Approaching Teaching @ AISK

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

Approaching Teaching: Week of December 18, 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 innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and and change. (IBO. IB Learner Profile. Courageous/Risk-Takers. 2013.)


How are you taking charge of your learning?

Set an objective for your learning this week!

Outside of Kuwait

January 2017

  • Atlas Workshop in Dubai. Takeaways will be practical and can be immediately applied at your school.  Where: Universal American School, Dubai Cost: $100 one session | $150 for both sessions*AM Session: Curriculum Development in Atlas; PM Session: Using Reports in Atlas
    Group Discount: teams of 3 receive 1 additional registration for FREE. *Cost includes all materials, Arabic translation, light breakfast, lunch and internet. Accommodations are not included, but a discounted room rate is available. Register here.

My experience with Atlas PD is that it is always high quality and hands-on with significant take-aways! 🙂

-Christina Botbyl, Curriculum Coordinator

  • 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

  • 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:
  • 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
  • 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

 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


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


  • Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum available here. The Annenberg Learner site offers a deep collection of resources to support professional learning and PK – 12 student learning, for free or for paid graduate credits through Colorado State University. #knowledgeable
    • Art Through Time: A Global View. Examine themes connecting works of art created around the world in different eras. The thirteen-part series explores diverse cultural perspectives on shared human experiences. (Video on Demand, Free)
    • Developing Writers: A Workshop for High School Teachers. This is a video workshop for grade 9-12 writing and language arts teachers, consisting of eight video programs, a print guide, and this Web site. Use these components for professional development in two-hour weekly group sessions, or on your own. (Video on Demand, Free)
    • Reading and Writing in the Disciplines. Reading and writing are no longer the sole responsibility of the English classroom, but a critical part of how students explore and understand complex concepts across all disciplines. By examining general disciplinary literacy strategies and practices—and then focusing more deeply on their own discipline—middle and high school teachers will gain insight into how to support their students’ literacy skills while meeting content goals. (Video on Demand, Free)
    • The Economics Classroom: A Workshop for Grade 9 – 12 Teachers. The Economics Classroom: A Workshop for Grade 9-12 Teachers provides eight video workshops and associated print and web site information intended to assist high school teachers in developing strategies to effectively teach the fundamentals of economics and personal finance. This site also provides a number of classroom-tested lesson plans and links to a variety of useful additional resources. (Video on Demand, Free OR 2 graduate credits, $206USD)
  • USC Rossier online graduate programs. Earn any of the following: 
    • Master of Arts in Teaching: Prepares K–12 teachers to succeed in the classroom and create positive learning environments to meet the challenges of today’s high-need schools. This program also prepares candidates to be recommended for a teaching credential, and they can choose to enhance their degree with a Special Education Credential or Gifted Education Certificate.
    • Master of Arts in Teaching — TESOL: Prepares teachers to specialize in teaching English to non-native speakers and work in a wide range of settings.
    • Doctor of Education (EdD) in Organizational Change and Leadership: Prepares current teachers and educational leaders to drive systemic change in their organizations. A master’s degree is not required.
    • Request further information!

Reading: Articles and blog posts of interest

  • Break for Reading. What will you be reading over the upcoming winter break? Let NPR’s  guide you through 300+ titles to find something great to read over the upcoming break! Begin your search of some of the great reads of 2016 here#inquirers
  • Classroom Design. Instead of requiring students to learn, work, and think in one place all day, consider how your space might become more flexible. This blog post offers further details. #inquirers
  • Differentiation Menus. Find out how one teacher uses learning menus to offer students choice in order to more effectively differentiation instruction. #open-minded
  • Mindfulness in the Middle. In this blog post, read about one teacher’s experience incorporating mindfulness into her middle school curriculum. #reflective
  • Praise for Preschoolers. Find out about the importance of praising the process with preschoolers rather than offering a generic, “Great Job!” #caring
  • Stories Teachers Share. In this podcast from MindShift and KQED, listen in on episodes that feature a teacher recalling a moment that defined his or her teaching experience. You’ll also hear from the people in their lives who were affected by that individual’s teaching. #communicators
  • Teachers on Break. The excitement of the holiday season is in the air and winter break is just around the corner. Read this blog post to find out (or confirm) what teachers really do on holiday break. #balanced

“Two words: self care. Sleep in, relax, read, enjoy your family, see movies, take naps, write, exercise – whatever makes you feel you.”

Heather Harlen, author, ELA teacher, grades 9-12

  • Understanding Growth Mindset. How can we help children confront challenges through a more nuanced understanding of the “growth mindset?” Carol Dweck offers her insights in this recent article#knowledgeable
  • Writing Across the Curriculum. Writing is a crucial skill we rely on daily. We write to communicate, entertain, inform, and persuade. Explore these resources to incorporate writing across disciplines and grade levels. #communicators

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This entry was posted on December 18, 2016 by in Professional Learning, Technology Integration, Writing.

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