The New BPRIME Format

4/29/2006 01:55:00 pm

In June of last year we had our first BPRIME Workshop. Since then, we've followed up with Erin's workshop on Summarizing and Note Taking which led to the development of my OLÉ workshop.

The essence of the BPRIME initiative has been our focus on two things:

  1. (1) Better student performance through better pedagogy, and
  2. (2) developing a deeper understanding of the curriculum by adopting a 7 through 12 perspective.
As I shared in our department meeting yesterday (the best meeting we've ever had, BTW), teaching grade 10 has made me a better grade 12 teacher. Teaching grade 12 has made me a better grade 10 teacher.

Anyway, at the suggestion of one of my colleagues this is what we're going to do this year. We've got 2 half days planned. Each teacher will choose the lesson they are most proud of. The one they feel they do best. The one that they ask the principal to observe when they are being evaluated. We will take turns presenting those lessons to each other (the folks in my dept and the math teachers from 2 of our feeder schools). This will allow us to show off our best work, learn best practices from each other, get a broad perspective of the curriculum (grades 7-12, pre-cal, applied and consumer math), and learn from watching presentations given in several different teaching styles.

There are about 14 of us involved in this project. At first we were going to try to have half of us present on one day and the other half at the next meeting. Instead we've decided to limit ourselves to three half-hour presentations at each meeting. Each teacher will prepare as though they were actually giving the class to students including any handouts, activities or assignments that are involved. The way we've structured the time (3 half-hour sessions/half-day in-service) will allow for lots of discussion and reflection. There was a lot of energy and excitement in our meeting as we discussed this and other ideas we're developing as a department.

We're also looking at changing the format of our in-house math contests. Create a more level playing field for weak and strong math students and for all students across the grades.

So many good ideas came out of our meeting. I've set up a planning wiki for our department (Sorry, it's private at the moment. In time I hope to open it up to a more public audience. When I do I'll post about it.) where we can thrash out our ideas asynchronously, at our leisure. This will hopefully shorten meeting times and help us generate more good ideas.

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