Sometimes seeing is believing. For classroom teachers, seeing other teachers in action (what we call ‘shadow visiting’) isn’t as much about ‘belief’ as it is about sharing curriculum and methodology across grade levels. It’s also about noting successful innovation–which is exactly what happened when fourth grade teachers from HPE*, HRE* and SCE* recently spent half a day visiting Sand Creek Intermediate, the building that many of their current fourth graders will attend next year.
Last week’s fourth-to-fifth grade shadow visits (still more visits are slated to occur this year!) were prompted by a very specific curricular innovation: blended learning with technology. iPads have been incorporated as a tool for learning for each 5th and 6th grade student this year; seeing this blended learning in action has given the elementary teachers a clearer picture of what blended learning looks and sounds like. The fourth grade teachers were even able to learn from their former students (this year’s 5th graders) — teacher and student iPad pairs quickly sprang up as the fifth graders pulled aside their former teachers to tutor them on iPad basics!
*Harrison Parkway Elementary, Hoosier Road Elementary, & Sand Creek Elementary