Lawrence Teachers Recognized

Lawrence Teachers Recognized

Lawrence School is fortunate to have many talented teachers. One of the joys of my role is seeing them in action on a daily basis.  An important part of my work is to facilitate connections within the school – so that teachers can learn from each other’s expertise.  Opportunities for teachers to be recognized outside of their school community are more limited. So I am particularly pleased to announce three members of our staff who have received some outside recognition in their fields. They represent their many deserving colleagues.  Congratulations!

Justin Brown – Massachusetts Model Science Curriculum Unit Project

In December, a camera crew from WGBH’s Educational Productions visited the classroom of fourth grade teacher Justin Brown to film a science lesson in a “Weathering and Erosion” unit – part of a project to develop model science curriculum units for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This science unit is still in production so Justin’s lesson is not expected to be available until March.  To see examples of other lessons posted so far, go to:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifeuTyasf_Y&index=2&list=PLTuqmiQ9ssqvx_Yjra4nBfqQPwc4auUBu

Ryan Keser – Better Lessons Project Science Master Teacher

As was announced in last week’s Brookline Tab (http://brookline.wickedlocal.com/article/20150130/NEWS/150127360/1997/NEWS), Gr. 7/8 Science Teacher Ryan Keser was named as one of 65 teachers contributing to the NEA Better Lessons project as a science master teacher.  Ryan was selected from over 1,000 teachers around the country who applied to participate.  The “Better Lessons” project involves teachers publishing and, in some cases, taping the successful lessons they teach.  Ryan’s work can be seen at: http://betterlesson.com/user/1721/68276/161010/ryan-keser/curriculum.

Robin Toback – National Association of School Psychologists Conference

Psychologist Robin Toback will present a research project called “Executive Function* and Academic Enabling Behaviors” at the National Association of School Psychologists conference later this month.  Last year, Robin and two of her interns collaborated with Jacquelyn Briesch from Northeastern University to conduct a research project on the impact of small group intervention to teach executive function skills to middle school students. The research project found that 71% of the students involved in this intervention made moderate to large gains in improving their academic behaviors. Even though the research project is complete, we will continue to offer intervention groups this year based on the benefits we observed last year.  What is executive function?  I recently read a helpful definition by Bari Walsh of Harvard Graduate School of Education:  “Our ability to remember and use what we know, defeat our unproductive impulses, and adjust to new demands.”

Rick Rogers
rick_rogers@brookline.k12.ma.us

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