On March 11, Harker teachers headed to the Head Royce School in Oakland to participate in the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) Northern Regional Meeting. Faculty and staff took the day to learn and share with other schools in an effort to continuously improve the quality of service offered at Harker. Below is a sampling of some of the talks given by Harker instructors.
Upper school mathematics teachers Troy Thiele and Mary Mortlock presented “Teens Drive Badly? You Should Check Out Their Parents!” Their talk described how a real issue with driver behaviors at Harker led to a hands-on learning experience for its statistics students, who were able to use all aspects of the statistical problem-solving process while helping make their school community a safer place.
Middle school performing arts lead teacher Monica Colletti presented “Meeting ‘Em Where They’re At: Video Technology to Enhance Student Presentations.” Colletti showed how using the most recent technology in her acting class not only produced more effective presentations, but also enhanced creativity and resulted in more dedicated performers.
Lower school teachers Heidi Gough, Katherine Hammond and Lisa Diffenderfer presented “Learning Management Systems for Primary School Students,” in which they showed the educational possibilities offered by online learning management tools like OpenClassroom and Moodle.
Harker librarians Meredith Cranston, Kathy Clark, Bernie Morrissey and Lauri Vaughan presented “Creating a Community of Readers at Your School.” The group shared its success in creating three unique summer reading programs K-12 at Harker.
Susan Smith, Harker’s library director, and Donna Gilbert, history department chair, presented “Research Rules: Information Skills for the 21st Century.” The Harker faculty members shared ideas, tips and practices for teaching research in the high school history classroom.
Smith and Ramsay Westgate, history and social science teacher, presented “Teaching about International Issues: The World, Research Skills and the 21st Century,” in which they shared their experiences teaching an inquiry-based research project on international issues and public policy, a seminar-style senior elective offered at Harker.
Grade 4 mathematics teacher Eileen Schick shared examples of enriching math projects, games and online virtual resources she uses to strengthen and enhance Harker’s mathematics program in a talk called “Spice up Your Fourth through Seventh Grade Math Classes.”
Upper school Spanish teacher Diana Moss held a workshop called “¡HABRÁ POESÍA!” in which she explored ideas for incorporating poetry in Spanish classes of all levels.
Dave Hart, new to Harker’s middle school performing arts department this year, presented a talk called “Mozart to Miles: Building Context, Continuity and Creativity through Improvisation,” highlighting the importance of improvisation in music teaching and learning. Hart shared specific techniques of how to incorporate improvisation into music curricula.
Lower school physical education teachers Paula Bither and Jim McGovern presented and demonstrated fun P.E. games suitable for an entire class to participate in at the same time, in a talk called “Large Group Games in Physical Education.”
Though there were many more talks given, the above examples show the wide breadth and deep knowledge Harker instructors have to offer!