April 20, 2018
February 23, 2018
Driving Students Toward Success: Project-Based Learning! That’s the title of the next Y4Y Showcase webinar. It’s free, as always, so register now to get it on your calendar. You’ll get insights from frontline 21st CCLC practitioners as Y4Y walks you through the newly updated Project-Based Learning course. You’ll learn about the three phases of a project (introduce and prepare; design and implement; and celebrate, reflect and assess), steps for facilitating an authentic experience that students will enjoy and ways to deal with common challenges.
But wait. Why not invite a colleague (or your entire team) to attend with you? Participating with others is a great way to get more out of the experience. Before the webinar, tell your teammate(s) you’d like to huddle briefly after the webinar to discuss the following questions:
- What was new or surprising?
- What idea would you like to try?
- What would you like to know more about?
Having these questions up front, and knowing each team member will be called on to contribute to a postwebinar discussion, encourages active listening. That means your team will be more likely to pay attention, take notes and ask their own questions during the webinar. It also sets the expectation that team members will act on what they learn. That 10-minute discussion after the webinar could be the most important part of the experience, as information gets translated into action steps. Like this one, for example (hint, hint):
- Take the Project-Based Learning course together as a team.
So yes, register now for the Showcase, but also forward the webinar invitation to your team, along with the three questions listed above, and invite them to join you. After all, driving students toward success is what it’s all about, and project-based learning is a terrific way to do it!
January 19, 2018
As you select and plan student activities, what guidelines help you decide what to do, and how? Hopefully your answer isn’t “Whatever I can pull together in the next five minutes!”
Designing effective program activities requires a clear understanding of what you hope to accomplish. That means asking four questions:
- Does the activity align with program goals?
- Does it target student needs?
- Does it build skills and knowledge that will help students succeed?
- Will it engage students?
Addressing these questions during the activity design phase can make the difference between an activity that “fills up time” and one that moves students toward meaningful goals. The questions help you focus on the purpose or intent behind the activity.
Here’s how Y4Y defines an intentional approach to activity design:
intentional activity design: The process of designing engaging activities that align with program goals and target identified student needs to help students build the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.
Intentional design of activities fits within the larger framework of intentional program design:
intentional program design: The process of assessing student needs; designing a set of delivery strategies, interventions and activities that will engage those students while helping them build skills and knowledge they need to succeed; and recruiting the targeted students for which the program activities were designed.
The Y4Y Intentional Activity Design Diagram reminds you to consider data sources, overarching program goals, and strategies for aligning student needs and program goals as you plan activities. You might decide to develop a similar diagram based on your particular program goals and student needs to help guide staff as they plan and implement activities.For a deeper dive into intentional activity design, go to the Y4Y Virtual Institute for New Grantees and see the webinar and PowerPoint for Week 2: Intentionally Designing Activities.
November 20, 2017
Y4Y offers two Showcase webinars in December. One will jump-start your planning for next year’s summer learning program. The other will help your team plan for continuous education across school and program settings.
Here are three reasons to register now for one or both:
#1—You’ll learn from peers and the Y4Y team. Hear advice and “lessons learned” directly from program directors, site coordinators and the Y4Y technical assistance team.
#2—You’ll get ready-to-use tools. The Y4Y team has assembled tools you can use right away to plan for program and student success.
#3— Your New Year’s resolutions for 2018 will be SMARTer than ever. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound. These Y4Y webinars can help you set SMART goals for your program — and for your own professional development. (You might be able to get professional development credit for attending Y4Y webinars. Check with your program leader.)
Wednesday, Dec. 6
The Right Ingredients: Start With Student Needs
The first of three webinars in the “Right Stuff” Summer Learning Showcase Series
Get tools and advice as you take the first steps to plan a summer learning program: build a team, conduct a needs assessment, write SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timebound) goals, and plan logistics. Attend all three webinars in this series, and you’ll get a certificate of participation.
Thursday, Dec. 7
School-Day Partnerships: It’s More Than Alignment, it’s Continuous Education!
This webinar will help you think beyond aligning your program with the school day.
Continuous education is a coordinated effort to sustain student learning in out-of-school time. This webinar will help you tap into the flexibility and potential of out-of-school time to ensure student success across school and out-of-school settings.
January 19, 2017
The right trainings don't just broaden skill sets – they help your staff achieve their full professional and personal potential. But finding time to incorporate professional learning into your program can be a challenge. Fortunately, Y4Y can help.
Our Trainings to Go tools allow you to develop a professional learning strategy that matches your staff's needs. These guides include everything you need for a productive learning session: slides with customizable content, handouts and a suggested script outline. Most lessons take about an hour to complete, and provide practical, hands-on tips for integrating new ideas into daily activities.
In each of the Y4Y courses you’ll find Trainings to Go that target topics important to your program. Do you want to be more active in promoting understanding of STEM topics for your students? Try the STEM Every Day Training to Go. Are you hoping to make new strategic partnerships in the coming year? The Recruit Partners Training to Go is for you. Want to make literacy skills a priority in your program? Start with the Five Components of Reading Training to Go.
Whether it starts with a resolution for the New Year or a reality check with yourself and your staff, professional learning belongs on your to-do list. Spend a little time now to plan professional learning events for your program. The benefits to staff and students will more than repay the effort!