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January 23, 2018 – Winter NH Consortium Workshop

In true New England style we had to pay close attention to the weather before the second NH Consortium Workshop of the 2017-2018 school year.   We woke up to school closings and delays but decided to forge ahead. Most of the consortium members cleaned off their cars and drove through the snow and ice to the UNH Law School in Concord. The day started two hours later than scheduled, but we still managed to fit in a full day of activities.  

Mike Schwartz and Sarah Galligher collaborating with Consortium members.

The morning kicked off with the participants delving into the pedagogical merits of Reciprocal Teaching. Reciprocal Teaching refers to an instructional activity in which students become the teacher in small group reading sessions.  Teachers model, then help students learn to guide group discussions using four strategies: summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting. RT is a method that can be used at any school age in almost any subject. This instructional activity can be gradually released to increase student metacognition. Consortium Members were introduced to this method and then in groups were able to try it! Each member was responsible for one of the four strategies. Robust conversation occurred after the practice of Reciprocal Teaching. Consortium Members brainstormed how they could incorporate Reciprocal Teaching into their own classrooms, possible pitfalls/challenges for students, and of course questions around this teaching method. Consortium Members ended the morning feeling energized with something very tangible to bring back to students.


From there we moved on to Data Driven Dialogue session that is included in all of our workshops.  Teams looked at their own data following the Data Driven Dialogue protocol. 

Ann Mordeci, feeling great after leading educators through a Data Dive.

The plan was for teams to complete the four phases of the protocol and develop an action plan to reach the SMART goal that was created after Phase 4 of the protocol.  Even though the session was shortened by 15 minutes due to the weather, most teams were able to create the beginning steps of an action plan.

Karen Matso, assisting educators on their learnings.

After a short lunch, complete with homemade sweets, we broke into the two afternoon workshops, project-based learning with Brad Belin and Developing Performance Assessments with Carisa Corrow.

Participants meeting with Carisa were together for the second of three sessions.  After an opening introduction, we broke into smaller groups to follow a protocol developed by the Center for Collaborative Education.  We followed the protocol as we reviewed Performance Assessments developed by educators in the group.   The process led to meaningful feedback for participants that had created Performance assessments at the 1st workshop in October.

Andrea Castano, 4th grade teacher from Sandown Elementary School.

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Brad Belin offered a great discussion about Project Based Learning and helping develop PBL instruction that is student centered.   Participants were introduced to valuable resources that can be leveraged for student centered PBL, back in their schools/districts.  Groups had a good deal of activity time to define an interdisciplinary PBL project proposal, reflect on their work to identify strengths and weaknesses, to refine their proposal and to make sure the plans incorporate competency performance tasks.  The teams shared and gained feedback across the larger group of participants. 

Atkinson teachers working with DS president, Mike Schwartz.



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