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Sunday, June 30, 2013

LAA+ Summer Institute Recap

Wow! Our first annual Louisiana A+ Schools Summer Institute could not have gone better!

It was the first professional development training for teachers of its size, structure and duration ever in Louisiana!

Twenty-five (25) facilitators from Oklahoma A+ joined fifteen (15) facilitators from Louisiana to train nearly 100% of 7 school faculties (200+ teachers) for an entire week on arts-integration, A+ methods and our Eight Essentials in order to impact over 3,000 Louisiana students!

Member schools are every type (urban, rural, suburban, pre K - 12, public, private, charter) and are in Shreveport, Monroe, New Iberia, Baton Rouge, Reserve and New Orleans.

The institute was held in partnership with LSU on LSU's campus during the week of June 24th.

Participants live tweeted to @AplusLA using the hashtag #AplusLA and their photos are displayed throughout this blog entry. 

At the end of every day, we asked participants to share with us their reactions to that day's training.  Overwhelmingly, nearly all teachers and principals gave us positive reactions!  We of course don't have room here to display them all.  However, here are some of our favorites:

I think….this has been the best workshop I have attended in 17 years! (11th Chemistry II AP teacher)

I discovered today that….common core, core knowledge, and Louisiana A+ 8 Essentials really work perfectly together. (Kindergarten teacher)

If I could change one thing I would….change the amount of time at this workshop.  Would love to have more time with you. (1st grade teacher)

If I could change one thing I would….not change a thing about today.  It was beautiful. (Principal)

I understand better how….LAA+ evolved and why it is so important to integrate art across the curriculum. (Art teacher)

I understand better how….to set up my students to succeed in the most creative ways while building their self esteem. (Kindergarten teacher)

I rediscovered….the joy of teaching and seeing the learning process in action. (5th grade teacher)

I feel….much better about the A+ school model because it is not just another thing I have to incorporate in my class but rather an important piece of a puzzle that was missing. (Kindergarten teacher)

I will be able to use….everything I’ve learned. (6th grade English language arts teacher)

I was surprised that….there are so many ideas I could actually put into a math class. (7th grade math teacher)

I am proud of the way….I am able to visualize how to integrate both art and music with my English classes. (11th grade English teacher)

It would be helpful if….I knew all of this when I was first started teaching 25 years ago. (Kindergarten teacher)

I discovered today that….art education is an excellent mechanism for helping students move past their perceived limitations to explore new possibilities.  (Principal)

I was surprised that….the process of creating and sharing art is the same as the Scientific Method and sharing results. (5th grade science teacher)

I discovered today that….there is no longer a reason to say,  “It is time for math.  Now it is time for spelling.”  EVERYTHING needs to be taught together – integration throughout the curriculum. (1st grade teacher)

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