Teaching and learning has truly been redefined in South Berwyn School District 100. After participating in the Apple Education Recognition Program Showcase, I was exhausted, but beaming with pride.
|Day 1 at Apple Inc. Panelists: Amy Warke from Flossmoor 161, Shannon Soger from South Berwyn 100, Carolyn Skibba from Burley Elementary, and Susan Sullivan from Sacred Heart School.|
Within 2 hours of reaching out to our District Administrators, Principal +Mary Havis and Principal +Marilyn McManus responded that their buildings would be "happy to host" the site visitors. iCoaches +Ramona Towner and +Todd Bittorf took the lead on helping the buildings prepare for the site visit. Assistant Principal Joe Collins and teachers Claire Martin, Kristin Kennedy, Alex Von Ebers and Amanda Zanchelli welcomed site visitors from Decatur #61, Freemont #79, Gurnee #56 and Single Path Technologies with a presentation. They collaborated using Google Presentation, spoke about Irving's demographics, their journey, and what the 5 best practices look like at their building. (Thank you +Michelle Thorne for the idea!)
|Apple Education Recognition Presentation at Irving|
|Apple Distinguished Program Presentation at Pershing|
Throughout the Irving and Pershing site visits we saw students working in independent centers while the teacher was giving guided instruction to a small group. Classrooms were completely differentiated; the teacher was a facilitator in the classroom. Students were using SMART Notebook for listening and recording vocabulary, Photo Booth for story telling "pre-write", Kid Blog for reading reflections and summaries, augmentative sites like IXL, Xtra Math, and Mathletics for skill and drill, QR codes for immediate feedback, Aurasma to show American Revolution iMovies, and student created CCSS Google Sites to name a few.
In South Berwyn, we are focused on teaching "above the line," and moving lessons up the SAMR ladder. It's important to note that it's not just about the tool students were using, it is about the learning objective. (Thanks +R.J. Gravel & TPACK!) The 3rd grade students were simply creating a Google Site, the objective was to teach next year's 3rd grade class about a specific CCSS. They had to include examples, explanations, etc.
When I walked into Annie Cantafio's (@3c_pershing) 3rd grade classroom, she explained that her students were having "Passion Period." Passion Period is Annie's version of Passion Time because they don't have a full hour to commit to the projects. Annie learned about Passion Times from 2nd grade teacher Jonathan Palles (@JonathanPalles) who did an Ignite Session on Passion Time at our January iLearn Institute Day. Passion Period gives her students choice, choice in what they are learning and in what they are creating for an end piece.
Compelling Evidence of Success
I had the pleasure of meeting Instructional Technology Coach +Christine Edwards from Decatur on 9/27/13 at our first site first this school year. We immediately connected on Twitter (@techiechrissie) and have been utilizing our PLN to learn from each other. The fabulous +Molly Miller (also Decatur Instructional Coach) and 6 others drove 3.5 hours to visit South Berwyn for a second time. They wanted more of their teachers to be able to attend the site visit without actually driving, so they brought along @Panganibot, the school's robot. The robot (being controlled from Chrissy in Decatur) traveled to 3 classrooms at Irving, spoke to students, and brought the site visit experience to those who couldn't make the trip (or get a sub!).
|@Panganibot reading the Dry Erase board in 5M at Irving!|