Take a look at our list of Ten TIps for New Trainers and tell us what other great ideas you can add.
Be sure to check out the Content Partner web sites to see if they have made any significant changes that might impact your session. The Content Partners are always adding new material and occasionally revise their web sites...so make sure you have visited them prior to your training, coaching, or mentoring with others.
Allowing teachers the gift of time! You have shared a wonderful training idea Linda.
I like to encourage teachers to post their "find" on a single, collaborative document...easy to do in Thinkfinity Community now...so everyone has access to all training resources after the session.
At the end of a training, I encourage each person to share something they are happy to have found or learned. This ends us on a positive note and reminds everyone that their time was well spent.
Here are some ideas contributed by members in another discussion--
Tammy Dewan - I have had much success with using the recommended strategy of “Wowing” the participants during the first 5-10 minutes. When you wow them from the get-go, you set a positive, exciting tone. I've also used a seating chart to record names and other important info, like grade or subject taught, interests, and goals for the training session. That way, you can refer to them throughout the session and personalize for each session participant.
Karen Horn - Playing off of Tammy's seating chart is an idea that I always use for a hands-on training. I hand out colored paper and ask the participants to fold it length-wise (hot-dog style to make a tent.) Then I ask them (using the black marker so it can readily be seen from all parts of the lab) to write their first names on the tent along with their disciplines and when appropriate grade-level. This allows me to refer specific resources throughout the day to them on an individual basis.It is a personalization of the training that has had good feed-back.
Marcia Torgrude - I like to use a half deck of cards (2 suits) when people enter the room. Then the red and black of each number pair up to share their thinking or to work together as they respond to questions from the previous day's training. This mixes up the audience and helps bring out some new thinking.
Mark Moore - One of my trainers in WV has every computer in the lab set to a different resource. As the audience sits down they ask "Can we play with this?" and they look at each other's computers to see what they are doing. They will have been in training 10 minutes before they realize that they are learning about Verizon Thinkfinity.
Here is an evaluation strategy called Kinesthetic Evaluation that makes a great closing activity. The leader directs participants in a few movements and follows up with an explanation. Check it out at http://www.thiagi.com/pfp/IE4H/march2009.html#Closer
1) Know your material on the Thinkfinity Website - this includes all the varieties available, the cross-disciplinary concepts, and interactive disciplines created by the Partners.
2) Ask participants about their specific classroom needs and connect with those needs by providing the resources and materials from Thinkfinity to solve their concerns.
3) Inquire throughout the training about the participants' understanding of the materials available, navigation, integration, and other strategies used in the training. Stop and ask if their specific needs are being addressed.
4) Approach all trainings with ecclectic strategic approaches. Note that if one strategy to reach your audience is not working, switch to another. Experience in multiple trainings will help with this activity, but if the first admonition is covered "Know your material," even first-time trainers can intuitively feel the need to change strategic approaches. It's no different than teaching a classroom of students at any level. We just change our way of explanation or method for delivery.
5) Obtain a feeling of Thinkfinity comfort for your participants. If the trainees are comfortable with the Website, the value of the site, and the implications for improving classroom skills, the trainer will be very successful.
6) Know your audience. This is critical for any and all trainings. No two trainings are alike just as no two classrooms are every alike. The personalities that make-up each training vary and the new trainer needs to develop a feel for what those personalities want and need for a successful training. Of course, it goes without saying that the more hands-on and the more interactions among the trainees, the more successful the trainings will be.
7) Prepare your agenda with a timeline to keep you on track. Use an online timer (online-stopwatch.com will help with that) to set a time limit when people are searching because you will get busy working with individuals in the group and lose track of the time. Also set a timer for the pair/shares so that each person gets a chance to talk.