March 28, 2012 by Brad Currie
Last week ten educators from Readington Middle School attended the annual ASCD conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Over a two day period staff members were exposed to many best practice teaching techniques and school based models. Two seminars in particular, focusing on the way adolescents learn and incorporating Web 2.0 tools to enhance the curriculum, were the focus for our teams of educators. Many hours of collaboration, discussion and examining implementation processes took place and proved very beneficial to all those involved. Various Readington Middle School subject areas were represented during the conference including language arts, mathematics, health/PE, special education, library studies and gifted & talented.
There were some exciting ideas and initiatives presented which will benefit students at Readington Middle School. From a technology perspective, incorporating certain Web 2.0 tools will enhance lessons and meet the needs of our students. For example, looking forward teachers could use http://www.livebinders.com/ which is a virtual 3 ring binder that affords students the opportunity to easily organize web resources to use for an learning activity or project in class. Another tool, http://museumbox.e2bn.org/ enables students to “show what they know” and easily incorporate various forms of media to get their point across. Exciting new endeavors in revising curriculum and revamping learning experiences to meet the needs of 21st century learners was also at the forefront as we continue to strive to make our great school even greater.
Down the hallway in another session a handful of Readington Middle School educators participated in a session on the adolescent learner. Many great ideas related to community based learning, the role of advisory groups and student led conferences were examined and made sense of in terms of how these great initiatives would play out at Readington Middle School. It was nice know that our school does so many great things for our students, but with anything else there is always room for improvement. Moving forward it will be exciting to see how we can improve our own advisory program, engage stakeholders from the community and possibly pilot a student led conference initiative. These are definitely exciting times for educators with so many great tools and initiatives to help promote the success of all students.
As you can see much was gained from the ASCD conference which will only strengthen our commitment to meeting the needs of all students as we prepare them for the 21st century world. Readington Middle School continues to be on the cutting edge of incorporating best practice teaching techniques and integrating technology to engage diverse learners. The professionalism and attention given during the ASCD Conference by the Readington Middle School staff was second to none and will have a profound impact on all stakeholders in the years to come. Time was well spent and the experiences were engaging and relevant.
By: Brad Currie, Vice Principal @RMS_VIKINGS