My First Week As a Kenan Fellow

      4 Comments on My First Week As a Kenan Fellow

This Kenan Fellows Program Week has been nothing short of amazing.  I came to NCCAT with all the nervous energy and excitement as a pre-teen going to summer camp for the first time; asking myself “am I at the right place? Will I find ‘my people’?”.  The week did not disappoint.  Some of my most memorable highlights from my time at NCCAT included morning hikes in the mountains with new friends, dinner with different people every evening, and professional development experiences that will have long lasting impacts on my classroom practices.

One of my favorite “take-aways” from the fellowship that I plan on implementing in my classroom is the Goose Chase app.  Though many may just see this tool as a way of doing some really cool science scavenger hunt activities, I see it as a really effective way of giving real-time feedback to students as they work their way through formative assessments.  Yes, of course, this app gives students the opportunity to get out and explore the world around them (my primary goal through this fellowship), but it also provides an opportunity for young people to write about and demonstrate their understanding of the writing process as they get outside.  I see myself having students respond to prompts at scavenger stops, and taking photos of their writing.  From there, I can give or deduct points for their writing tasks, while also providing real time feedback for improvement.  What I am most excited about with the use of this application in my class is that students can get out of a traditional classroom setting, and still strengthen their writing skills.  Additionally, I can give attention and advice to students as they work on tasks, giving them an opportunity to improve as writers.  Finally, through this process, students must work as team mates, relying on one another, and learning from one another as they work through learning about the writing process.

As a whole, the week at NCCAT as a Kenan Fellows far surpassed previous professional development opportunities.  What I like most about this experience is that I was surrounded by like-minded individuals, who are just as passionate about education as I am.  On top of this, this week of professional development provided great ideas for classroom enrichment, without making me feel like I have more work to do. Finally, this week has left me feeling re-energized about teaching.  After moving away from my teaching family in Illinois, I was really struggling with finding my niche.  But, after my week at NCCAT, and starting this Fellowship, I know I am right where I need to be.

4 thoughts on “My First Week As a Kenan Fellow

  1. Michelle Ellis

    Goose Chase was awesome. You were a great teammate. It is nice to be surrounded by people who share your passions for life-long learning.

    1. Emily Ericson Post author

      AHHHHHHHH! I miss you, Michelle, and I can’t wait to work with you more in the future.

Comments are closed.