Professional Development: Student Support

South Middle School (SMS)  and Waukee Middle School (WMS) held professional development on November 28. How did our work impact your child’s learning?

If you have 2 minutes…read this:

SMS and WMS staff members:

  • reviewed common vocabulary used within the district, such as essential learnings, standards, and progress report statements to ensure a common understanding by all staff members
  • increased shared knowledge of the brain science behind teaching students to understand the curriculum through reading excerpts from the book Differentiation and the Brain by Sousa and Tomlinson
  • collaborated in content teams to decide the most essential concepts and understandings for all students to learn during future units or topics

If you have 5 minutes…read this:

SMS staff members combined with WMS staff and collaborated in content teams.  Support staff members joined in on their content-specific team’s conversations, while electives met across buildings to work specifically in their areas of expertise.  Ideas that were discussed are listed below:

Common Vocabulary Across the District:

  • Teachers reviewed and discussed the vocabulary terms used widely across the district to ensure understanding.  Several examples of the vocabulary are:
    • Essential learning (the most important concepts all students should learn by the end of the year)
    • Progress report statements (statements that help communicate with students and families about specific content standards and progress towards meeting or exceeding that standard)
    • District Standards and Benchmarks (SBOs) (as determined by the district curriculum team in accordance with state and federal curriculum guidelines)

Shared Knowledge:

  • Staff members increased shared knowledge of the brain science behind teaching students to understand the curriculum through reading excerpts from the book Differentiation and the Brain by Sousa and Tomlinson.  Discussions revolved around the importance of getting students to truly understand content ideas and relate them to their lives.

Collaboration Across Building Teams:

  • Teachers worked to decide the most essential concepts and understandings for all students to learn during an upcoming unit or topic of study.  Throughout this process, teachers developed KUDs (Know, Understand, and Do) to help solidify the essential concepts of the curriculum.

Resources:

 For more information about South Middle School professional development please click here.


560 Southeast University Avenue
Waukee, Iowa 50263
Phone 515.987.5161
Fax 515.987.2701