Collaborative Team Teaching

Collaborative Team Teaching
Amy Choi and Pam Ambler presented a compelling and highly useful workshop for team teaching pairs on the first day of pre-planning. As the Upper School scales collaborative team teaching up from Humanities 9 to Humanities 10 and several new inter/multi-disciplinary courses this year, the models and tools they provided will be key to our success.

This workshop was the result of a grant that included elements of design thinking.

Resources:
Collaborative Team Teaching: Challenges and Rewards
Team Teaching: Advantages and Disadvantages
Team Teaching Benefits and Challenges

Project Based Learning Workshop

Project Based Learning WorkshopExternal Experts Jill Akers and Shayna Cooke from the World Leadership School lead the Upper School team in professional learning focused on the inquiry-based, teaching approach known as PBL or project based learning. The Upper School team learns how to lead a class discussion without a teacher “at the front.” Each person must speak at least once before the next prompt/question is posed. Someone at the board maps out the discussion to make sure each person speaks and that no one monopolizes the air-time. The teacher does not make eye contact and does not allow the students to engage him/her, but “snaps” when the text/article is referenced. What does assessment look like, feel like, sound like? What does it look like at the “end”?

Watching a clip from “The Karate Kid.” Mr. Miyagi is the ultimate teacher. His preferred strategy is not lecture, but hands on, real world engagement. Daniel doesn’t even realize he has been learning karate.


Any professional learning workshop is incomplete until Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy makes an appearance.  See Bloom’s question stems.

First Day

Firing up the blog. Though I’m not “new” to Mount Vernon, today was my first “official” day of work as the new Head of Upper School. It was productive on many fronts. Much remains to be done to prepare for new and returning faculty. There are several facilities improvements happening and though the bustle hasn’t fully started yet, there is a buzz of excitement in the atmosphere. Feeling well rested and ready for the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Songs from 1976

Today’s my birthday and I’ve enjoyed listening to some great music from 1976. That’s right, I’m 41. I hope you enjoy these songs as much as I do.

3 Tips to Take ePortfolios to the Next Level

If we expect ePortfolios to be effective tools for measuring learning…

If we expect ePortfolios to enhance (or replace) a single numerical grade on a report card as a means of monitoring progress…

…then we must continue to research, iterate, and implement them with students. Here are 3 tips to take ePortfolios to the next level of effectiveness.


1. Show Before and After

Advisors should help students design demos that show before and after. Compare two or more pieces of work over time. Don’t just upload a picture or write unbroken paragraphs of endless text. Tell a story that visibly shows growth and learning. And do so effectively,…

2. Use Media & Technology
Want an excuse to experiment with unexpected and creative forms of technology? Here you go. Text and slides are B-O-R-I-N-G! Get a drone and create a video. Use a 3-D printer or laser cutter. Learn how to create your own virtual reality content. Make your ePortfolio compelling so people will flock to discover what you’re learning. ePortfolios are meant to be shared. Don’t bore us.

3. Cross Disciplinary Lines
ePortfolio demos may be tied directly and explicitly to learning outcomes. Yet, that does not mean they must only be outcomes from one academic discipline or subject. Authentic, real-world learning occurs across disciplinary lines. Create demos that blur the lines and reflect reality.

Remember, “the real value of an ePortfolio is in the reflection and learning that is documented therein, not just the collection of work.” Utilizing these 3 tips will lead to extended reflection at each stage of the process through the student-led conference and beyond.