At today's PD, staff used photos to serve as metaphors to explore their mindsets, values, and beliefs to best answer the question, "What are you teaching for?" SIP member Erika Lusky facilitated a learning through metaphors exercise to guide staff members in answering this question. In Dr. Ron Ritchhart's latest book, Creating Cultures of Thinking, he speaks to the purpose of using metaphors to shape our realities as we perceive the world, in this case our profession. Reuther discovered we are teaching for.....
From there, staff members examined how what they are teaching for connects with the beliefs Ritchhart outlines in chapter 2 of Creating Cultures of Thinking.
Reuther was asked by Assistant Superintendent Debi Fragomeni to host the Peer District Committee on Tuesday, October 6 from 1:00-4:00 pm. The Peer District Committee is made up of superintendents from across the State of Michigan. It was Rochester schools turn host this month’s meeting and selected Reuther as the host school because of our work in Cultures of Thinking.
The afternoon began with a welcome message from our Superintendent, Dr. Robert Shaner, and then members of the Reuther SIP team presented on our four year journey.
Principal Cheryl Gambaro shared about the start of our journey from year one. SIP Co-Chair Rachel Mainero then went on to share about the key points in year two. SIP Co-Chair Natalie James shared about year three and transitioned into where we are now in year four. The infographics below highlight the key events from each year's journey.
The force of environment has been key is setting the stage for developing our Cultures of Thinking. We wanted to share with the members of the committee some of the ways that our environments are changing to better suit the learning needs of our students. A video about the New Think Tank was played so that members could hear how this environment helps deepen students' thinking and facilitates thoughtful interactions.
Members of the committee also had the chance to tour the Maker Space room in the Media Center. This old storage closet has been transformed into a space where students take the lead in a variety of learning concepts from code, web design, green screen technology, DIY projects, graphic design and more. The space is available to students during lunch and after school.
As members exited the Maker Space they were divided into groups for classroom observations. SIP team members Erica Rossell, Bill Staugaard, Erika Lusky, and Amy Hoesktra welcomed the guests into their classrooms so they could see the Cultural Forces in action.
The afternoon ended with a panel discussion. Members of the committee had the opportunity to ask teachers and students questions about the lessons they just observed and our Cultures of Thinking journey.
This is Reuther Middle School's Culture of Thinking journey.