We met our visitors as they checked in and went immediately to Elisse Newey's class. Elisse's students were in the midst of completing a Social Studies documentary project and students were engaged in a variety of tasks that they were working on with their groups of 4 or 5. Some were working in Popplet, some in Evernote and some in iMovie. We had ample opportunities to visit with students as they worked and they were more than happy to answer any and all of our questions. They shared information about the app they were using and proudly showed off their work to anyone who stopped by their area of the classroom. Elisse moved through the room conferring with individual students along the way. It was a great way to kick off the day.
We went from Elisse's room to the Mustang Room for a 45 minute debriefing session. I was joined for this session by Kelly Van Meter, our Instructional Partner, Jodie Villemaire, Principal, and Lesley Ryan, Assistant Principal. We had a great discussion based not just on what we had just see, but on questions that our visitors brought to the table. Kelly spoke about the value of peer mentoring in building teacher leaders across a campus. We closed by overviewing this Thinglink that I put together showcasing teachers on our campus speaking about an app that they had implemented in their classroom.
Then we moved on to Drew Watson's room. In contrast to the group work that was happening in Elisse's room, Drew's students were working in a whole group on a Writer's Workshop lesson on poetry. Drew read the students a poem and then used Today's Meet to gather student's noticings. Drew had several students explain their noticings and then he modeled the writing of his own original poem about an orange. Next, students s were sent to their seats to compose their own poem about a pretzel. Drew took pictures of the strongest examples and put them on Instagram for parents to view.
The activities in these two classrooms complemented each other beautifully. As one of our visitors said, in spite of the differences in the structure of the classrooms, in each of them you could sense a climate of trust and respect.
Here are a few pictures form our day. Thanks so very much to Elisse and Drew for letting us into their classrooms and sharing their expertise with us.