June 27th, 2016 by Tiffany Parks
NCCAT, meow? For those of you like me you may have never heard of this acronym. It stands for North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teachers. What does that mean? Well, it is an amazing place designed to offer teachers the opportunity to work together and share ideas, as well as, create new ones. Relationships are fostered and trust is built. This atmosphere set the tone for a creative, inventive environment.
As we all arrived we had this look much like the cat in the picture above. We were a little shy, wide eyed, but ready to experience whatever was next. The audio supplied is to remind everyone of the sound of NCCAT. Kind of like Pavlov’s dogs, when I hear this sound it still makes me smile.
I learned so many great teaching strategies and applications that I can utilize. One application I learned, from Vance, was for project management. He introduced us to Trello. In this app you can organize your to do tasks, completed tasks, and monitor other peoples’ status. I think that for any classroom this would benefit group work. Also because the teacher can view the students progress it could also be used for assessment.
My favorite session was, of course, the introduction on team building and ice breakers taught by a Physical Education teacher. I love activities that are up and moving. I believe that hands on activities reinforce already learned material but can also generate new concepts. Project-based learning to me is what I do everyday in PE. I pose a question or a challenge and then through trial and error, research/investigation the students solve problems. I would love the opportunity in the future to return and offer sessions on how to transition instructional material into fun interactive lessons.
By the end of the week we all felt so comfortable sharing crazy stories. The laughter that I experience from people who share some of the same problems was reassuring. I end this blog with how we all felt after leaving NCCAT, relaxed.