At the New Literacies Teacher Leader Institute (NLI), we are laying the foundations for Suzhou North America High School's (SNA's) 2016-2017 Professional Learning Community (PLC). SNA's PLC brings together new and experienced educators for the purpose of gaining new information, reconsidering previous knowledge and beliefs, and building on our own and others' ideas and experiences in education and in life in order to work on a specific agenda intended to improve practice and enhance student learning at SNA.

Thus, our "Getting To Know Your Colleagues" sessions during the NLI are designed to develop
- trust among the members of our PLC;
- shared norms and values;
- collaborative problem solving skills; and
- a commitment to continuous improvement.

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DAY 1 - Introductions, Spirit Days, NLI Olympics, & Parking Lot

1. Introduce NLI Facilitators and Participants

- On Index Card: Name, Where You Are From, Your Role At SNA
- Place all index cards in the center of your table

2. Spirit Days

- Tuesday: Scrabble
  • Select a piece of paper
  • Draw and cut out any letter (English alphabet)
  • Tape letter on your front
  • Goal: Each member of your PLT chooses a letter to spell your team name for the NLI!
- Wednesday: School Colors
- Thursday: Favorite Hue
- Friday: Dressing Like The Stars

3. NLI Olympics Overview

- In the Spotlight
  • Each NLI participant will randomly select a colleague to observe and to get to know especially well during the NLI.
  • On the final day of the NLI, you will recognize your colleague by presenting a certificate to him/her noting what Olympic event he/she won this week and why.
- Olympic Events
  • Tuesday: Balloon Volleyball
  • Wednesday: Air Guitar
  • Thursday: Paper Plate Discus
  • Friday: NLI Olympics Medals Ceremony
    • In the Spotlight
    • Individual Event Medals- Gold, Silver, and Bronze
    • All-Around Award - Top PLT Spirit

4. Parking Lot

- Anonymously post questions, comments, and/or concerns throughout the NLI.

5. Balloon Volleyball

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How to Play:
1. Suspend a piece of string across the room at approximately head height.
2. Divide players into two teams and position them on either side of the string.
3. One team serves by hitting the balloon over the string.
4. The other team must return the balloon without allowing it to fall to the ground.
5. Each team is allowed THREE hits to get the ball over the string.

How to Win:
  • When the balloon is not returned, the other team scores a point.
  • First team to reach 5 points wins.


DAY 2 - Parking Lot & NLI Olympics

1. Debrief Parking Lot from Day 1

- Anonymously post questions, comments, and/or concerns throughout the NLI.

2. Air Guitar

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Video - Bradley Cooper Plays Air Guitar
How to Play:
1. Pick an appropriate song and section.
  • "Paradise City" by Guns & Roses
  • "Layla" by Derek & The Dominos
  • "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith
2. Listen to the notes first and visualize your performance.
3. Get in an appropriate air guitar playing stance.
4. Start strumming and fingering the frets.
5. Continue strumming and add in some supporting rock star moves.
6. Take a bow.

How to Win:
  • The Air Guitar Contest will have THREE rounds.
  • Individuals will be evaluated by a panel of judges based on the following criteria:
    • Musicality,
    • Believability, and
    • Rock Star Moves.


DAY 3 - Parking Lot & NLI Olympics

1. Debrief Parking Lot from Days 1 & 2

- Anonymously post questions, comments, and/or concerns throughout the NLI.

2. Paper Plate Discus

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How to Play:
1. Stand at the start line.
2. Hold the paper plate out horizontally.
3. Throw the plate across the room (like a frisbee).
4. Keep plate in bounds (left to right).

How to Win:
  • Keep the plate in bounds.
  • Throw the plate the farthest as determined by Joy's tape measure.


DAY 4 - Parking Lot & NLI Olympics Medals Ceremony

1. Debrief Parking Lot from Days 1, 2, & 3

- Anonymously post questions, comments, and/or concerns throughout the NLI.

2. NLI Olympics Medals Ceremony

  • In the Spotlight
  • Individual Event Medals - Gold, Silver, and Bronze
  • All-Around Award - Top PLT Spirit
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