Feb. 17, 2017
I am always interested in learning about the instruction happening in classrooms throughout IPS — from the content to the varying teaching styles being used. This month, I have the pleasure of highlighting some of the amazing work happening around our district!
But instead of me talking about each of these teachers and their classrooms, I’m letting the educators speak for themselves. I hope you find inspiration as we make our way through the winter months and finish out the school year strong.
Jodi Morrow, math coach, Center for Inquiry School 84 and School 2
“Over the last several years, we have had many fourth- through sixth-grade IPS students participate in the Indiana M.A.T.H. Bowl. We just finished the IPS M.A.T.H. Bowl Invitational at CFI 84, where Lew Wallace School 107, SUPER School 19, CFI 2, CFI 84, along with several township school teams, engaged in the friendly competition,” said Morrow. “I have really enjoyed watching the students be enthusiastic and grow in math problem-solving skills, while having a lot of fun.” All teams will participate in the state competition on Feb. 23.
Megan Hoppe, ESL teacher, SUPER School 19
“Hailey Duffey and I love coaching M.A.T.H. Bowl because it is our only academic club for our high-achieving students! It encourages our fourth-grade students to push themselves and learn new math concepts that they haven’t experienced in their general math classes. It gives our fifth- and sixth-grade students a chance to be leaders and to apply some of the skills they have learned in math class in new, more complicated ways,” said Hoppe. “We love seeing our students get excited about math and the proud looks on their faces when they answer a question correctly!”
Jessica Jain, literacy coach,
Center for Inquiry School 84
“During the last two weeks, I have been guest teaching in some of our K–5 classrooms so that teachers can have a full day to plan and prepare for our upcoming International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) evaluation,” said Jain. “I’ve really enjoyed spending the entire day teaching across multiple grades, as well as team teaching with our principal and assistant principal. It has really given me an opportunity to reflect on my own practice, as well as learn new ideas and strategies from our teachers.
“Most recently, I guest taught a lesson about fairness in a second-grade class as part of a unit on rights. The teacher designed the lesson so there was a read-aloud and students discussed the idea of fairness based on details from the book. Later, students were given chopsticks to use to try to eat our school snack. But there was a catch — students could only use the chopsticks to eat the fruit! It was a great ‘hands-on’ opportunity for students to experience and use as part of an extended discussion about fairness.”
Allie Buchanan, third-grade teacher, George S. Buck School 94
“Data — the word makes us cringe, right? Even when it’s grueling, I have to say that the very high standard for data analysis in our school has been extremely beneficial for planning instruction. We have seen tremendous growth with our third-grade students in regard to IREAD and ISTEP preparation,” said Buchanan. “Being intentional with the conversations we are having has really set us up for success. Each week, I look forward to sharing my data and discussing ways I can improve my instruction.”
Laura Barber, literacy coach, Step Ahead Academy
“As a school, we encourage our students to take a foreign language. However, finding success using the online program was difficult for middle school students. Teachers, who were adamant that these students get the opportunity, developed a schedule that not only accommodated more students, but in smaller groups so they could get more individual attention. Students are excelling and earning high school credit!” said Barber.
It was great taking a “peek” inside our district classrooms. There are so many learning experiences worthy of attention, that I will continue this topic in my next blog post in March. I look forward to highlighting more exciting things happening in IPS.
If you would like to share something you’re proud of, something that is working well, or something new, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.