MTPS Curriculum Corner

Office of Curriculum and Instruction

YouTube clip of two teenagers trying to figure out how to dial a number on a rotary phone
Discovery - Being able to apply learned skills across curriculum and life, make connections, and be able to teach skills learned
Steps to connect with your students - take the time to listen and engage with them
These are two examples of ideas generated and shared around our focal points.

Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Carole Butler

November is a busy month that brings people together for family, laughter, and the opportunity to reminisce events from the past. Education is no different in that we are constantly getting together to discuss innovative ways to engage our students in the world that is ever changing. One of our district goals is focused on innovation. If we believe that innovation spurs creativity and success, we must spend time to discuss what spawns innovation. As adults, we know, that in our own lifetime the world has changed dramatically. For educators, we have developed teaching styles to connect with advances in technology, even if the main ideas stay the same. Teachers create lessons every day that task students with decoding and understanding an unfamiliar concept. Their job is to make connections that are transferable beyond the classroom. You will know exactly what I mean if you have a few minutes to watch this YouTube clip of two teenagers trying to figure out how to dial a number on a rotary phone (click on the thumb nail to the top left.)

October Professional Development

District Curriculum Supervisors: Julie Colby, Gavin Quinn, Jackie Brownell, Roseth Rodriguez, and Leslie Wyers

During the month of October, our curriculum supervisors worked with our K-5 teaching staff around several district level initiatives. Teachers and supervisors shared ideas and best practices connected with:

    • Technology use in the classroom using the SAMR lens
    • Cognitive vs. Active Engagement in the classroom
    • Developing safe and open classroom environments
    • Student grouping and seating arrangements that fosters creativity, focus, and engagement
    • Increasing engagement using the AMT (Acquisition, Meaning Making, and Transfer - IE. Blooms) lens
    • Authentic learning opportunities
    • Purposeful, cross-curricular units

Teachers looked critically at sample lessons and looked at ways to create lessons that provided opportunities for more cognitive engagement and authentic learning experiences for students. A solid foundation has been created to facilitate discussions during our January PD sessions. Teachers and supervisors are excited to continue their own classroom successes as they build a library of instructional resources and strategies to share throughout the district.

sticky notes

Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Carole Butler

What does engagement look like in our classrooms? This was the question we asked our staff in August during our first professional development day. We know that students and adults become more engaged in their work when they achieve success, posses a sense of curiosity, can express themselves through a creative process and have the opportunity to be collaborative along the way. How does this translate into learning within our classrooms for our Moorestown students?

This past year, we have been working on framing lessons and units of study so that it allows for more complex thinking balanced with the use of technology to showcase the learning taking place.

Acquisition, Meaning Making, and Transfer are specific actions into how we are preparing lessons to further engage our students. To share an analogy to sports-

  • A coach/ teacher will provide time for the players/ students to receive drills on concepts of the game. This would be the same as acquisition in the classroom.
  • As time continues, the coach/ teacher would create game like learning opportunities like a scrimmage. This would allow the players/students the opportunity to make meaning from the independent drills.
  • Game time- this of course is when the students are working together to pull all of the knowledge they have experienced and showcase that understanding both individually and with peers in a real time setting. The coach/ teacher is on the side line observing the students in action displaying what learning they have acquired.

What does this mean for our classrooms? We are looking for lessons and units of study to have a multidimensional approach that provide opportunities for individual and group learning, allow for students to take more than one path to learning and then be able to culminate and showcase that learning. Some examples will be students working individually or in small groups, reading critically, writing to learn, creating, planning, problem solving, discussing, debating, asking questions, performing/presenting, inquiring, exploring, explaining, evaluating, experimenting, interacting with other students, gesturing and moving.

As the year progresses, be mindful of your child(ren)'s learning experiences as our teachers create a rich learning environment, motivating students to learn and showcase the skills and knowledge they have acquired in a variety of ways.