Monday, July 31, 2006

So Much Input

Brain so full! Ideas everywhere!
The first day back was a full one. I gave Steve a hard time at the end of the day for saying we should include more during our initial planning meeting for today. Thank goodness we didn't.

Having never had any experience with MCREL, I found Wendy's information interesting. What struck me the most when she was talking about cooperative learning was the practices MCREL encourages are also the practices encouraged by Kagan. I saw quite a bit of overlap. In fact, Kagan makes a point of describing the difference between Kagan Cooperative Learning and generic Cooperative Learning. One example would be the formation of heterogenous groups. Kagan has it down to nearly precise science. It will be interesting to monitor further similarities as Wendy continues to help us understand MCREL.

Sue's presentation was full of useful information as well. I was particularly interested to hear the statistical data she brought to our attention on the role socio-economic status has on reading development. That knowledge will be helpful in continuing to develop an understanding of where our students are coming from.

As always, her strategies for vocabulary education were invaluable. I wish we had more time! I'm glad she'll have an opportunity to educate the entire staff on reading across the content areas this year.

I'm pleased with how the Lesson Tuning Protocol was received. Though the time crunch threw quite a wrench in the works, it was evident that some good work was going on. The key will be to schedule the protocol at fixed times throughout the year. Such good discussion. From the beginning of my career, I've missed the structured collegial interaction provided by interactions like these. Sue just made the comment that she recognized the tool as being helpful both pre and post. She said it took going through the process to see its value. That's exactly what I was saying to people as I was finishing up the plan last night.

I have a good feeling about the coming year. So much to be done. Such talented people to do it.
More later.

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