Most importantly, we are working extremely hard to provide our students with meaningful learning experiences. Our teachers are developing curriculum that includes real world learning and performance-based assessments. Some examples include: writing and responding to blogs, posting as a class on Twitter, Skyping globally with experts in the field, designing and creating prototype projects, connecting with the senior citizens of our community to learn from them, and learning and growing through inquiry-based projects. Many teachers spent the summer learning themselves. Several teachers took advantage of our Summer Teacher Academies, taught by our Instructional Coaches, and others attended conferences outside of the school district.
In addition, this year all of our students will use Google Apps for Education (GAFE). The use of Google Apps supports our desire to have students create, collaborate, communicate, and use critical thinking skills in the learning process. The most important aspect of Google Apps for our current work with students is access to Google Drive. Google Drive allows students to create and share word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet documents online, and to collaborate with both peers and teachers on projects. Students are able to log into their Google Apps account at home, the library, or anywhere where Internet access is available. Teachers are able to log into their accounts to provide feedback to students at any time and anywhere an Internet connection is available. Many school districts around the country are taking advantage of this learning opportunity for students.
Several teachers have spent the past few weeks organizing their learning spaces and preparing exciting lessons to begin the school year. To see pictures of some of the learning spaces and to read about the beginning of the school year chatter, search the #wdsd7 hashtag on Twitter. You can continue to follow this hashtag or @wdalecurriculum throughout the school year. By following, you can be a part of our school district. The Tweet below was shared by Mr. Josh Halverson, 4th grade teacher at Westview School.