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I just attended three days of training. The workshop was developed in house, with teachers from the district sharing thier knowledge. The book Teaching for Tomorrow provided the framework. There were many terrific things about this workshop.
- We received the book before we left for the summer at the end of school. That way I was able to read it at my own pace.
- It was during thee summer and our follow ups will be during district development days. I hate missing days to attend training. I have 180 days with my kids, I want to spend that time teaching. Saturday workshops tend to make for a cranky two weeks, because of a lack of recharge time. After school that goes past 4 pm result in a lack of sleep due to driving time and need to eat.
- I left each day with multiple ideas that I can use in my classroom. I will be blogging on Rhodes in coming days.
- This was targeted to our teachers and our students. We had people from the main office running the workshop, and people still spoke their minds.
- We are no longer required to follow the script format of our math program. It will still provide the framework and order of topics, but individual teachers will be able to customize and personalize according to our student needs. We will also be able to use project based instruction now that we are free of the script.
Looking forward to the next school year.
I have changed my lesson plans for tomorrow to include http://www.wallwisher.com/ that Kelly Hines spotlighted in her Little Kids, Big Possibilities presentation at the K-12 Online Conference. We are studying matter and the states of matter in science. I am going to divide the kids into groups of three and give each group a computer. I have 4 laptops and 3 desktops. I will appoint a computer driver for each one and that child will input the information. For my students doing this with a random draw works best because they feel it is fair. Once a student’s name is drawn it can’t go back in the draw until all students have a turn.
First I will challenge them to reflect over the hands on activities we completed last week, and write up their observations on the sticky notes. Next we will organize that information into a tree graph. Then students will be reorganized into hands on groups with our computer people evenly distributed. Over the week the students will complete different activities and answer research questions about states of matter. They will post their findings to the wall adding to the tree map.
I am worried as my class racks up hits on the site, it might come to the attention of networking and be blocked just based on traffic. I have an e-mail started and saved that shows how wall wisher meets our educational goals. I will add screen shots of the process to make my argument stronger.
Wall Wisher can make two methodologies our staff development department advocates much easier to use in a classroom. The first is thinking maps. The whole class can create an online thinking map using the post it notes. Since thinking maps are the main graphic organizers we use this is important. Another technique our staff development department wants us to use jigsaw. Well Wisher can make jigsawing much easier. Each group can post their information to Wall Wisher, and the whole group can organize it into a thinking map.