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An example of the shift that occured in Mrs. Trembly's teaching is Camp Chromebook. During Camp Chromebook, Mrs. Trembly and her 3rd grade class use the Chromebooks in pairs. Instead of Mrs. Trembly using a direct insruction approach to share her knowledge and skills acquired in the many technology professional development courses she has attended, she is supporting a constructivist, collaborative approach. "In the fast paced world of instructional technology, I realized that if I wait until I am an 'expert', my students and I will miss out on learing opportunities."
Durng Camp Chromebook, Mrs. Trembly facilitates the first section of learning, related to a new skill, or a skill she would like her students to integrate into their current learning. She then opens the space for students to discover and learn skills collaboratively. To promote collaboration, students are paired up to work on a Chromebook. When a student or students make a discovery they give a signal and the class gives their attention. The students then share what they discovered with the class, and the class continues to build up skills and expertise together. For example, if during Camp Chromebook the class is working with Google Docs, Mrs. Trembly will share first. Then, as students discover how to use comments, or tools or shortcuts, they become the teacher, sharing their knowledge with the class.
Mrs. Trembly's willingess to expand her knowledge, reflect on herself and her practices, and make shifts related to teaching and learning has been an encouragement to her whole learning community. She is empowering learners, including her students, herself, and her staff. This is just one of the innovative teaching shifts that the Fall River community is embracing. Watch for more as we share our stories of STEM in action.