Professional Development in Your Pajamas
Have you seen Scholastic's videos online? If you go to this page, you will find the videos arranged into categories, one of which is "Professional Development." I was intrigued by the video with Roger Essley on using visual tools because I LOVE using storyboards with my gifted students. When we read stories, the best tool to use to explain elements of plot is the storyboard, which I call a comic strip with a purpose. Students are required to identify only the main pieces of the plot because they can't fit ALL the action into only 8 or 12 boxes. Gifted students struggle with narrowing down details as they see all the action as important, so a storyboard helps them target the main ideas.
I also use storyboarding to demonstrate to students how to take notes and create study guides in their content area classes. Especially with cause and effect elements of history and steps in a scientific process, storyboards enhance the student's level of understanding the sequence of events. Math teachers should consider using storyboards with gifted students who often work problems in their heads because this strategy requires them to illustrate or notate all steps involved in the mathematical process.
When you have some time, watch this great video - or find another that fits your area of interest. There are many from which to choose. Just browse around the site!