The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 26, 2008

Teachers share insights on students to ease grade transition

On Tuesday, September 16, the first early release day, all Carlisle teachers met to share information about students. An early release day is a half day for the students, but an afternoon of professional development for the teachers.

Carlisle Elementary Principal Patrice Hurley described the afternoon at the September 17 Carlisle School Committee (CSC) meeting. After a luncheon provided by the Carlisle School Association (CSA), teachers and staff spent the afternoon sharing details about student “learning styles, what worked best and the activities they enjoyed.”

The purpose of the meetings is to have a student’s former teacher share information with the student’s current teacher. The afternoon is split into two sessions. “In the first half of the early release day, kindergarten teachers, special educators and specialists meet with grade one teachers in one room,” Hurley explained in an email. Grade two teachers meet with grade three teachers, grade four teachers meet with grade five teachers, and so on, she explained. “In the second half [of the afternoon] this is reversed, with meetings between grades one and two, three and four, five and six, seven and eight. This is something we do each year in September.”

All staff members who interact with students are included in the meetings, including the nurses, and art, music and gym teachers. “Aides are invited to attend as well,” said Hurley. She said students’ materials are shared, as well as grades and information about learning styles. “The focus is on the whole child,” she explained. This includes “individual student interests, challenges and successes. Our teachers find it highly valuable to share a year’s worth of information gained by former teachers with the next year’s teachers.” ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito