The highlight of my week at the Summer Institute was being able to spend time with other fellows, especially the CMS cohort. We will be spending a lot of time together throughout the year and it was great to be able to really get to know each other, outside of work and outside of what could be a stressful environment. In addition, it was nice to get to know other fellows, outside of the CMS cohort, because so many of us are already doing great things and it was nice to be able to converse with people who have been there or that have had successes, or even failures, with things that I want to incorporate into my classroom.
My major take-away from this week is Project-Based Learning (PBL). I plan to implement PBL’s into my classroom immediately. In one of the breakout sessions, Carrie shared with us a four-quadrant organization tool to help us think about how to successfully plan for and carry out a PBL in any subject area, with any standard. I plan to use this tool every time that I am planning a PBL in my classroom. I also plan to share this four-quadrant approach with not only my team, but with other grade levels at my school as well.
I have never experienced a PD like the Summer Institute. In most PD’s, I walk away with very few tools/ideas that I feel are strong enough for me to take back and implement into my classroom. That was definitely not the case this week. I walked away from every session this week with at least one thing, sometimes multiple things, that I want to implement in my classroom. Honestly, it was overwhelming at times because I have so many things that I want to do and try; but was a good sense of being overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed with so many great ideas and new things, gave me this excitement and this high that made me want to be back in my classroom right now! This week definitely has me excited for this upcoming school year!