Approaching Teaching @ AISK

inquiring – conceptual understanding – contextualizing – collaborating – differentiating – assessing – reflecting

Approaching Teaching: Week of November 20, 2016

 How will you grow, learn, and inquire this week?

Inquirers – Knowledgeable – Thinkers – Communicators – Principled – Open-Minded – Caring – Risk Takers – Balanced – Reflective

How do we, as educators, take responsibility for our professional growth in order to be the best we can be for AIS students?


We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change. (IBO. IB Learner Profile. Risk-Takers. 2013.)




How are you taking charge of your learning?

Set an objective for your learning this week!

In Kuwait

PEAK. The Professional Educators Around Kuwait conference will take place on December 3, 2016 on the Kuwait Bilingual School campus. Check out the PEAK website for further details! #inquirers

Outside of Kuwait

January 2017

  • NESA Winter Training Institute. The Winter Training Institute will take place at Riffa Views International School, Bahrain, January 20 – 21, 2017. The WTI is set to feature two-day workshops, including: Assessment in MS/HS Social Studies, Digital Pedagogy (with John Burns), Mindfulness, Math Coaching, NGSS Team Facilitation, and more to come. NESA‘s weekend training institutes are a fantastic place to spend your professional learning time and money! NESA’s Training Institute model is a cohort approach where participants choose one offering that will be their focus for the two-day experience. #inquirers #open-minded

February 2017

  • Developing Confident Talking in Early Years. Many children are confident talkers at home, but may need extra support to join in with groups in school. These children may be ‘reluctant talkers’ due to shyness, high sensitivity, introversion or in some extreme cases, selective mutism. Children learning a second language or with additional learning needs also need support to fully participate in groups, to develop friendships, and to promote optimum learning. This course explores reasons for children becoming ‘reluctant talkers’ in early years settings, and looks at practical strategies, approaches and activities that will benefit all young children’s language development and learning. February 24 – 25, 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. Find more details here#communicators

March 2017

  • Designing Proficiency Based and Differentiated World Language Classrooms. The reality of many world-language classrooms in international schools is that there is a range of students with differing ‘levels’ of language knowledge and skills if not at the beginning of the school year certainly by the end. This workshop sets the stage for designing learning experiences to develop varying levels amongst all students through the principles of proficiency-based and differentiated language instruction. March 6 – 8, 2017 in Chang Mia, Thailand. Find more details here#communicators
  • Teacher Skills Forum 2017. The 2017 Teacher Skills Forum intends to examine the process of deconstructing learning targets and re-constructing clear and understandable learning goals to enrich the quality of teaching/learning experiences in the classroom. Registration for the Teacher Skills Forum 2017 is now open. Register before December 31st and enjoy huge savings on our Early Bird Rates. March 25 & 26, 2017 at the Dead Sea, Jordan King Hussein bin Talal Convention Centre. #knowledgeable
  • Professional Learning Weekend. Cairo American College (CAC) teachers would like to share their insights and teaching models with other international school teachers in the region in order to better support teacher understanding and student learning. We are hosting a professional learning weekend from March 25 – 27, 2017. Register here. Teachers have an opportunity to participate in a Lab Site process to learn about one of these three teaching models used at CAC:

    1. Reading and writing. Reading and Writing Workshops in the Elementary School
    2. Mathematics. Challenge by Choice curriculum in the Middle School
    3. Multiple subjects. Harkness-style student-centered discussions in the High School

     Spring 2017

  • NESA Spring Educators Conference 2017. The Spring Educator’s Conference will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, March 31 – April 2, 2017. #inquirers

May 2017

  • The Innovator’s Mindset. Great teachers have been “innovators” long before any of the current technologies existed in our world.  It was always about doing something better with what was available, to help kids. In this workshop, George Couros will discuss the idea and characteristics of the “Innovator’s Mindset”, and how they can make a significant impact on the learning of ourselves and ultimately our students. May 19 – 20, 2017. Bangkok, Thailand. Learn more#knowledgeable #inquirers
  • Leading Innovative Change. Although schools are moving forward, change is always something that many struggle with. Focusing on an innovator’s mindset and our “why”, this workshop, led by George Couros, is meant for leaders to help others within their organization not only accept change, but embrace it, to create better powerful learning opportunities for our learners. May 17 – 18, 2017. Bangkok, Thailand. Learn more#knowledgeable #inquirers


