Decatur Instructional Fieldtrip

February 10, 2014

Turning up the HEAT!

The focal point when using technology is not about the tool but about instructional practices. Engaging and challenging lessons enable students to think critically to solve problems. Technology is just one tool that enables students to collaborate, share, and become problem solvers in the world in which they live.

Anchors charts are so important. What a great resource tool for kids!

The Workshop Model--Actively engaged students!

The opening is an opportunity to share the day’s learning targets and set the stage for the day.

During the mini-lesson the teacher provides direct instruction for the whole class.

During the work time, students get to dig in and practice the learning. This is the most important part of the workshop and therefore must be the longest part of the period. I try to give students the bulk of the class to work, practice, or apply what has been taught during the mini-lesson.

Decatur's Model Varied:

1. Teacher time

2. Own my own

3. Practice math facts

4. Hands own manipulatives/games

1. Respond

2. At my seat

3. Discuss with the teachers

4. Engage

Create the Culture!

A culture is being created at Decatur ISD with teachers and students alike that encourages the use of technology in a variety of different ways. This includes the use of cellular phones to MAC books to IPAD minis. An environment exists where kids use laptops to fit their needs. Some handwrite notes, some type their notes and use Evernote, and some are researching and discussing.

Professional Development

Professional development is an ever evolving piece at Decatur ISD. To truly develop a learning environment there is ongoing professional development. This ranges from Apple Training for the district to campus based items such as Technology Tuesdays. The teachers are empowered through these trainings to integrate technology within their daily instruction in order to produce highly effective and engaging lessons. The bottom line to remember is that it is ALL about instruction!

Failing is part of Learning!

Teachers and students are encouraged to delve into instruction using technology as a tool. Trying new ways to teach lessons and seeing what works and what does not makes the process fun and exciting. Failure is not seen as a loss but as a gain. Learning by doing is the best way to reach uncharted territory.


Decatur ISD is using technology in a variety of formats to collaborate around the world. These formats might include Edomodo to Skype. Seeing the students working on problem solving with students in Boston is fun and exciting. Students are doing Geography Mysteries with other classrooms in different parts of the world. Students will collect clues to determine where the other participants are located. Students must plan the questions beforehand and be prepared to solve the mystery. What a fun way to learn geography concepts and apply mapping skills via this process.


Decatur ISD:

Judi Bell-Assistant Superintendent (Curriculum/Instruction)

Gary Micinski-Associate Superintendnet (Finance)

Jason Cochran-Decatur High School Principal

Dwayne Tamplen-Junior High Principal

Stephanie Qaurles-Carson Elementary Principal

Troy Bagwell-Technology Director

Future Ready and Instructional Coaches