Guest Post: Appy Hour

 

Guest Post by Amy Storer

 

One of my goals this year was to transform professional learning on my campus and in my district. I was starting to see the need to provide our teachers with more than just the traditional “sit and get” model. I wanted them to want to attend professional development. I wanted them to feel empowered to take risks for their students and themselves.  And so my journey began…

Right after the school year started, I discovered that the 4 O’Clock Faculty had a book! I had been following this blog for sometime, and always felt inspired to do more after reading the posts. I quickly purchased the book, and started to read it as soon as it arrived on my doorstep. Every page in this book gave me idea after idea on how to flip our professional learning models. I also joined the #4OCF Voxer group, where ideas were shared daily and friendships were formed almost immediately. This PLN (professional learning network) has quickly become a group that I depend on each and every week! Over Christmas break, I began to work on a campus professional learning calendar. Each week or every other week, I would open my room for teachers to CHOOSE to attend various sessions such as Tech and Tailgate, Snacks and Strategies, and “Appy” Hour. My goal with each of these sessions was to expose the teachers to various tools, strategies, and applications that would support high impact learning and teaching. The week prior to each session, I would send out a Buncee or Adobe Spark graphic to give them an idea of what to expect. Just this last week, I offered “Appy” Hour on my campus.

Much like I did with Tech and Tailgate, I transformed not only the professional learning experience, but the atmosphere as well! Most of what you see below, I purchased at our local dollar store (most are reusable), and I also provided the teachers with sodas and snacks!

I took Rich Czyz’s idea of “Appy” Hour and made some changes to best fit my campus. In the original idea, he encourages teachers to present their favorite apps and tools at a staff meeting. Each presenter would have 2 minutes at their station, and staff members would get to choose which ones to visit. Since my sessions were taking place during their conference periods, I had a theme…#BookSnaps (Tara Martin is a genius.)! Each table had a different app or tool that the teachers had access to on student computers and/or tablets. After showing them what a #BookSnap was, they were able to choose which tool to explore to create their snap. I also showed them how #BookSnaps could be used across content areas and grade levels (#MathSnaps and #ScienceSnaps).

 

So, what is up next for our KES Professional Learning Series? Picnic PD! Stay tuned!

Big thank you to Rich Czyz and Tara Martin for inspiring “Appy” Hour! Your work in education is much appreciated!!

Thank you to my supportive and risk-taking principal, Mallory Kirby, and the wonderful educators that I am blessed to work with each and every day. I am so proud to be your campus instructional coach!

 

Amy Storer (@techamys) is an Instructional Coach and Technology Integration Mentor at Keenan Elementary School in Montgomery ISD in Montgomery, TX.