The READ WRITE SIG and the Abu Dhabi Chapter held their third event of the year February 18, 2017 at Abu Dhabi Men’s College. The theme of the morning of professional development workshops was “Innovations in Reading and Writing.
Presenter Deema Attal, of Abu Dhabi Men’s College, gave a workshop on an online tool called “Realtime Board” for group brainstorming and collaboration.
The workshop demonstrated the usefulness of the tool for managing large class activities in an online environment. The tool can be used by students to collaboratively brainstorm ideas and gather information for any group writing activity they are assigned. It can also help teachers monitor students’ active and equal participation in any in-class or out-of-class group assignment.
Marcelino Torrecilla, also of Abu Dhabi Men’s College, presented a workshop using Nearpod, an alternative tool for the teaching of reading and writing.
Nearpod is an application that allows instructors to teach and share lessons with their students. The workshop showed some activities using Nearpod, highlighting learning and teaching gains such as teacher-student interactivity, student engagement, and classroom management efficiency.
There were also presentations for young learners. Noura Husain Ahmed, a teacher for Abu Dhabi Education Council, presented on “Enhancing KG Student’s Reading Skills Through Teaching ‘Clusters of Letters.’” To promote reading among Emirati children, teachers should be aware of how to teach reading skills and how the students learn. This workshop exemplified how letters with similar shapes (rather than individual letters) can be introduced to students in small clusters to help the students learn all the alphabet in Arabic in the limited time of the academic year and be ready for the next stage of learning reading skills.
Alison Davis, of Teacher + Leader Learning Company, presented “Read like a Detective.” A workshop focusing on close reading strategies that engage students to read, talk and think through text. Participants examined practical strategies for engaging students as meaning makers in informational text through quality interactions, text-dependent questions and higher-order thinking.
Altogether there were 10 presentations for an exciting morning of professional development .
By Melanie Gobert