The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 27, 2002


Summers are for curriculum improvement

"Carlisle Public School teachers were busy this summer," principal Andy Goyer told the Carlisle School Committee on September 17, describing the variety of curriculum work that involved all teachers. "It shows that there is lots of preparation before the teachers and students even get together," said Goyer. "The teachers are always learning ways to improve the program."

Three middle school language arts teachers, Carolyn Platt, Paula Ewers, and Steve Bober, discussed "core literature, literature circles and reading instruction and sequence." The group discussed comprehension strategies and ways of teaching language arts objectives.

Leanne Christmas, Liz Hamlet, and Heather White, members of the speech and language department, spent time developing a range of classroom strategies for word retrieval and auditory processing that teachers can use to facilitate a student's access to the curriculum. Some of the ways teachers help students process and learn is through use of visual materials, frequent reviewing of information or story summarization, asking students to re-voice the materials, using cueing techniques and visualization of objects.

Teachers Donna Clapp and Susan LaPorte created a document which provides teachers with resources and a bibliography to help in the process of teaching reading at the elementary school level.

Middle school teachers Sara Bysshe, Wendy Stack, Alan Ticotsky, and Jim Trierweiler planned ways to raise the level of science literacy in all grades. Among their plans for specific grades, grade 6 will shift their study from weather to climate and grade 7 will emphasize ecology. All grades will have energy as a theme and all will use the activity book Building Big which deals with projects involving the construction of bridges, dams, domes, skyscrapers and tunnels.

Third-grade teachers Cindy Alhussni, Melissa Blechman, Margaret Bruell, Liz Gray, Jennifer Johnson, and Gene Stammell worked on an overview of the third-grade science curriculum. Their students will be taught the scientific method and the importance of variables in an experiment. This summer the teachers practiced teaching these concepts on each other.

This same group also reviewed the content and ideas in third-grade reading, writing, and social studies. They will begin the school year reading and writing poetry, exposing students to free verse and structured forms of poetry.

CSC member David Dockterman commented that the professional development in school and outside of school is "the best I have seen. This includes Carlisle College and summer course training." A teacher needs to have 120 hours of professional development courses in specific areas every five years according to Goyer. Superintendent Fox-Melanson said, "The school needs to provide options and opportunities for the staff to acquire professional development points at no cost to them. This is why Carlisle College, a cluster of courses for teachers, works so well on a number of levels. It presents opportunities compatible with Carlisle's goals."

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito