It has been a habit of the school district for a number of years to reserve the Thursday before Labor Day (otherwise known as the beginning of the Hopkinton State Fair) as Collaboration Day. Each school takes the entire day and, using an elaborate schedule, we meet together to discuss children and programs. For instance, each adjoining grade level has time to meet with each other (e.g. 1st grade with 2nd grade) and other personnel collaborate, such as specialists (e.g. art, music, computer, library, P.E.) and special education professionals. In my travels around yesterday, I heard our Media Specialist Nancy Alibrandi describe some of the Web 2.0 advances that we will try to instill in our curriculum to the third grade team. First grade spent time with our Reading Staff planning how to best direct instruction for children who are reading far above grade level. Other teams were filling in new teachers on particular student’s learning styles, and the third grade traveled up to MSS to help answer questions about the new fourth graders now that we have had school for two days.
It is a rich day and we wish we had more time to plan, for it’s in the discussions and professional development that makes our instruction work more effectively.