Today as I attend Edcamp, I'll be thinking about the ways in which I can build program strength in the days to come. I will place my attention on the following efforts:
Creating the Classroom STEAM Lab
All the program updates and changes in the last many years have created yet another need to update the classroom. I recently wrote a grant to access the kinds of furniture and materials that will make a better collaborative learning space. That furniture and storage equipment would help a lot. There's also a need to re-sort and organize the materials in ways that are easily accessible to students and teachers. That will require more storage units--units I'll invest in as having good organization will make the program more student friendly. I also need containers to collect cardboard tubes, plastic bottles, lids, and good glasses jars to support our study to. Students LOVE science study and that is a good motivator for this effort.
Get Rid of Outdated Books and Materials
Program change also means that many materials in the room are now outdated, and its time to get rid of that.
Problem/Project Based Learning
I want to move towards more meaningful and beneficial project/problem based learning (PBL), learning that I can evaluate and learning that leads to the development of confidence, concept, skill, and knowledge. We have a number of project/problem based efforts in the program, but I think I can work to strengthen and deepen many of those PBL efforts.
This week we hosted a terrific Young Audiences Benjamin Franklin presentation--it was terrific and served as a reference for future learning in all areas of the curriculum. We also attended In the Heights, a natural history tour with a Mayan culture focus, a Museum of Science exploration, and a space adventure at the McAuliffe Challenger Center. The Discovery Museum matter expert visited our school to present a hands-on states of matter presentation and our PTO has presented many cultural enrichment programs. Later in the year we will explore a local nature preserve, raise spade foot toads, and host visiting experts and mentors to lead our global change makers project. I want to work with colleagues to continue to develop the program so that it is memorable, inspiring, and enriching.
To do this work in the next few years requires that I continue to push my efforts in rather than out--I'm looking at the details as to how to improve what I can do as part of a dynamic grade level team to teach children well. At edcamp today I'll do a lot of listening as I hear colleagues from near and far discuss their extraordinary teaching/learning efforts as well their wonderful questions and interests in developing teaching/learning to well support children, their families, our communities and country.