm thinking about the ways that I offer student voice within my curriculum, right? Like so we would kind of have this multi row, multi column thing that ideally doesn't overwhelm because there's so much choices there. There are folks who have told me it's a bit overwhelming when I have way too many choices. So it's a kind of a line to balance. But then you also want people who no matter where they are in their learning journey, no matter how many years of teaching or practice with this skill or activity that you're teaching about or facilitating conversation around, no matter how much experience they've had or how much confidence they have in that, like they have an option that's a good fit for them.

So that's like the number one thing that I think people usually do during wind time because they're like, whoa, there's all these resources, I'm going to explore them. Then it also gives them other options that they may be thinking of. They may do naturally, they may not realize is an option, for example, start adapting or building a resource that you will use in class. So maybe you watched a video of the on the choice board and it was like two minutes long. You're like, OK, I got it. And now there's eight more minutes of, you know, win time. You can actually start building a resource right now. Let's say you, you looked at something um that was like how to build a circle, like a circle protocol, how to do a lesson that's like circle. So you watch like a couple minutes of a video and you're like, oh OK, I got it. And here's a template that was also in the great, got it now like start building the circle, right? Like start building the circle for next week's class or something or you can actually start writing in your question that you're gonna post to the students and I'm gonna use this picture to prompt their opening circle, like, react to this picture. What do you notice or something? So you can help them see that it's not only a good idea to like, just start embedding in, in applying right away what they're learning, but that it is actually possible to get a good start in just like 5, 10 minutes.

And once they've like outlined the idea, even if they don't finish it in the session, they're likely to kind of finish it up and implement it soon versus not giving any time or kind of a nod to. You can use this time to start creating other options, include brainstorming with a partner asking me the facilitator a question and building a sustainable plan. So sometimes people are like a little overwhelmed by the building a specific resource I'm gonna use tomorrow in class kind of thing, invite them to build a sustainable plan. So say like, ok, this month, your goal is to implement one circle, right or something. And then next month, your goal is to implement a second circle and ask for student feedback. And then the third month you're going to try a circle every other week, right? And then the fourth month, you're gonna invite a student or a group of students to develop and facilitate their own circle, right? So like they're not actually creating the thing right now they need a little bit more think time perhaps, but they are building out the plan of accountability for themselves to kind of implement all this stuff.

OK. The next thing I want to do as a category is share, moves to engage. Oh my gosh, there's so many of these and you should watch the uh video and discussion strategies that is linked in this blog post if you would like more. By the way, that's Lindsay, Beth lions.com/blog/one 47. So I'm gonna kind of run through them if you want more details or visuals of the slides that accompany them with like the protocol steps and things check that out. So one is just a very general, very vague. It's to pause my speaking after I share something and invite additions, a adaptations or concerns. So say like, OK, so I just talked for, you know, 5, 10 minutes about this thing. I'm sure you do some version of this thing or have done something that has the same purpose in your class. Tell me what I'm missing or tell me what's wrong with what I just shared. What adaptations would you need to make for your class or what concerns or questions do you have? Right? Just like invite some engagement and just just a quick pause. Super simple one. I also like inviting specific reflection questions following like a creation based activity.

So the typical ones I use are what did you create? So do you wanna share out what you did, what challenges are coming up? What questions do you have? And what, aha. Did you have? Was there like a light bulb moment? You're like, oh, I totally get this now. Right. Or I never thought about it this way. Another one is, if you have absolute crickets, I really like collecting display, which is actually a math language routine from illustrative mathematics or less of mathematics. I never know how to say that. And that's to generate ideas from all participants. They write ideas on a post, it put them up on the wall and you can kind of categorize and launch a discussion from there. Rhonda Bondi. I've talked about in not only this blog but like my teacher blog like a decade over a decade ago, I think where she talks about think talk open exchange, which is just kind of like a formalized discussion protocol for a small group. I also really like, I've been into Harvard's project zero stuff lately. So they have color symbol image as a protocol. And um because image is something that, you know, they either would have to conjure, draw or maybe like use their phones or computers to access. And that could be maybe inter it it could potentially interrupt the conversation, maybe not.

I think even with adults, it might. So I like to suggest, right? You could say you could always draw your own image. But for I think people who maybe are not artistically inclined or a little overwhelmed by that idea. I like to use uh, little cards that also have like shapes, colors and images on them. I'm sure there are tons of decks out there. But I have used ones from Doctor Amy Clymer who is in my graduate program. She's has them, they're called, um, Climber cards, CLI MD. Er, and then if you just look it up, you can, you can purchase, I think like 25 bucks or something online. So those are fun. Um And then finally, I, I would say the last section I'm thinking of are like moves to close. So as we close out, what do you want to do? And again thinking about that track one, track three, what do you want students to experience in classrooms? So teachers are actually gonna take this and implement it. I like self assessed on Marzano's scale. So I adapt Marzano's scale from like four or five, whatever it is initially to three. But I basically say like here are our learning targets from the beginning, right from our opening, from our setup, rate yourself 1 to 3.

How did you do? And I have a little slide for that. That gives a little bit more of like, what is a, 12 or three? I give a little analogy with a bicycle but I think that's a really good option to say like, ok, like just think for a moment. It doesn't even need to be accurate. Like this isn't even about accuracy though. I think this is a great conversation starter for folks around accuracy. If your students are constantly rating themselves like three out of three and their work is not of the three caliber like half that conversation. Right. That's a great one on one conversation opportunity. Or if it's a large trend in the class, like open up that conversation, the goal here isn't necessarily accurate self assessment. I I think that's maybe a long term goal. The goal here is actually just to say pause and think. Did you do this today? Do you have a better sense today of what you learned? You still need help with it. Like how can you flag that for me? This is one way another move to close. I will usually invite folks to design and share their next action step. So again, are we gonna implement? Hopefully we are to make that a little bit more possible? I'll say like name one thing that you are going to do like accountability partner, share it with somebody.

One thing you're gonna do to implement what you learn tomorrow or this week or whatever. And finally, I will invite participants to share their feedback on a short survey. I have a typical one I use, I think this is good practice for teachers to do with their students as well. What did I do? Well today, what did I not do well. Right. Like get that feedback and get that to become routine. You have to do it every day, every lesson, but maybe every week, every month, every unit, there are a ton more moves I could share. And I think for teachers specifically, I like uh the reading texts. Like I'll do like a notice wonder or something as whenever students are reading texts to support that, that's a move I love and also a ton of moves for critical analysis. It's really hard for students to do analysis well and specifically to be critical of oppressive power structures. And I think it is really great to have some moves ready to go, some slides, ready to go when you're having conversations like that. So there are videos on those. So again, check out the blog post, Lindsay, Beth lions.com/blog/one 47, check out the entire series of youtube videos that walk you through all the slides for all these different purposes and categories.

My final tip is that I would create and I would have teachers create this too. You can kind of model, tell teachers that you do this for yourself. And then they can naturally be like, oh, that's a great idea. I'm gonna do it or you could be like, hey, this is a great idea. You should do this but create a common slides, resource bank of the moves or the slides that you regularly use or aspire to use. Maybe you haven't used them yet, but you want to and categorize them under all those categories or your own categories. That way when you're planning, you just pull the ones you need over, right? So you don't need to create from scratch every time you just pull what you need. Oh, it needs an engagement strategy. Oh, here's five that I love. Let me pull this one for this group, right? Go ahead. Implement these ideas. Check out the blog post, check out all the accompanying youtube videos and tutorials within those videos. Grab those links, take the slides, use them on their own, adapt them. It's gonna be great. Let me know how it goes for you. If you like this episode. I bet you'll be just as jazz as I am about my coaching program for increasing student led discussions in your school, Shane, Sapir and Jamila Dugan talk about a pedagogy of student voice in their book Street Data.

They say students should be talking for 75% of class time. Do students in your school talk for 75% of each class period? I would love for you to walk into any classroom in your community and see this in action. If you're smiling to yourself as you listen now, grab 20 minutes on my calendar to brainstorm. How I can help you make this big dream a reality? I'll help you build a comprehensive plan from full day trainings and discussion protocols like circle and Socratic seminar to follow classroom visits where I can plan witness and debrief discussion based lessons with your teachers. Sign up for a nerdy no strings attached to brainstorm. Call at Lindsay, Beth lions.com/contact. Until next time leaders think big act brave and be your best self. This podcast is a proud member of the Teach Better Podcast Network better today, better tomorrow and the podcast to get you there, explore more podcasts at teach better.com/podcasts and we'll see you at the next episode.

147. Facilitation Moves to Model in Your Professional Development Sessions
147. Facilitation Moves to Model in Your Professional Development Sessions
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