SOS Top Ten for Professional Development

Top 10 SOS for Engaging Professional Development

Welcome to our special Top Ten series on SOS in the classroom. This month we’re highlighting some of the most popular ways to use Spotlight on Strategies as Professional Development tools for educators.

While it was initially promoted as a bank of strategies to use with students, many DEN members have discovered that the Spotlight on Strategies series provides strategies that work well with educators, too.   Are you helping your school plan for professional development in the New Year?  Here are some of the ones we love to use to get teachers engaged with movement, discussion, reflection and synthesis during those PD days and staff meetings!

1 Dana Johnston from California suggests using SOS 6 Word Story  (CDN Version) to gauge where teachers are in their learning. Responses that indicate teachers are overwhelmed might mean it is time for a break, while indications of confusion might mean it is time to revisit and clarify material that you’ve already presented.
2 Lindsay Foster from Texas suggests using SOS 3-2-1 Pyramid (CDN Version)as a way to wrap up a PD session.  Ask teachers to list: 3 things they learned, 2 people they will share with when they return to their schools, and 1 thing they will commit to using in their classrooms
3 Emy Aultman from Georgia suggests using SOS A-E-I-O-U (CDN Version) as an exit slip for teachers at the end of a PD session:

  • A (adjective) – a word to describe the PD
  • E (emotion) – how dow this information make you feel?
  • I (Interesting) – what did you learn that was interesting
  • O (oh!) – What surprised you?
  • U(um?) – What questions do you have?
4 Jeremy Badiner from Michigan recommends everyone’s favorite: the SOS Snowball Fight (CDN Version.  This fun strategy builds in opportunity for movement, and can be a way to break the ice or lighten the mood. It’s sure to bring a few smiles and laughs into any group!
5 Curt Witthoff, Manager of DE Techbook Educational Consultants, is an advocate for using SOS with Ed Tech tools.  He suggests pairing the SOS ABC Summary (CDN Version) with Padlet. First prepare a Padlet with a  post for each letter.  Then, have participants choose a letter and then populate their summary in that part of the Padlet Wall.  This would provide an archive of the PD session that could be revisited over time, too.
6 Robyn Carden from Florida suggests using SOS Table Top Texting (CDN Version) because it allows for everyone to have a voice without having everyone talking all at once.
7 Lindsay Foster from Texas also suggests using SOS Sticky Back (CDN Version) as a PD tool because it gets all participants engaged. She also suggested a great idea for multiple question prompts: use multiple colors of sticky notes.
8 Did you know that several of the Discovery Education Professional Development strategies have been added to the SOS collection? One to try is SOS Placemat (CDN Version), which helps ensure all participants have equity of voice and accountability for participation.
9 Another DEPD strategy to try is SOS QR Code Graffiti Walk (CDN Version). This strategy gets participants up, moving, and interacting with one another while using mobile devices to access content that is critical to the PD session.
10 Try debriefing a PD session with a strategy such as SOS 4 Corners (CDN Version) that encourages participants to establish their own opinions and understandings but still remain open to new ideas presented by their peers.

Which one of these strategies will you try with your teacher peers? Let us know so we can try it too! Leave a comment below.

Related posts

One Comment;

Comments are closed.