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Do parents ever wonder what the Lower Division faculty does on Tuesday afternoons after 2:00?  Do parents realize how hard teachers continue to work after the children are dismissed for the day? Those were the questions going through my mind as we began our division meeting this week. Katrina Mills, Math Specialist and Susan Segar, Literacy Specialist led two workshops: one on mathematical mindset and the other about reading comprehension strategies. Sue Segar kicked off the afternoon work leading the faculty in a discussion and share about reading comprehension strategies. Groups of teachers across grade level shared reading comprehension strategy lessons they have taught in their classrooms, while others enthusiastically shared how children were building reading strategies and introducing vocabulary like inference, visualizing, and determining importance from the youngest ages. There were thoughtful questions about how to reach all students and what supports could be put in place for a child who couldn’t demonstrate understanding. Teachers shared their lessons in a Google doc, which I am confident will become a valuable resource. The hour passed quickly, and faculty shifted gears. Katrina Mills began the second half of the afternoon with a math question (see the problem below). Groups of teachers eagerly got to work, sharing strategies and talking about different mathematical concepts applied to arrive at an answer. The room was humming with teachers passionately engaged in learning. Once our minds were activated Katrina focused the discussion on Jo Boaler’s book Mathematical Mindsets. Teachers worked in groups discussing pre-selected quotes from the book. Again, the conversation was lively, and the thinking that was being shared was meaningful. Amidst all of this energy, I sat back and  reflected on how fortunate I am to lead a group of passionate, motivated faculty who enthusiastically devote time every Tuesday afternoon to better their skills and the classroom experience of Park students. What an exceptional group of teachers!

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