From the desk of President Leslie K. Guice
Faculty Feature: Cummins, Manning, King and Kimbell-Lopez: Innovating a Model Classroom
College of Education professors Kimberly Kimbell-Lopez, Libby Manning, and Carrice Cummins, and College of Liberal Arts faculty member Lori King have embarked upon a Model Classroom project with Glen View Elementary School in Ruston. The College of Education works extensively with school systems across the region and state. Lincoln Parish Schools has been a partner on many projects because of its proximity to Tech and the expressed desire of the school district to work with the University. The collaborative project with Glen View began in 2012 following a visit from Lisa Mangum, Glen View’s Principal, and Sherry Boyd, Elementary Supervisor. Ms. Mangum shared her interests in improving student literacy development and in establishing a sense of community with her faculty. Cypress Springs Elementary and Glen View had recently been reconfigured, and faculty had been combined to form a K-2 school, so the community spirit normally found in those schools had to be re-established. The collaboration between Glen View and the Tech professors heightened when the conversation moved towards ways of involving Tech’s teacher candidates in the best practices occurring at Glen View. Principal Mangum provided a classroom on the Glen View campus to be used by Tech professors. The Dean of Education provided furniture and the Glen View/Louisiana Tech College of Education Model Classroom was established. This classroom is being used to teach elementary education undergraduate and graduate literacy and early childhood methods courses. It also serves as a clinical practice field for speech students from the College of Liberal Arts. The on-site classroom allows Tech faculty to teach content and then immediately take teacher candidates into classrooms to see practices in action and/or to work directly with students applying their skills. The educational action plan centers around a model created by Drs. Cummins, Manning, and Kimbell-Lopez, who are faculty in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership. The model came to be known as the Powerful Instruction Model, which is comprised of three phases: Interactive Read Alouds, Literacy Stations, and a Reading/Writing Workshop. Each phase includes monthly job-embedded professional development activities where each professor meets with designated grade-level groups of teachers in 3-hour blocks. The Powerful Instruction Model is being rolled out in 3 phases: Phase One: Interactive Read Alouds, January-May, 2013
- Two hours of content instruction focused on scholarly conversations, learning environment, intentional planning, genre development, followed by a 30-minute demonstration lesson in one of the teacher’s classrooms (taught by a Tech professor) in order for teachers to observe content in action. Each session concludes with a 30-minute debriefing session spotlighting evidence of best practices identified from the demonstration lesson.
- Phase Two of the project was scheduled to begin in August, 2013. However, the award of a Louisiana Systemic Initiative Project (LaSIP) grant from the Board of Regents and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education allowed implementation to begin in July so that teachers could move through Phase Two by December.
- The LaSIP grant was written in collaboration with Lori King from the Department of Speech in the College of Liberal Arts in order to enhance the oral language and word study elements of literacy stations and interactive read alouds.
- A week-long Summer Literacy Institute was held in July at Glen View with 100% faculty participation. This allowed teachers to begin their work with both interactive read-alouds and literacy stations at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.
- Beginning in the fall, the job-embedded professional development for literacy stations included: a) classroom walkthroughs to observe literacy station implementation, b) one-on-one conferences with teachers to provide feedback, and c) presentation of new content to grade-level teams.
- Phase Three will kick off with a January 11th (Saturday) professional development program scheduled at Glen View.
- Two hours of content instruction will focus on learning environment, structure of the workshop model, mini-lesson instruction, and conferencing. That will be followed by a 30-minute demonstration lesson in one of the teacher’s classrooms (taught by one of the Tech professors) in order for teachers to observe content in action. Each session will also conclude with a 30-minute debriefing session spotlighting evidence of best practices identified from the demonstration lesson.