Sunday, December 8, 2013

Inspiring Learners: Project GLAD

This past week, the parking lot at my schoolwas fuller than usual as we hosted our first Project GLAD demonstration lesson for 27 K-3 teachers from all over Northern California. As often as I could, I peeked into the classroom to see what was happening. On the last day it looked like this. Who's doing the learning? Kids? Teachers?

Everyone is learning. From each other.
photo by Petra Luhrsen
photo by Petra Luhrsen
If you're not familiar with Project GLAD, you should run as fast as you can to find out more about it! You can visit this link for tons of information or just leave a comment and get in touch with me. The model for teaching and learning is amazing. Briefly, teachers spend two days learning all of the strategies. STRATEGIES. It's not a program, and it is designed for any grade level. Then, teachers spend four mornings learning in a classroom while a trainer teachers the students. Imagine a giant fishbowl. It's just like that! Then, the afternoons are spent debriefing and planning. In 16 years, I can say that Project GLAD (and the Area 3 Writing Project) totally changed my teaching and my life. I have never learned so much!

I still remember being one of those teachers in the back in a GLAD demo several years ago. My mind was blown that it was just business as usual for the kids, even though there were over 25 adults in the room. My mind was blown by what the kids could do. And my mind was blown by the level of engagement. It was busy. It wasn't quiet. Kids moved on the carpet. And they were happy. Just like this past week in Petra's room. Everywhere I looked, I saw collaboration and learning.

I think there is a lesson to be learned from these smart first graders. We learn by doing. We learn from each other. Learning should be fun. And we can accomplish amazing things given the opportunity! Thanks for the inspiration!

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