The Instructional Edge

W-SR TLC Program Updates


Teachers participating in the SERG professional development group discuss implementation options for student engagement and learning environments.

Project Based Learning PD

PBL Focus Group folks identifying and troubleshooting the challenges that go along with Project-based Learning.

Differentiation PD

On Wednesday, February 24th, Waverly-Shell Rock teachers learned more about the importance grouping plays in differentiating instruction. Lead teacher, Angie Wessel, led groups of teachers as they discussed the ways flexible grouping can achieve various goals. Using the gallery walk format, groups shared the positives or struggles of each strategy. Teachers researched independently different methods of choosing groups such as; Class Dojo, Team Shake, The Hat, Random Group Generator, Team Maker, Group Wheel, and many more. The whole group shared the tools and resources they had found collectively. There were numerous research based articles presented that supported the benefits of grouping strategies and their benefits on student learning. The learning will continue as group members take back the tools they found and try them out in their classrooms. All links and materials are posted for general use on the Differentiated Instruction page of the W-SR Teacher Leadership Page. Just go to the Feb. 24th PD links and start learning more with us.

W-SR Goes Global

Earlier this semester, in an effort to promote global awareness and connectedness, W-SR Seniors in Mrs. Egan’s Contemporary Issues classes had the opportunity to participate in EdCamp Global 2016. For 24 hours straight, students and educators from around the planet connected with one another on a multitude of topics ranging from socio-economic development issues in Africa, to proficiency diplomas in American high schools, to the use of coding in schools in Spain. W-SR students connected with the world using a variety of technologies such as Google Hangout, Twitter, Periscope, Google Docs and more.

The excitement and energy of my students was palpable. Students were eager to experience new ways of communicating and breaking down physical walls to learn from others. ~Mrs. Egan

I was able to learn new ways to communicate and learn about the issues around the world that are happening and better understand them. ~Student Quote

I believe that this experience was a great opportunity to communicate with others outside the walls of W-SR. ~Student Quote

I think that when we connect with the world we can learn about other people, places and cultures, and be more empathetic to issues that should be of concern to us all. ~Student Quote

For more information on opportunities to connect globally, contact Chuck Buseman.

Game-Based Reading

Nick Willenborg, HS Teacher, says:

"Working with Sarah Lalk and Allison Rasmussen in a Coaching Residency was a real pleasure. They provided a variety of tips to improve the student learning and motivation in my reading class. These tips included gamifying the curriculum, providing alternatives, use of video and written blogs, and using a variety of accessibility tools. With these tools, my students have become more engaged in their learning because they are provided more options to show what they have learned. This has been a great experience for myself and my students and I can't wait to work with them again!"

Authentic Assessment/Communication Tool, SeeSaw

Elementary Tech Cadre Members lead building-wide training regarding the use of the SeeSaw as a tool for communicating with parents, assessing student learning, and collecting data.

What is SeeSaw? SeeSaw is an app/website that has a social media feel to it. Students can capture learning with photos, videos, and annotations. Everything gets organized in one place, like a portfolio. Teachers can grant access to classmates, parents, or a class blog. SeeSaw give students a real audience for their work and offers parents a personalized window into their child's learning.

"I've really enjoyed using SeeSaw as a tool in my classroom this year. Not only does it allow me to easily share with parents what their children have been doing in school, but I have also been able to use it as an assessment piece for my students with explaining their thinking and practicing their reading fluency. My students love it and beg to have their work put onto SeeSaw." - Danielle Larimer, West Cedar Teacher
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Accessibility Tools for All Learners

We continue to discover tools that help us utilize technology in ways that make learning accessible for all learners. High School Special Ed and Residential Teachers participated in a workshop on Chrome accessibility features. These tools can be used from the Chrome browser on desktop computers and Chromebooks (not iPads). A few of the extensions/apps that promote accessibility, include:

  • Color Enhancer: Color filter applied to webpages to improve color for people who are color-blind
  • Connected Mind: Mind mapping tool
  • Extensity: Manage all your extensions/apps from one location
  • Dyslexia: Changes your screen to a font that increases readability for readers with dyslexia
  • Google Keep: Create a collaborative sticky note, voice memo, or check list

Click here to view the complete list of approved apps/extensions that high school students have access to on their Chromebooks.

Also, did you know that Google Docs now allows you to utilize Voice Typing? While in Google Docs, go to "Tools" and click "Voice Typing."

To learn more about accessibility, contact Sarah Lalk.

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E4E Initiative Promotes School and Community Partnership

7th grade students at W-SR Middle School recently showcased their talents and learning as part of the Enough 4 Everyone(E4E) campaign. E4E is a local initiative that is focused on using art to raise awareness of local hunger and food insecurity issues. The students were faced with the challenge of creating a design/model of an original piece of art that will eventually be used to secure donated food. They used knowledge gained about surface area and volume from their 3D Geometry unit, to help drive their ideas and creations. Five student models have been selected, and have now moved on to the W-SR High School Industrial Tech classes where they will be studied for feasibility and ultimately constructed.
From over 50 project designs that were submitted by W-SR 7th graders, these 5 have been chosen to move on to the high school and will be put through a feasibility study to determine whether or not they can actually be built under the parameters set forth by the E4E committee. Once approved, these designs will be constructed by students within the W-SR High School Industrial Technology department to ultimately be used as the food collection points of the E4E initiative.

For more information about building school and community partnerships, contact Chuck Buseman.

District Tech Course Update

"'The Tech-Integrated Classroom' course is a well-designed course and a good way to enhance current classroom practice. This week, I began our third trimester math unit, and thanks to this class, the unit is now gamified. If Day One is any indicator, student motivation will be higher than past units." - Kevin Rohne, MS Teacher

The 3rd session of the district-created tech course concluded in January. Sarah Lalk is the instructor for this course, please contact her if you are interested in participating in the next offering.

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