The TPS-Colorado workshop held on January 4 for the Academy District 20 Talented and Gifted Program, “Differentiation While Using Primary Sources in the Classroom,” was a great success.
The workshop, with a focus on the topic of Westward Expansion, was presented by TPS instructor and Master Teacher Mary Johnson, and Ruthi Manning-Freeman, Assistant Director for Talented and Gifted Education. Nancy White, 21st Century Learning and Innovation Specialist, and Christine Schein, Coordinator for the Schools of Innovative Learning, assisted in the presentation.
Resources included Library of Congress presentations and primary sources relating to the Lewis and Clark Expedition and Assimilation through Education. The group explored the integration of 21st century skills, dual inquiry, and reflection into the selection and analysis of primary sources.
In the dual inquiry model, educators take the role of both teacher and learner, and benefit from awareness of both as they consider how their students will think when in inquiry. This model, created by Peggy O’Neill-Jones, Cindy Stout, Linda Sargent Wood, Michelle Pearson, and Stevan Kalmon, is based on the work of Barbara Stripling’s Inquiry Model.
Holding the workshop in an elementary school library rather than in a computer lab allowed the 25 participants to spread out and relax in informal groups. The small groups became engaged in the material as they browsed the Library of Congress collections and brainstormed ways to introduce primary sources into curriculum for their talented and gifted students.
The group also discussed the potential of using QR codes in exploration of primary sources. A QR code provides a physical link to an online source of information. An example of how to use this technology would be to attach a QR code to a primary source, or use an image editing program to insert a code into a digital image of the primary source. Students can then use a smartphone or tablet with a QR code reader to scan the code, which would then take them to a wiki or web page with information about the primary source.
This workshop was a huge success, as it ended up tying nicely into future events that we will be holding. Later this year we will be conducting another workshop specifically focusing on Talented & Gifted teachers. This time it will be offered in collaboration with the Pikes Peak Southeast Regions Gifted Education Program.
Participants shared their excitement about the possibilities that primary sources and new technology offer to their talented and gifted students. An attendee left the workshop so impressed she was able to convince her principal to send 20 teachers to our upcoming Teacher Librarian Day 2012!