Examples

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Ideally, the unit you design will not only increase your own knowledge and/or skills, but also provide useful information or activities for your students.  The following examples should be seen as indicative of the types of projects that could be done, not as restrictions on what might be studied.

While these examples are based on the Illinois State School Board’s guidelines sections A and B, as set out below, remember that areas C and D are appropriate for your professional development studies as well.  

To earn credit toward certificate renewal, you must complete activities that are relevant to one or more of the following purposes:

A.                 improving your knowledge and skills in your current area(s) of certification,

B.                 developing your knowledge and skills in one or more of the five state priority areas (reading, math, technology, standards/assessment, and special education);

C.                developing or improving your knowledge and skills related to your school improvement plan; and

D.                expanding your knowledge and skills in an additional teaching field or advancing you toward acquisition of an additional teaching certificate, endorsement, or educational degree. www.isbe.com

Reading – Improving your knowledge of reading research, applications and the teaching of reading can be used to tailor materials so students can learn efficiently.  A project could deal with current research about reading with a project goal showing how your new knowledge would aid the students. 

Math – What are recent developments in teaching Math?  What are areas of mathematics you need to learn?  Projects can be designed to explore either of these areas with a project goal showing how your new knowledge would aid the students.

Technology – What expertise could you use to integrate technology into teaching and learning?  What skills do you need to learn in the realm of technology (from improving your own hands-on ability to exploring web design and computer languages?)  Projects can be designed to explore either of these areas with a project goal showing how your new knowledge would aid the students. 

Standards and Assessments – What are appropriate standards for your students?  How do you know?  What are ways, in the light of cultural differences and multiple intelligences, to assess student achievement as they work to achieve those standards?  Your enhanced knowledge and skills should have an immediate effect on your students.  Projects can be designed to explore these areas with a project goal showing how your new knowledge would aid the students. 

Special Education – Journals and symposia provide an exploding world of information as we learn about the brain, how it processes information, grows, learns and changes and, sadly, how it can challenge students’ abilities to learn and be social.  There are many opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills in these areas, especially as you work to meet the needs of your individual students.  Projects can be designed to explore any of these areas with a project goal showing how your new knowledge would aid the students. 

Action Research, Original Research – As a way of improving your knowledge and skills in your current area(s) of certification, endorsement or teaching assignment, you could design, administer and evaluate a lesson, unit or project that would test some of the theories you’ve studied.  The findings, whether anecdotal or involving a control group, would help you decide how effective these concepts and approaches are when tested in the classroom.  Projects can be designed to explore these areas with a project goal showing how your new knowledge would aid the students.

 

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