PLApalooza Reflection – Whitehead

This professional development experience was helpful in some ways, but a little disappointing in several ways. I found that the SPED Round-table discussion was very useful. I really like being able to speak with other SPED teachers about how we can use PL in our jobs because I do find it difficult in a lot of ways. It was good to hear that other teachers have challenges with this too, but it was also really helpful to get advice on how I can use PL for my students. Some of the best advice I got was making sure I get to collaborate with the general education teachers on playlists so that I can be assessing and working on goal work with these students. All of the teachers felt as if PL can be difficult for learners who need more structure and instruction, but I did come away from today feeling more comfortable with implementing PL with my students especially during my FLEX 5th grade math group. In the two other sessions I found that I did not get as much out of it. The “Making the Most of MAP data” session was helpful in one way, teaching me that I can get a quadrant chart to understand if my students are meeting growth goals or not and if they are below or above grade level. I feel this is especially helpful in understanding if my students need more help with growth. Finally, the PL for Struggling Readers session was not a session I took anything away from. I was dismayed that the presenter only showed us what she does specifically for her students, instead of helping to teach us methods that we could implement in our own classroom. I was not aware that the session was specifically for secondary students, but I know that if I had been given some ideas instead of things that my presenter does specifically for her classes then I could have found some things to implement or have been inspired. We also ended our session 20 minutes early, so all in all not a very good experience. I wish that this event had more events for elementary level teachers, and I really wish I had been able to go to sessions more tailored towards a cross-categorical special education teacher, as I cannot use a lot of the information that was being presented. I’m glad I did take away some things from some of these sessions, and I’m excited to implement these new ideas as soon as possible.

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