Pineapple charts are an exciting form of teacher development sweeping the nation and incorporating professional learning into every day, not just at designated meeting times.
The pineapple, a symbol of hospitality, has a long history of cordiality. According to this article in Southern Living, pineapples were mentioned in 1493 when Christopher Columbus returned to Europe from his second voyage to the Caribbean region. The Royals were taken with the exotic fruit. Eventually, it made its way to the colonies where it was considered a symbol of the hospitality of gracious living.
In the modern-day world, the pineapple has remained a symbol of welcoming others. It can be seen gracing hotel lobbies, welcome mats at the front door of homes, on door hangings and flags in towns or even as a part of the design on some buildings. It’s a symbol that lets others know they are welcome; a symbol that says, “Come on in.”
In schools, the pineapple chart is a simple visual way for teachers to invite others into their classroom to observe. Invites could be for a new teaching tool being tried, a specific lesson on a subject of interest, a lab experiment, a civics discussion or an ordinary class where the teacher is reading a story of interest to others.
A simple pineapple chart is made up of six rows across the top: a space for each day and one for the pineapple. Along the side are the numbers for the assigned times of class or class periods.
|1||Smith: Temperature & soap bubbles|
Discussion on The Hunger Games
Teachers post items on the chart they think would be of interest to other staff members. The posting says the door is open so come sit in on this class. There are no forms to fill out, no reservations to make, no formal decrees. This is merely the opportunity to observe another teacher doing what teachers do best–teach.
Teachers observe each other’s classes for a variety of reasons. They might want to learn more about how the Electoral College works so observing a civics class when that is being taught could be a great value. Another teacher might want to incorporate an art project into a literature lesson so he or she may observe an art teacher’s demonstration. The list is varied and endless.
All it takes to get the project going is someone to create the pineapple chart, and then enlist other faculty to participate. The chart can be made from a poster board, white board or something similar. It should be large enough to invite attention and posted in an area where teachers congregate, such as a faculty lounge or lunchroom.
Research shows teacher peer observation is an effective tool for teacher development. Pineapple charts allow teacher development into the day-to-day school environment in an easy and rewarding way for all teachers to share and grow and, perhaps, learn something new.
Are you using pineapple charts in your classroom? Let us know below!