Typically in my school district, the last day of school for students is immediately followed by two full-days of optional professional learning for teachers. This year was no different. At the elementary level, the focus of the first day was inquiry-based mathematics. And, the second day contained opportunities for participants to dive into (1) Writing Workshop, which has been a focal point of ours for two years, and (2) Guided Reading, a practice we will prioritize next year.
For me (and for the teachers, I believe) the highlight of the second day was the two Edcamp-style time slots – from 9:45 to 10:45 am, and from 11 am to 12 pm – during which teachers facilitated conversations based on topics of their choosing (as long as they related to Writing Workshop or Guided Reading in one way or another). The idea was to provide teachers with opportunities to celebrate their successes, while also giving them time to plan for the future. And, much of this planning ending up occurring across grade levels and/or schools, which made this time that much more valuable.
While all of these sessions were undoubtedly worthwhile, Christina, a first grade teacher, arranged one that was notably unique. During this learning opportunity, attendees explored ways in which their students could create and publish Writing Workshop digital portfolios by combining apps that included Seesaw, Shadow Puppet, Doodle Buddy, and more. But, as much as we love these technologies, what mattered most was the fact that this session was facilitated by her first grade students.
That being said, looking back, here are ten questions I have about this student-run Edcamp.