Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Professional Development Grant

Engineering is Elementary

I need to attend the EiE Teacher Educator Institute. It will help me develop a deeper understanding and pedagogy of the EiE curriculum and gain foundational knowledge of STEM and the engineering design process.

My Students

We are one of the largest campuses in our district, which provides unique challenges in meeting the specific needs of all students.
Additionally, we are a full Title I campus with a vibrant bilingual program.
With 60% of our population on Free and Reduced lunch, we are faced with obstacles that require us to advocate passionately for our students. Many of our students have gaps in learning and background experiences which translate into a significant disadvantage when it comes to academic performance and eventually can lead to higher drop-out rates.
We aspire to level the playing field for all of our students. Global trends are heading toward the areas of math, science and engineering, but our students are less and less likely to pursue these subjects after elementary school. We want to give them opportunities that they never thought possible.

My Project

I am requesting funding to attend the EiE Teacher Educator Institute at the Museum of Science in Boston. These workshops are hands-on and learner driven. From attending, I will develop a deeper understanding of the pedagogy and structure of the EiE curriculum, and I'll take away a large collection of valuable resources to help me facilitate my own EiE workshops for my campus.
The EiE curriculum has been proven effective for improving student learning of science concepts required to understand the problems and processes of engineering.
This Institute will allow me to gain foundational knowledge of technology, engineering, and the engineering design process.
The Teacher Educator Institute will prepare me to facilitate immersive, active EiE workshops for teachers both on my campus and in my district.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Benefits of project- and problem-based learning

In both project- and problem-based learning (PBL), students are pulled through the curriculum by a meaningful question to explore, an engaging real-world problem to solve, or a challenge to design or create something. Before they can accomplish this, students need to inquire into the topic by asking questions and developing their own answers. To demonstrate what they learn, students create high-quality products and present their work to other people. Students often do project work collaboratively in small teams, guided by the teacher.
  • Length of the project can vary.
  • Typical phases include a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Projects can take many forms.
A well-designed and well-implemented project helps students see how school connects to the outside world.
Project- and problem-based learning enable teachers to work more closely with students, acting like a coach instead of the deliverer of knowledge. Teachers are the project managers and are responsible for teaching the content knowledge and skills that students need. Teachers provide structured lessons, facilitate the inquiry process, and guide students through the process of creating products. Doing PBL doesn’t mean giving students free reign to do and learn what they want.
Project- and problem-based learning are student-centered. It’s a fundamental shift from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning. The process aims to use the power of authentic problem solving to engage students and enhance their learning and motivation. Typically, these learning styles conclude with the development of a project or artifact of some kind and results in possible solutions to problems presented.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Christie Teacher Olympics 2016

Who doesn't love the Olympics? The world's best and finest on display for all of the world to see? Well, we believe we have some of the best and finest teachers around, so we wanted to give them a chance to show off their teaching abilities in a super competitive team sport way. What better way than TEACHER OLYMPICS? So during the week before school started we created a variety of events that teams of teachers would compete in. Those events included: Synchronized stapling, Sharpened pencil relays, Carpool karaoke, and finally a relay where teams had to collate a packet, color a page, cut out a design and finally unscramble letters for a bulletin board. Here are the slides to the events.
 Teacher Olympics

So here's what we learned: 
  1. Teachers are super competitive. Even when sharpening pencils.
  2. We needed team building activities to bring us together as a staff.
  3. Administrators lead by example. Our principal was in there, stapling, karaoking and collating packets with the rest of them. It really set the tone.
  4. Work hard. Play hard. 
  5. Our teachers are olympians in their own right!
So here are some of the events:

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Thursday, March 10, 2016

From Unicorn Hair Do-er to Police Officer

 My 4 year old daughter who lives and breathes princesses, rainbows and unicorns had money to spend on a toy today. This is the same little girl seen here describing what she wants to be when she grows up...
So you can only imagine my shock, surprise, and joy when she told me today that she wanted to be just like Judy Hopps and be a police officer when she grew up. She wanted police stuff so she could dress up and catch "bandits" as she called them. So I did what any other elated parent that now had a child with an actual real life goal does- I took her to the toy store. Today was going to be the day my little fairy princess graduated from simply wanting to be a unicorn hair-do-er to a police officer! Yet, things took an unexpected and horrible turn for the worst as we went down aisle after aisle. Now remember, we were looking for police costume things, things that now I know do not exist on the girls side as my 4 year old called it. Aisle after aisle was clearly labeled for this little one who doesn't read. "This is the girl barbie aisle. This is the baby toy aisle. This is the girl cooking aisle. This is the girl jewelry making aisle. That is the boy star wars aisle. That is the boy nerf gun aisle. Oh mom look! They have pink girl nerf darts!" It went on and on. The movie we just watched, "Zootopia", figures and stuffed animals were on a "boy" aisle next to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Sponge Bob stuff. We finally found the police officer stuff. My daughter stood there gazing at the costume complete with badge, hand cuffs, and walkie talkie, but I immediately knew we wouldn't be getting that costume today. Nope. It was wedged between the ninja costume and various swords and weapons. Every picture was that of a boy wearing the costumes. I watched as what was once excitement, quickly turned to disappointment. The toy store seemed to be telling my daughter that this stuff wasn't for her, it was for boys. As much as I tried to persuade her, the damage had been done. We walked out of the toy store that day with a barbie.
I know Target removed their labels for the aisles as being gender specific but more has to be done and others need to do the same. We have to be more proactive. Don't the #KidsDeserveIt?
I think this article has some great points. More needs to be done