At Harrisburg Academy, we’re excited about learning… but this time, I’m not talking about the students.  This time, I’m referring to the other teachers and me.

Professional development is clearly fostered at Harrisburg Academy.  We, as teachers, are provided the opportunity to attend workshops and conferences on topics that are of interest to us.  This support provides us with the chance to not only continue to be learners ourselves, but to choose experiences that excite us about teaching.

Last school year, Jean McIver, Elaine Price and I were eager to attend a guided math instruction workshop.  We were delighted with all the new ideas we learned to incorporate into our math lessons to help enhance our students’ number sense.  Some of these activities included number flash, flashcard ideas, and card, domino, and dice games.

Ms. McIver and I also had the chance to attend a Smart Notebook conference at Tatnall School in Wilmington, Delaware.  It was our third time attending this particular conference.  As we try to encourage our students in the use of technology, specifically Smart Board activities, we were now at a higher level of learning for ourselves.  We were learning to use such tools as pull tabs, sounds, and videos to record students’ work with our Smart Board.

We were excited to create a Smart Notebook file that we could use in our classroom.  Taking some of the ideas we learned at the guided math workshop, we created pages for our students to use as math review and assessment.  The students will be able to record their work and track their progress independently.  We were even able to differentiate these pages to meet the individual needs of each student in our classes, furthering our efforts to enhance each child’s individual learning and growth.  We were definitely excited to return to school and use the Smart board as a tool for engagement and interaction within the classroom.

I want to say thank you to the Academy for giving us, as teachers, the opportunity to acquire more knowledge to help connect the ever-changing technology with our students’ learning, as well as help us stay excited about learning and teaching.

*Robyn Cutchall taught 1st grade at the time this post was written.