I very much enjoyed yesterday’s workshop with elementary teachers planning their fall demonstration lessons. The importance of this work seems to resonate through so many of the voices I’ve been hearing lately, whether in Jill Lepore’s writing on the Tea Party, the lessons of the Virginia’s textbook debacle (both of which I wrote about earlier this week), or Melissa Manon’s assertion that
Learning to use history to think critically makes history interesting, shows students (including life-long learners) that history is worth learning, and encourages us to value our past and find use for it in the present.
This is the kind of professional development that I hear called for repeatedly – collaborative, content rich, and collegial. Most importantly, it’s focus lies on the classroom and student learning.
We began the day with Rich Christen reminding teachers where we’ve been thus far.
Next, I took teachers through a review of the Lesson Study Cycle and a criteria based review of student work samples they brought to the session.
Teachers then brainstormed a list of attributes of a “good” demonstration lesson. From their list, we modified a sheet that we’ll use as part of our debriefing sessions to guide reflection and gather project data.
Teachers spent the rest of the day planning their lessons. I’ll be spending a big part of November in the schools as a part of this process. We’ll use this protocol each time.
It will be a great month, full of learning!