Welcome to our Second Annual Martin J. Gottlieb Day School EdCamp!
You can review what an “EdCamp” is and relive last year’s “Live Blog of MJGDS EdCamp” if you would like extra context…
…when we entered the Library today:
9:00 Blank Board
9:30 EdCamp is Ready!
The conversation is centered around our Learning Target’s domain of “Task” and defining what “authentic task” really is and how it looks in our classrooms. There is consensus that this is amongst the most significant challenges of our target. Some subjects may lend themselves to greater authenticity than others, but it is a challenge all teachers of all subjects of all grades have. For example, our Middle School Mitzvah Trips – each Friday our Middle School students go out into the community to do social action in lieu of their Jewish Studies block – provide authentic opportunities to put what they learn academically in Jewish Studies into practice in an authentic, real-world way.
What about 1st Grade Math?
What about 5th Grade Social Studies?
I hate to leave the convesation, but I am anxious to see what is going in the other sessions!
One of our Middle School Math Teachers shared examples of games that she has made – digital and hands-on – that work for her in the classroom. And after she shared her examples, teachers had an opportunity to make their own games for the classroom!
One great outtake – she shared her firsthand experience of growing a Professional Learning Network via Twitter thanks to her coach and is encouraging her colleagues to do the same. Hooray Instructional Coaching! Hooray Amplification!
Tiny Tap for General and Jewish Studies
This is being facilitated by our Jewish Studies Coordinator! What a wonderful example of 21st century learning not being bound to any part of the curriculum! Our Jewish Studies Faculty has come a long way and I am so proud that many of our EdCamp facilitators today are JS Faculty presenting to GS Faculty about how to incorporate 21st century learning pedagogy.
Our first round went by so fast! Time for a quick break and then it will be time to begin the second round…
Bringing Out the Best
Our Middle School Vice Principal is using our example of caring who our students are outside of school, to start a conversation about how to bring out the best in our students. The common denominator in well-behaved students? Parents who expect well-behaved children!
How can we build a true Community of Kindness when we only have control over what happens in school? How do we provide parent education to help increase healthy school-parent relationships?
One place to start? ALL teachers and staff have to share similar high expectations for student behavior and the school has to be willing apply adequate consequences and incentives for student behavior.
How do we do that when all our students share so many different teachers?
Our First Grade General Studies Teacher (an alumna of the school!) is sharing the concept of preparing students to better integrate public speaking skills and drama into Language Arts instruction. What I like about this conversation – besides the topic – is that the audience is made up our Assistant Teachers. Assistant Teachers in our school may not have lead teaching responsibilities, but they are qualified teachers who contribute so much to our ability to personalize learning.
Where does she get resources? From a blog she follows, by Skyping with other teachers…another example of using social media to develop a Professional Learning Network!
Who is teaching? Our 2nd/4th Grade Jewish Studies Teacher! Again, a Jewish Studies teacher sharing 21st century learning pedagogy with General Studies colleagues. They are sharing SMART Board games that they have made and other tricks and subtleties of using the SMART Board for instruction. Another great conversation!
Can the second round be ending already! Time flies when you are learning from your colleagues! One more rest break and on to the third and final round…
Not a direct follow-up to Session #4, but connected. What I like about this conversation is that it is being facilitated by one of our Assistant Teachers, who is an experienced teacher in her own right, but by sharing the perspective of an assistant, it will hopefully help us be consistent across subjects, between classes, in the lunchroom, on the playground, etc.
This conversation is trying to dig deeper into recognizing the source of children’s behavior it helps figure out how to correct it.
Teachers are expressing the need to see our school evolve into a more consistent program of behavior management. Building on a “Caught Being Kind” with real carrots…I think this session and this topic will have real legs post-EdCamp.
There was supposed to be a “Session #8″, but the beauty of an EdCamp is that people “vote with their feet”. And their feet have spoken! Only two teachers turned out for Session #8 and they decided to have the conversation during free time and joined one of the other two sessions…
Integrating Centers with the Daily 5
A very popular session because we have made the decision after piloting the Daily 5 for two years that we plan to adopt it as our Language Arts philosophy for the Lower School.
Our Grade 2 General Studies Teacher, who is one of the teachers who piloted the program, is leading the session. We have a range of teachers in the room, some who have been piloting it also, some who will be responsible for it soon.
One great outtake: We have Jewish Studies Teachers in the room. Why? Because they want to see if there are principles from the Daily 5 that might apply to Jewish Studies. No one prompted or suggested that to them…it comes from them. I love that about where our faculty culture has evolved to…
…can MJGDS EdCamp really be over for 2014?
Sadly, yes. But another great year, another great set of conversations, another great opportunity to learn from each other, and time will tell which conversations will lead to changes or improvements or initiatives for the school.
But experience teaches that it surely will!