In terms of collaboration and co-teaching, the primary division came out in full-force this year through our PLC CYCLE. Our Board-wide initiatives include taking a look at whole-small-whole instruction, (in other words, a 3-part lesson including small group and whole-class components). To this end, CILM Math and a “Bansho” type of instruction fits in perfectly.
Gayleen Bell, (grade 3 teacher), took the lead in this cycle of inquiry by inviting the primary teachers to work with her in an introduction to fractions. The diagonostic component would be a co-plan/ co-teach, which of course means a terrific student-to-teacher ratio.
The process very much resembles a whole-small-whole format itself, with teachers meeting to plan the lesson, joining the class to share in the lesson, and later coming back together to discuss the outcome. There certainly is power in this process, and every individual gains from the experience.
Taking photos and video along the way helps the teaching team to reflect in a “big-picture” way. Along with examples of the student work, we are able to gain an understanding of best practices and strategies for delivering content.
We put together a little video with Animoto, a user-friendly movie-making program, to share the 3-part lesson with our students.
The classroom teacher, Gayleen Bell, was very pleased with the outcome. Not only did it allow her to get a great diagnostic assessment of her student’s prior knowledge with fractions, it allowed her the opportunity to share in her own professional development in real-time, with real content. Students also loved seeing the Animoto movie of their work on the SMART Board, and look forward to continuing to use a number of technology-based applications throughout their Fractions unit.