Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Felicita and Reidy Creek Schools - Day 1

Kia Ora from a chilly and wet San Diego:-)

An early morning start with lots of laughs just over ordering breakfast!  Same language, but so many  differences.  After a day visiting two schools and some time at Escondido Union School District, my head is spinning and I am feeling like I need to get 'words' written down before day 2 begins and I forget it all.

Our first stop was Felicita School (@FelicitiaSchool) (named after the local Indian Chiefs daughter) where we were warmly welcomed by Scott and Krystle (@krystlemmiller) including Starbucks Coffee in a 'box'.  We visited 6 classrooms and were lucky enough to observe professional development in action with a group of 4th grade teachers focusing on integrating technology and narrative writing.  Each grade level gets 3 professional learning days per year.

Next stop was Reidy Creek School where we visited 5 classes with amazing teachers who are part of the iRead project.

So what did I notice most today?

  • incredibly passionate teachers
  • self-directed students
  • Articulate students who could explain their learning 
  • HUGE funding from District level
  • Extensive use of iPod touches
  • Examples of 'flipping the classroom' in various kinds of ways
  • Teachers in 'coach' role within class environment
  • QR codes used in a variety of ways throughout the curriculum, particularly literacy
  • Only FREE apps used by this District
  • Daily 5 being extensively in classrooms
  • Engaged students
Dr Walters (Superintendent for this District) talked passionately about creating a 'safe environment' for her teachers with ongoing support. An extract from their District Strategic Plan states..

'Infuse innovation into teaching and learning.  Emphasis will be on 21st century learning environments to include technology and project-based learning, resulting in greater student engagement.'

'Ensure all students have equal access to a personalised, balanced, and challenging curriculum to meet individual students' academic, creative, social and physical demands.

The day finished with meeting teachers from both schools at 'Stone Brewery' where we enjoyed discussions in an incredible environment.

One 'interesting' of the day - we discovered that the BeL Facilitator equivalent in the USA is called 'A Teacher on Special Assignment':-)  We have decided we like this terminology and may try it on for size!

Trouble with wifi tonight - will add photos, hook ups and websites ASAP.

Twitter Hook Ups 

Websites to explore further


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