Penn Graduate Student Center

Navigating the Classroom

About Navigating the Classroom

Navigating the Classroom seeks to help graduate teaching assistants be successful in the classroom through workshops and resources. This program is cosponsored by Penn Graduate Student Center and GAPSA.

The Center for Teaching and Learning and the Library offer extensive programming to assist graduate student teachers in the classroom.

Events

The "PhD Movie 2: Still in Grad School" Screening

Tuesday, October 11, 2016, 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Cohen G17

Image result for phd movie 2

Join your fellow graduate students for a free screening of The PhD Movie 2: Still in Grad School. Light refreshments will be provided. Be sure to register in advance as there is limited seating. 

Navigating Series Happy Hour

Thursday, October 13, 2016, 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Common Room Back (1st Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk, GSC Back Common Room

Join your fellow grad students at the Graduate Student Center for a Happy Hour to learn about Navigating Series Programs this year! Enjoy beer, wine, and snacks while enjoying the company of fellow grad students!

Teaching Workshops

Center for Teaching and Learning and the Graduate Student Center co-sponsor a series of workshops for graduate students, especially TAs, who are interested in learning and improving their teaching skills.

How To Help Students Improve Across the Semester - Center for Teaching & Learning

Monday, October 03, 2016, 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Room 305 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

In this workshop we will discuss strategies for how to help students improve and make progress across the semester, both in terms of course content and more generally, in making students aware of their own learning process. Some of these strategies include communicating to students the goals and objectives for a course, designing valid and reliable course assignments, and being explicit about what students need to do in order to meet the criteria and expectations for a particular assignment or course. In this context, we will also be speaking about the importance of formative assessment and feedback as tools for progress and long-term learning.

Teaching Outside Your Field - Center for Teaching & Learning

Tuesday, October 04, 2016, 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Room 305 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

There is a certain comfort to teaching within your field. You know the nomenclature, the values, and the content pretty well. However, there may be an instance in the future (or present!) when you must teach a subject outside of your expertise. This may seem challenging, but it does not have to be. In this workshop, we will discuss strategies that you may employ to best prepare yourself to teach a class or course outside of your discipline.

Teaching Problem-Solving in STEM Classes - Center for Teaching & Learning

Wednesday, October 05, 2016, 04:30 PM - 06:00 PM
Room 305 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

Problem-solving is an important part of STEM classes and there are various ways to implement this in the classroom. In this workshop, we will focus on how different strategies can be used depending on the goals of the TA and professor. In addition, we will examine problem-solving from the students' point of view and discuss how that might determine what approaches to use in the classroom. TAs leading recitation sections and other types of sessions that focus on problem sets are encouraged to attend.

Preparing for Class - Center for Teaching & Learning

Tuesday, October 11, 2016, 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Conference Room (2nd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

We think of teaching as something we do in the moment, in the room, with the students, but the ingredients for a successful class are often assembled before we walk through the door. This workshop will discuss techniques to insure that your lesson is as successful as possible. It will focus on the following questions: What are my primary and secondary goals for this lesson? What can I anticipate in my classroom? How can I plan to be flexible in my teaching? How should I budget my time?

Working With Struggling Students - Center for Teaching & Learning

Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Room 305 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

In this workshop we will address approaches to identifying and helping students who are struggling to understand course material. We will discuss how to use different classroom settings to clarify topics that many students may be struggling with and how to effectively (and efficiently) make use of one-on-one or one-on-few office hours to work with struggling students. In this discussion-based workshop we will also focus on teaching introductory or required quantitative courses, and how to engage students who lack background, interest or confidence in the material.

Working With Students in Office Hours - Center for Teaching & Learning

Monday, October 17, 2016, 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Room 305 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

Office hours are an opportunity to help students directly and individually. This presents some of the same issues as teaching well in the classroom, but it also asks more of us as teachers: To communicate with students one-on-one, to assess an individual student’s needs in greater depth and detail, and to decide how best to respond. In this workshop, we will explore the issues that arise in helping students during office hours, and we will discuss how we can meet them to make office hours support our classes and their learning. We will discuss how, during office hours, we can help students become more independent, confident and self-motivated learners. We will also discuss logistical matters like the scheduling and location of office hours.

Motivating Your Students to Do the Reading (And Do It Well) - Center for Teaching & Learning

Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 04:30 PM - 06:00 PM
Room 305 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

Why don’t many students read assigned texts for their courses? And, if they do read, why don’t many students remember or understand what they read? This workshop will address these common concerns by exploring how instructors can frame readings and facilitate discussions so as to motivate students to read well. We will also address some ways that instructors can lead students to learn and practice good reading skills, how instructors can make explicit their expectations about what they want students to gain from assigned readings, and how to match reading and teaching strategies to different texts and disciplines.

Writing Test Questions in STEM Classes - Center for Teaching & Learning

Thursday, October 20, 2016, 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
Room 305 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

This workshop will offer graduate students from STEM fields an opportunity to discuss and design a wide variety of test questions. Students will have the opportunity to critique provided questions, create their own questions, and learn the most up-to-date theories regarding test question design. This workshop will focus on how to make sure that you use test questions in the most effective and efficient ways possible. Students are encouraged to email test questions that they have been working on or are interested in discussing to Rebecca Rivard at rrivard@mail.med.upenn.edu at least 2 days before the workshop.

Fostering Student Participation - Center for Teaching & Learning

Monday, October 24, 2016, 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Room 305 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

This workshop will focus on developing strategies to promote student participation in the larger context of our pedagogical goals. What kind of questions and exercises might we engage our students in? What other modes of participation, in addition to sharing individual ideas in class, might we encourage and help them to cultivate? We will spend some time reflecting on how moments of silence in class could be harnessed towards productive learning and how we, as instructors, can try to create an environment amenable to different participatory practices.

Identities in the Classroom: Yours and Your Students' - Center for Teaching & Learning

Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 04:30 PM - 06:00 PM
Conference Room (2nd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

Each one of us brings our own individual lens to the classroom and our individual narratives contribute to the make-up of the classroom. This workshop aims to address how individual identities play a part in the classroom dynamic. We will explore our own identities and discuss strategies to tap into students’ identities and ways in which this knowledge may facilitate classroom interactions.

Teaching Students to Identify & Construct Arguments - Center for Teaching & Learning

Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Room 305 (3rd Fl), Grad Center, 3615 Locust Walk

The ability to identify and construct strong arguments are two skills that are at the core of critical thinking. Learning to read for authors’ arguments, and to conceive and enact arguments of their own, are useful tools that will accompany and serve students long after graduation, whether they decide to pursue an academic career or follow a different path. This workshop will offer a few ways to engage with the students and allow them to discover and develop these skills by trial and error, and sheer practice.

Common Room Hours

Monday-Thursday: 9AM-8PM Friday: 9AM-6PM Weekends: 12 NOON-6PM

Graduate Student Center

3615 Locust Walk
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia PA 19104-6221
215-746-6868
center@gsc.upenn.edu