Keiley Beckstead and Lindsey Markus- 1st Grade at Westview Elementary
Last summer I attended the week long Summer Institute for Conscious Discipline in Columbia, Missouri. Conscious Discipline is an evidence-based model of incorporating classroom management and socio-emotional learning. This approach utilizes brain research and teaches individuals how to resolve conflict and gain life skills. During my training, I learned how the Conscious Discipline journey starts with the individual and how you have to be aware of your own upbringing, triggers and upsets that may affect your approach with kids.
This school year my main focus was Conscious Discipline and modeling this strategy for staff and students. I visited Kindergarten, First grade and Second grade once a week teaching lessons from the Feeling Buddies Curriculum. I also modeled Conscious Discipline structures and rituals for Third, Fourth and Fifth Grades during their monthly counselor lesson. I was a Lead Learner for the Conscious Discipline Cohort and presented the Brain-State Model, the 7 Skills & Powers and some of the structures & rituals during our Cross-District Professional Development. I have created and shared many resources that my cohort can access through our shared Google Drive. I have also made my counseling lessons visual by sharing on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. This year Lewis Elementary’s staff made a commitment to implement a structure of Conscious Discipline. I chose to focus on teaching the Wish Well to all students and creating a staff Wish Well board in our office. Looking onward to future professional development, I have applied to be a helper and presenter at the upcoming Conscious Discipline Summer Institute and will look forward to continuing my journey. This training is hands-down the best of my professional career. It has changed my approach and outlook with helping students foster their own self-regulation.
Third graders worked with the Career Center to get garden beds built and installed for our garden we will be planting in the spring to go along with our unit on Life Structures. We also used the beds to talk about area and perimeter to help with where the beds should be placed and how big they should be as well as how much dirt would cover the bottom of the bed.
This all went back to me starting my PBL project in my One Thing learning. I made contact this summer with some community garden members and talked about and received information about school gardens. This is in the beginning stages and we would like to see it grow into a school wide project. We would like it to take many avenues for learning as well as using the resources from the garden within our own school and community.
This changed my learning to help my teaching become more real world and hands on learning. I'm excited to see where this will take them!
3rd Grade Teacher
Understanding MO's New K-12 Science Learning Standards: Shifts toward 3-Dimensional Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
At the start of the 2016 summer the science department participated in a PD opportunity put on by a former director of science curriculum for the state of Missouri. The goal of the PD opportunity was to develop draft plans for transitioning to the new MO Science Learning Standards to take back to their district. This was perfect timing as our science department was getting ready to re-write curriculum using these standards for our classes.
The biggest takeaway I gained from this conference was aligning the new curriculum to more of my PBL units that I implemented this year. After this conference and before rewriting the curriculum I sat down with my wife, who is a nurse practitioner, and we came up with a couple scenarios that I could use for my biology and anatomy classes. The one that I am most proud of was a change in my Osmosis lab that we did this year. The new curriculum really changes the focus away from memorizing cell parts to understanding cell processes and how cells maintain homeostasis. While trying to move away from this we came up with a lab that is centered around a hospital IV bag scenario and the mistakes nurses could make. The students designed and set up a lab to test this scenario and apply the lab to the cellular processes within the body.
We have tried to center our new curriculum in this way as it very focused more on understanding processes rather than memorize facts. It aligns nicely with the district's initiative towards more PBL type lessons and really helped center all of these lessons around the standards.
Here is a link to an explanation of a PBL lesson:
5th Grade Teacher
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