This year, not only did I have the pleasure of leading a planning team for Rebel U, I also had the opportunity to present to members of our staff during one of our breakout sessions. Rebel U is something I spend countless hours on planning, thinking, preparing, and working to make a positive learning experience for our staff. Every year at the end of the day, we always say that it was the best Rebel U yet, but this year was seriously our best Rebel U yet! There are always things that we can improve upon, but for the most part, things went very smoothly. It is always great to be able to pop in and out of rooms and see the awesome things that our teachers are sharing and see teachers actively engaged in their own learning.
As this was my first time presenting utilizing Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures, I honestly wasn't sure what to expect. When I present, I usually end up talking for the majority of the presenting time, and struggle to engage and interact with my audience. Kagan seriously changed that for me! I had little "sage on the stage" time, and more audience interaction. I tried to model each structure so that everyone could understand directions and then practice themselves. I believe this allowed the participants to take more away from my presentation than they could have if I just stood at the front and talked the whole time. I even actually had time to take some pictures during my session - this usually never happens!
If you are unable to view the presentation below, please click here.
At the end of my session, I asked each person to complete an exit slip based on the information presented in the previous 60 minutes. I know there are many online tools that could have been utilized for this activity, but as I stated in my presentation, content comes first and technology second. I knew I was going to be running close on time and sometimes good old pencil and paper will get the job done a little quicker. And, as we were out of our district, it allowed me to quickly post the exit slips in the hallway to document and celebrate our learning.
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