Teachers Support Differentiated Learning Through Professional Development and Collaboration

>>Sometimes, y’all when we’re
researching we find out things that we think we knew already
might not be exactly true. Is that okay? Yes.>>Narrator: The teaching team at
Forrest Lake is a tight knit group. Many of them have worked together
for several years collaborating to improve their teaching
skills and supporting each other as they embrace rapidly
evolving technology.>>All right, we need
to look at home life.>>How they travel in transportation. Transportation.>>Narrator: Every other
week grade-level teams meet in what they call “Collaborative
Corner” to discuss challenges and plan interdisciplinary
lessons together. With the support of
Instructional Technology Specialist, Paulette Williams.>>Because we have plenty
of resources on everything.>>Narrator: Media specialist,
Lizzie Padget.>>Do you like having the
taste of the countries with everybody in a different room?>>Narrator: And Curriculum
Coordinator, Marian Scullion.>>The student will
demonstrate an understanding of other settings across the world. So if we journey through
other places of the world.>>We’ve used a number of
different models over the years for staff development and training. At this point in our process we use
a collaborative meeting every other week and that is a very
honored treasured time. You don’t miss your collaborative. Professionally speaking,
everyone expects you to be there and it’s a meeting that you don’t
want to miss because it’s a meeting where you kind of massage your
unit plan to be better and better.>>We can take an inventory of things
that they want to specifically learn about that country and
not necessarily narrow it.>>We’re doing graphing in math. So that will be a great
way to tie in.>>Lizzie: The collaborative
process allows us to spread the wealth and team teach. Teachers come down to
Collaborative Corner. We feed them. You know, that’s a very
important part of it. We get, we soften them up a
little bit with some chocolate and but we just give them a time to talk
first and then we take the standards that they are teaching and
we put together what kind of project is going
to be a part of that? What’s going to be your
pre-assessment piece? What strategies are you using
to get the objectives across?>>At first place in a light, was this
experiencing a day in the life of?>>We’re not asking them to
do all this by themselves. We’re saying what part can I play? What can I do to make this
work smoothly for you?>>Narrator: Principal Kappy Cannon
drops in on classes frequently to make observations she later
shares with the teachers.>>Kappy: We have created
our own walk-through form which is an observation, it’s not
an evaluation, and we call that our “failure is not an option” form. What we did was we tried to think of
all the things that we have worked on in the past few years. Maybe we’ve gone to a workshop,
it might be professional reading that we have done,
conversations, staff development, collectively put it all together
to make sure that bottom line that we’re doing what
we say that we’re doing and to stay focused
and to stay on track.>>And you like spending
that time with him?>>We also have times during the years
where all of the teachers will go in each other’s classroom. And again it’s a nonthreatening
type of process and you can get just that one snapshot of going
in someone else’s room and seeing how they have taken
some of the same information that you have been given and
they’re using it in a different way.>>Let me give you a
round of applause.>>I’ve started giving a lot of online
and computerized testing and I wanted to know how would I
show those grades.>>Narrator: Teachers who
are new to the profession or the school are well supported. Once a month they gather in the
media center with teacher leaders to discuss their successes
and their concerns.>>Coke and Conversation gives
us a springboard for discussion about maybe things related
to reading, things related to technology, things related
to behavior management.>>Maybe we want to discuss some tips
for how to motivate those children that are not quite where they,
we’d like them to be for that.>>And it’s not a scary time for them because all these other people are
new as well so it’s just a safe haven for new people, newbies, to have
this time to brainstorm together.>>Katie and I were
looking at Google Lit Trips and it’s a really neat tool
for you to pick a book.>>Narrator: At a monthly staff
meeting teachers share their latest tech discoveries with
their colleagues.>>And each one is really convenient
because it gives you an overview of the book itself right here.>>I think that’s one thing that
makes this school special is the collaborative spirit. It’s a part of everything that we do. And we like each other, you know?>>Have a great afternoon. Thank you.

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