Posted on July 09, 2021 by Brittany MacArthur-Brooks

Associate Teacher Kindergarten

Summary of workshop/​opportunity

This is a four day course that provides world-class professional development in the Responsive Classroom approach to social-emotional learning (SEL). Responsive Classroom is a student-centered, social and emotional learning (SEL) approach to teaching and discipline. Responsive Classroom approach focuses on (1) creating optimal learning conditions for students to develop the academic, social, and emotional skills needed for success in and out of school, and (2) building positive school and classroom communities where students learn, behave, hope, and set and achieve goals.


What are 3 things I took away/​learned?

1. How important is it to start the day off with a morning meeting with all these components: Greeting- which will set a positive tone for the day, creates sense of recognition/belonging, it also practices hospitality & friendliness. Sharing- this helps builds community within the class, develops social emotional competencies & listening/speaking skills. Group Activity/Energizer- physical ,intellectual or artistic activities some may tie into curriculum or is just for fun, but students get to practice listening, following directions, and self-control. Morning Message- shapes the day and lets students know what to expect and get excited about what they'll be learning!

2. I learned about Interactive Modeling. You use this strategy when there is one way of doing something. This strategy is best to teach expectations, routines, social and emotional skills. There is no assuming that students know how to do something you must always model the expectation. I learnt the steps on how to teach Interactive modeling which are:

1. Say what you will model

2. Model the behavior

3. Ask the students what they noticed 4. Invite one or more students to model 5. Again, ask students what they noticed

6. Have students practice

7. Provide feedback

I like that there’s no assuming and that it’s like a “challenge” to them to see what they see from the modeling to make sure they understand. Having them practice is a key part of interactive modeling.

3. I learnt another teaching strategy called Guided Discovery. This strategy is used for teaching children to think creatively and critically. Used when there are multiple ways of doing something. This is focuses on exploration. Steps for this strategy include: introduction and naming, generation and modeling ideas by asking open ended questions to generate ideas, and get students to model, let students explore all materials, share finished work and then cleanup and care of materials.

What squared with my existing practice/​beliefs?

Having teacher empathy: This is something I have and do naturally. Being able to draw on my own feelings and emotions and that that "imaginative leap" to understand a students unarticulated feelings.

What is still circling around in my head?

Teacher Language.There are 5 guide lines to effective teacher language but two are circling in my head. Be direct/genuine and Focus on an action when speaking to students. I was taught not to ask questions but to make statements to students. For example “push in your chair” vs “can you push in your chair please?” Don’t ask questions. Give an action. Also taught don’t use “please” only use please if asking student for a favor.

Would you recommend this opportunity?


Optionally, offer a one sentence recommendation for the opportunity.

You will enjoy this workshop! So much to learn and use in your classrooms every day!

PD #233



Posted on June 16, 2021 by Brittany MacArthur-Brooks

Associate Teacher Kindergarten 

Summary of workshop/​opportunity

1108 - 17 Things Resilient Teachers Do (and 4 Things They Hardly Ever Do).

Resiliency - that ability to “bounce back” after setbacks and to persist in the face of stress and adversity - is an essential skill for educators, particularly now. Because the profession is stressful and unpredictable at times, educators need to develop, practice, and refine their own resiliency before they attempt to support students. This relevant, interactive, and fun summit will provide techniques, strategies, and methods that help to build resiliency in educators.

Goals & Collaborations

What were your big takeaways from your workshop or project?

Put my 'mask' on before trying to help others and communicate early and often when I start to see a student less engaged or distracted. I also need to find ways to unplug with my students in the classroom and reduce the amount of time on the iPad.

How does what you learned connect to your goals this year?

My only goal this year was to build positive relationships with my students and I feel this series of workshops helped me include more SEL into my daily lessons such as 'Get to know you' Kahoots!, teacher jeopardy games, and 'Draw This!'

How might this opportunity lead to collaboration with other faculty?

I shared some of my take aways with my advising team and we developed games together.

Would you recommend this opportunity?


Optionally, offer a one sentence recommendation for the opportunity.

ASCD is a great organization that provides fantastic best-practice teaching strategies in their PD.

PD #232