A Project for Exchanging Creative Lessons & Ideas
An Innovative Practice
shared by Sandy Andrews
on the Middle School Chatboard - http://www.teachers.net/mentors/middle_school
When I was Director of Curriculum for a school district in PA I asked the superintendent if I could initiate a monthly meeting for teachers to focus on gifted education. It had to be cost effective, non-threatening, and I had to do it alone. I thought of all the ways that I could to improve the instruction in our 48 elementary schools and this is what I did.
I asked each principal to allow her most creative, energetic and enthusiastic teacher to be dismissed at 1:00 p.m. to come to the district building for a meeting that would last only until 3:00 p.m., the time at which most teachers were dismissing their students. (I did not want teachers to feel like it was a punishment.) I got some of our Eisenhower funds to pay for the substitute that each school would need. I had refreshments, door prizes, and an outstanding speaker every month. I made it so appealing that they wanted to come. Every meeting I asked the teachers to please bring a creative unit, lesson or project that they or someone from their school had done. They also had to bring 45 copies of it. Each teacher had 45 seconds to briefly describe to the group what the project was about, the appropriate grade level and any other pertinent information. Every teacher left with 44 different ideas to take back to his/her school to be duplicated for that faculty. I arranged to have each principal, at the next faculty meeting, allow this person 10 minutes to pass out the materials and share what had taken place at our meeting. The same teacher did not always come to my meetings. Sometimes it was a math teacher, science teacher, or language arts teacher. I always made sure that there were plenty of refreshments, door prizes that had something to do with the meeting's theme, and a speaker that really captured their attention. All publishers have free speakers on the local, state and national level. Universities are also a great resource and once you begin to look for speakers you will be surprised how many are in your community.
Browse through the latest posts on the Middle School Chatboard...