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TPS Faculty Participate in 2017 Summer Professional Development

BLOOMINGTON — A NUMBER OF FACULTY MEMBERS FROM THE PROJECT SCHOOL attended summer 2017 professional development trainings and experiences, in order to advance their expertise and role in the classroom.

School Leader, Catherine Diersing, shared about the benefit of professional development not only for the attending educators, but for the entire school community, as well. “What amazes me most about on-going systemic, focused professional development is the direct and immediate impact on curriculum, instruction, and the building of a stronger school culture. Because of the nature of collaboration at The Project School, all staff members have the opportunity to gain from the experiences that teachers engaged in. Whole-staff growth is measurable and can be seen both immediately and into the future life of our school.” 



Heather Baron Caudill, Mallory Hammel, Emily Jalkanen, and James Morrison attended the Math Learning Center's Leadership Institute. The institute offered lead teachers, coaches, and curriculum specialists the tools for developing and sustaining a successful implementation of Bridges in Mathematics, Number Corner, and Bridges Intervention. Keynote presentations included: work on being intentional with math instruction, group sharing to improve student learning, structuring and leading productive mathematical discussions, improving teacher environments to improve student results, computational fluency, and the differences between mathematical modeling and modeling mathematics. TPS faculty also attended breakout sessions including: Bridges intervention, using technology in math, Bridges workplace management and differentiation, and curriculum coaching.



Kalei Sabaratnam and Pamela Cunningham participated in the American School Counselors Association Conference, attended by 3000+ national and international educators and counselors. Keynote sessions included: themes of growth mindset, self-care as counselors, and student advocacy. In small group sessions, they learned about body positivity, supporting LGBTQ students needs more structurally/organizationally, perfectionism, social media, supporting students with trauma, and girls’ self esteem. 



Emily Jalkanen attended the Responsive Classroom Advanced Training. The experience focused on motivating and exciting students through engaging academics, and developing effective management strategies for challenging behaviors in the classroom. Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based approach to elementary and middle school teaching that focuses on the strong link between academic success and social-emotional learning.



Cindy Newland traveled to England as part of her Lilly Endowment Faculty Fellowship, in order to see sites from books that have inspired her. Visiting London, Bath, and the Cornish coast, she visited the Albert and Victoria Museum, the British Museum, Churchill War Rooms, Tower of London, and ancient Roman baths, among other amazing places. Connecting to work she did with her class this past year, she took photos of evidence of disability accessibility in London, and interviewed a visitor to London about his experience using a wheelchair in the city. 



Tarrey Banks attended the Writing Institute at Teachers College, Columbia University. This institute is designed for educators who are committed to turning classrooms into richly literate reading and writing workshops. Participants spent five days exploring the following topics: the central role of curriculum development and planning in the teaching of writing, units of study in writing workshop, helping students write well about reading, genre studies in reading and writing memoir, poetry and short fiction, the importance of assessment-based instruction, methods of holding students accountable for doing their best work, using literature to help students craft their writing, and classroom structures that support inquiry and collaboration.



Tarrey Banks, John Searcy and Scott Wallace have had a paper accepted for the FABLEARN 2017 Conference. Entitled, “Design Math: A Design and Project-based Effort to Learn Geometry in Middle School through Fabric-Based Yurts,” they will present this fall on engagement and real-world applications and contexts in mathematics classrooms. They will share about their set of yearlong, collaborative, project-based learning activities that were created to support the teaching of middle-school geometry curriculum through design, modeling, and fabrication of yurts.