Dan Heath: How to Find Bright Spots
Last week, we held two professional learning days focused on having our K4 teachers rethink instruction. As we continue to revolutionize learning for students, we are focused on finding and identifying “bright spots” that will move us closer to this goal. Once identified, we are beginning to invite teachers to share the incredible work they are doing with their colleagues in hopes that we will grow these “bright spots” across our organization. These Teacher Spotlights also validate and recognize teachers for their work. I’d like to shine the spotlight on the following incredible teachers and thank them for sharing their experiences and successes with other teachers in our district.
Digital Storytelling Using Educreations
Barbara Lichenstein & Krysta Accola
First grade teachers shared how they used Educreations to rethink the "Gingerbread Unit." Each student wrote their own version of the story, created a storyboard and created a digital recording of their story. Final products were emailed to parents.
Design Thinking: Prototyping - Carrie Middleton
A first grade teacher shared an update to the Gingerbread Unit using design thinking. Students built prototypes of traps to capture the gingerbread man. Great introduction to design thinking and incredibly engaged hands-on learning!
Pre-Assessing for Math Using OnlineTools -
Courtney Andersen, Laura Cargile & Kelly McLean
Teachers shared how they pre-assess prior to every unit of math instruction and use the information to create small groups for instruction and/or compact the curriculum for students who have already grasped the concept. Great way to help meet individualize needs of all students in math.
Incorporating Writing & Buddies in Math - Linda Figone
A fourth grade teacher shared many learnings from SVMI and work using AIMs activities in math with buddies. The examples shared were great extension learning opportunities that were not taken right out of a textbook and planned based on student need.
Skype in the Classroom: Bringing Experts to Students
Lily Alberts & Melissa Dowling
Two teachers shared their experiences using Skype to connect students to experts in both science and social studies. They talked about the set-up required prior to the Skype call, the jobs of students during the call (interviewer, blogger, photographer, etc) and how it enriched the learning experience for all students. My guess is that the interviewee learned a thing or two as well.
The results from each of the instructional practices and projects shared were amazing. The best part was hearing the teachers talk about how successful, engaged and excited every student was during their particular project! Here’s to finding more “bright spots” in LASD!
Alyssa Gallagher, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction