Nov 21, 2011

14 07 2012

Collegial Circles for Inservice Credit and Professional Development Hours

Hi everyone!

I was looking at my calendar last weekend and was shocked to see that Thanksgiving is already here! How does that happen? I’m not ready! Oh well, I guess as with so many things in our lives we have to get ready.

The other thing I wanted to talk to you about are collegial circles. You veterans know what they’re all about but some of our newer teachers may not be aware that both inservice credit AND credit toward those 175 professional development hours needed for the State can be acquired through collegial circles. Teachers have conducted collegial circles in Inteactive SMART Board lessons, the writing process, the reading workshop, and I could go on and on.  How about a collegial circle working with the Common Core?
What is a Collegial Circle?
A Collegial Circle is a group of people who come together on a
regular basis around a common goal, need, interest, or question. A Collegial Circle
involves shared decision making, voluntary participation, and commitment over
time. MTRACT’s Collegial Circle Program provides teachers with structured time for reflection on classroom
practices. The program enables teachers to take responsibility for identifying
a need for professional growth, and establishes a formal support process for
sharing expertise and for problem solving through a group process.

How is it conducted?
Each group (not individual) must submit a Collegial Circle application found on My Learning Plan MTRACT which we will forward to the Assistant Superintendent for approval. After your plan of action is approved, your group will meet for a total of fifteenhours (1 inservice credit) or seven and one-half hours (1/2 inservice credit). A facilitator must be selected and it becomes that person’s responsibility to maintain focus, keep records and notify group members of meeting dates, etc. Groups must plan to meet in sessions ranging from 1 to 2 ½ hours each. A log of all
sessions will be kept by the facilitator, including dates, times, attendance, and brief summaries for each meeting including ideas shared and action taken. Active participation is expected and attendance will follow established Teacher Center attendance policies. Upon completion of the group meetings, each participant must submit a personal
evaluation accompanied by examples of the impact on the classroom
resulting from this program. This is to become part of the final project to be submitted. This information, as well as the final project, must be sent to M-TRACT and will be forwarded to the proper administrators for approval.
Twitter and Socratic Questioning
I attended two MTRACT workshops this month – Twitter because I never could understand what those # signs were and what was the point anyway? Was I ever wrong! What a tool for teachers to use with their students. Jarrett Fifield did a tremendous job showing us how to use Twitter with students for research. I never realized what a powerful educational tool Twitter is. 
I have to say Dr. Fasano kept us mesmerized with the Socratic questioning workshop. It was amazing to see how starting with one question could trigger a discussion enabling students to be in charge of their own learning! I encourage you to take this workshop when offered again.
Besides the two workshops I spoke of abovethere will be a Webquest course with Rena Drezner, and another Intel Assessments after the Christmas break. Keep in touch – let me know of workshops you would be interested in attending or teaching.

Most importantly, however, I want to wish all of you a very, very


To those cooking, I empathize and to those visiting, have fun and PLEASE help clean up the dishes! My philosophy is I cook, you clean! Enjoy….




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