Thursday, June 14, 2012

Curriculum Camp 2012: Ideas to Engage, Enrich and Inspire

     This year marked Evangel's fourth annual Curriculum Camp!  The three day, fun filled event was packed again this summer, as participants learned more about teaching on block schedule, using qr codes to enrich lessons, flipping the classroom, and professional development opportunities accessible from home.
On Day 1, Cathy Carroll introduced a quote by John Strebe, "Teaching in a block schedule is like eternity, and eternity is spent in one of two places."  According to Cathy, planning will make all of the difference.  She was supposed to share a wealth of ideas for teaching English on block.  What we quickly realized however, was that this mAstEr TeaCHeR was sharing GreEAt teaching StraTeGies that would work in AnY SuBjeCt.  Her practical tips included having students record notes on butcher paper posted around the room, allowing students to write on the board, giving students graphic organizers to complete during direct instruction, whiteboard races, red ticket review, exit slips, pipe cleaner structures, old timey show and tell (students bring something from home related to content being studied), incorporating music in the classroom (maybe have the students select songs that relate to content), work one - check one (pairs of students are assigned two problems each works JUST one and checks the other), and voting with your feet (students stand by a poster with a number 1 - 3 that reflects how much they agree or disagree with the topic being discussed).  This veteran teacher of 37 years encouraged us to inspire students to become lifelong learners by making the content relevant to their lives.  She said, "If you show the kids how the subject relates to them, THEN they will learn it."
     Kim Caise was booked to discuss QR Codes in the classroom.  Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties we were unable to connect to Kim live, but we were able to link to a previously recorded Classroom 2.0 Live session.  With phones loaded with QR readers like I-Nigma and BeeTag, we followed along as we saw QR codes placed in textbooks, on artwork, in libraries, and more! The webinar made such an impression that everyone continued to discuss the use of these quick read codes for the duration of the camp.
Image and More Info
     On Day 2, our own Kathleen Frey introduced the idea of flipping the classroom.  In a flipped class, a teacher leverages technology outside of class in order to maximize class time for student interaction, discussions, and projects. This idea caused quite a stir as camp attendees contemplated the possibilities.
     Paula Naugle joined us via Skype to present PD in Your PJs.  She shared a wealth of free resources in which participants can use learn about anything at almost anytime.  Some of Paula's favorites include webinars, YouTube channels, podcasts, Twitter, Diigo, and Pinterest.  From #edchats to Saturday morning educational programming, resources are readily available to continue to grow professionally.
The PoWEr of CoLLaBorAtion :)
     On Day 3, Charity Moran of Baton Rouge led us through Standards Based Planning for Block.  Charity modeled great teaching on the block during the 90 minute presentation in which she shared a unit planning web, lesson planning graphic organizer, lesson planning menu (my favorite!), an activity scaffolding template, and a sample for planning for science differentiation.  We practiced planning for the first day of school, the tenth day of the year, and sometime near midterm:

Oh, so many ideas packed into just three short mornings!  Thank you to all who presented and those who attended.  I don't know about you, but the collaboration and camaraderie left me feeling ENeRGizEd, ExciTed, and EaGeR for next year.  

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