Teaching and Learning Summer Work

Summer may be here, but, members of the USD 475 Teaching and Learning Department are still in full swing. During the first weeks of summer, teachers in both elementary and secondary met to plan for the next year’s goals and lesson plans. The Teaching and Learning Department at the Mary E. Devin Center coordinate the professional development and summer work for the teachers at the Professional Learning Center.

Among the topics of discussion for summer work this year was secondary Algebra. High school teachers came together for team building ice breakers and collaboration to discuss new techniques to keep teenagers engaged in the rigorous curriculum. Algebra tiles were used in one of the ice breakers.

“The teachers were asked to find different ways to manipulate the tiles as a concrete model to solve equations and combine like terms before moving to the abstract.” – Pam Dombrowski, Secondary Mathematics Specialist

Teachers from all schools in the district also had an opportunity to attend professional development classes offered by the district’s ETC (Expanding Technology in the Classroom) Team. One session, in particular, focused on “Cool Tools” that can be used to integrate technology into the classroom. This event showcased over 60+ tools for teachers interested in expanding their “tech toolbox.” The class was co-taught by USD 475 K-12 Instructional Technologist, Tyler Manwarren and Fort Riley Middle School Instructional Technologist, Megan Klozenbucher.

Teachers that participated in the Social Studies summer work were tasked with combining two subjects. They intertwined the English Language Arts curriculum into their Social Studies lessons. Both the ELA standards and the Social Studies standards have to be met during the Social Studies instructional period.

Summer work includes English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Computational Math Science & Technology among others for secondary education. Elementary work includes training on the new science program FOSS which is mentioned in a connectED article regarding preparing for new science curriculum. This summer, teachers are hard at work planning for the next school year’s lessons; to ensure that all standards are met in a way that engages the students.


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