This week

  • #foreverychild. This year, marks the 70th anniversary of UNICEF and its work for children. UNICEF has invited writers from all over the world to pen a short story on the theme ‘what I want for every child’. More than 200 authors have answered the call, weaving their vision of a world in which all children enjoy the right to survive and thrive, to learn and to grow up healthy and safe from harm. Here is a selection of their tiny but powerful stories of courage, anger, love – and, most of all, for every child, hope. #caring
  • #teachnowchat. Teach Now will hold Twitter chats each Saturday at 9:30 a.m. ET. The purpose is to create a space for teachers to colalborate and share ideas and proven practices. It is also a great way for teachers to grow their personal learning network. Follow Teach Now on Twitter @teachnowprogram. Have a look at #teachnowchat#inquirers

November/December 2016

January 2017

  • Daily 5 and Math Daily 3. Launching Daily 5® and CAFE® and Launching Math Daily 3® are 3 credit, online graduate level courses offered through Upper Iowa University. These are online courses that will last eight weeks offered in both October and January. Find more information here#knowledgeable


  • Online Master’s Degree. Earn a Master’s degree in the Art & Science of Teaching online. Developed by Dr. Robert Marzano, this content-rich program draws on 40 years of research. It includes study guides, activities, and immediate, real-world classroom application that will broaden your skill sets and deepen your knowledge of educational practices. Created for K-12 teachers, this online program gives you the flexibility to learn when it’s most convenient for you. And the best part? You can earn your degree in as little as 24 months. Registration for Spring I, 2017 session is opens. To learn more about the programs offered by the National Institute for Professional Practice, visit their website#knowledgeable

Reading: Articles and blog posts of interest

  • Analytical Writing. After struggling to engage her students with literature and literary analysis, high school English teacher Shannon Falkner introduced them to the tools of semiotics—the study of meanings in cultural practices, developments, and objects—and set them loose on contemporary popular culture. She discovered that when her students were allowed to analyze culture that felt relevant to their lives, previously unseen abilities to think, analyze, and write critically about complex symbolism and meaning emerged. Read more here#thinkers
  • Backtalk. In this article, the author looks at specific types of student backtalk. Few things trigger a fight-flight reflex more predictably than surprise. If we become familiar with the more common types of studnet backtalk, we can reduce the element of surprise. This will help us remain calm rather than becoming upset when a student “mouths off.” #caring
  • Coding and Minecraft. Microsoft and have come together to debut Minecraft Designer, a free tutorial for students aged 6 and up that uses the Minecraft environment to teach coding. Read more here#inquirers
  • Connecting Pokemon Go and STEM. Did you know that Pikachu, Squirtle, Eevee and Mewtwo can help teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts to elementary school kids? Read more here#inquirers
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching. Culturally responsive teaching (CRT) is a powerful method for accelerating student learning. What is it? What does it look like? Read more here. #caring #0pen-minded
  • Five Myths of Personalized Learning. Is personalized learning a radical new concept? Does personalized learning focus on academic standards? Five common myths of personalized learning are debunked in this post#knowledgeable
  • NWP Radio. These radio programs from the National Writing Project (NWP) are provided as an information resource to leaders of National Writing Project sites and anyone interested in teaching, learning, and composing practices. To learn more about the National Writing Project, visit
  • Snapchat in the Library. Snapchat is a platform that emphasizes interaction, capitalizing on the playful side of social media and providing a way for users to send multimedia messages (“snaps”) back and forth between friends. The mass migration of millennials to Snapchat has made librarians sit up and take notice. Library Snapchat accounts have begun popping up over the past year, and the librarians behind these accounts are finding innovative ways to reach their patrons. Read more here#communicators
  • Standing Desks. This Principal article reports that a new study (published in the October 2016 American Journal of Public Health) found that elementary students who used standing desks in a two-year pilot burned more calories, had five percent reductions in body-mass index, were better behaved, and worked more quickly – teachers reported they had to plan more instructional activities to keep up. ““If we want kids to sit less and move more, we should encourage activity in the learning process.” #balanced

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This entry was posted on November 20, 2016 by in Professional Learning, Technology Integration, Writing.
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