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Bernstein Meeting Notes 1/1/13

-Customizing and differentiating interests by grade level units
-Weaving in Character Ed and Artful Learning
-Incorporating Artful Learning into units we are currently creating that align to common core
-Currently working on ELA standards and would like to include artful learning in our school improvement goal
-Idea of incorporating other subjects into ELA/Writing
-Example of human paragraphs in writing meshed with math (fractions) so two subjects are able to be focused on at once
-What we are currently working on:
First Grade: Wants to expand units and put newness into the units. Wants to broaden the use of artful learning through ELA, Listening and Speaking, and Reading Informational Text. Also interested in older grades working with them (buddies) as happened in the past.
Second Grade: Many social studies and science units are already incorporated with Berstein. Would like to incorporate more artful learning in with reading (Helen Keller) as well as math (explaining your steps and your thinking).
Third Grade: Many social studies and science units are incorporated. We could use more artful learning in reading/novel studies. Storyboards for younger and older students. 6 panel storyboard for older grades using drawing, identifying the story structure with character, setting, conflicts, problems, resolution, reflection. Helps teach students to analyze the story.
Fourth Grade: Has good foundation for science/social studies but needs artful learning emphasis in reading and writing responses to what the students are reading. Need a sense of direction of where to go in terms on incorporating Bernstein into novel studies and reading responses. Suggestion of tableaus.
Fifth Grade: Difficulty getting a grasp on the basics of fifth grade. Have units in place for Bernstein, mainly science and social studies, trying to get the students working with more informational text. Learning about the importance of showing evidence when reading different texts. Critical analysis is a major emphasis in the common core and it is a complex task to teach. Using the arts to help memorize the multiplication facts, such as the song “Gagnam Style” song to help memorize skip counting and memorizing multiplication facts. Need to foundational mastery of these facts in order to move forward. Students are able to learn these facts in a short period of time if they are intrinsically motivated to learn dance moves along with these facts. The buddies between kindergarten and fifth grade has been very beneficial in the past. Also the idea of having the students teach the new teachers artful learning strategies.
Kindergarten: Would like more artful learning integration into ELA. Barb shared that she has experience with character counts, however not training with artful learning. The training can be differentiated professional development no matter how much background a teacher has with artful learning in the past. During the training, it would allow kindergarten to just focus on kindergarten. Training can be customized.
P.E.- With 5th grade, working on body systems unit. Would like to incorporate more artful learning with this unit. Adding in an anti-drug and character element into this unit. Suggestion of an across-grade-levels focus, such as systems, where each grade level would focus on a different system. This emphasis helps teach advanced concepts at a younger age and across many grade levels. Systems can also be tied into ELA, writing, and math at each grade level. Connecting systems across the curriculum so it can be used in each classroom. Students are excited by connecting topics from the classroom into P.E.
Music: Emphasizing listening and speaking. Working closely with fourth grade, and connecting conductors, speakers, etc. in music with branches of government in fourth grade. They are working on a project where students are studying fractions in relation to the value of music notes. This is also aligned to a fourth grade math unit. The audience, speakers, etc. also ties into common rules of listening to others and character.

Next Steps: Future webinar, pairing of 4th/5th to 1st grade for writing, discussion of correlation between reading and writing, establishing rubrics and using it to help first graders as they are learning the editing steps (older grades learned the rubric and younger grades received substantial help from the older grades), Dick is willing to step in with each grade level to individually support units and observe classrooms/do demonstrations.
Mimi Batson
1st Grade Teacher
Townline Elementary School

Next Steps:  Dr. Keiffer, Principal, is working to find a non-testing pair of days in May, for classroom visits, demonstration teaching, unit development work with grade level teams, and after-school professional learning for volunteers.

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