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See, Think, Wonder: Berclair Elementary

Today’s tour of Berclair Elementary in Memphis began a 10-day series of site visits with schools in and around the Greater Memphis Area.  The Martin Residents, along with Laura Dearman, the Institute’s director, spent the morning meeting with Berclair’s school administration, visiting with faculty, touring the facilities, and observing classes.  It was a very exciting day, and, in true Junior Kindergarten style, “our brains were on fire” from all of the cool ideas that we were left juggling from this oh-so-friendly and clever school.

By: Sep 2nd, 2014

Reely Great Reads

To promote Reader’s Workshop in the 3rd grade, we created a Readbox bulletin board inspired by Redbox movie rental kiosks. After a long afternoon of measuring, stapling, laminating, cutting, and trekking across the school for paper (many times), Kara and I finally finished the 3rd grade’s Readbox.

By: Aug 25th, 2014

Quote of the (Mon)Day

Monday’s are tough on the brain, we’ll be the first to admit.  So when the PDS boys caught their first glimpse of the third grade’s new reading bulletin board cleverly built around the Redbox concept, some pretty hilarious — and completely “space cadet” (as Kara likes to say) — things were said.  The sort of things that a teacher can only pretend were never said.

By: Aug 25th, 2014

CSI: Presbyterian Day School

To really get down to the nitty gritty in reflecting on the first week of our rotation at PDS, Laura asked us to call upon CSI.  No, no, nothing is wrong at Presbyterian Day School.  The boys are all safe and sound.  CSI is a visible thinking routine that helps a learner dig deeper into and discover the overarching, most important themes in an experience.

By: Aug 22nd, 2014

Exploring Mindset through Visible Thinking

Today Kara and I explored further in our thoughts about Carol Dweck’s, Mindset during our weekly seminar. We used a visual thinking routine, Think-Puzzle-Explore.  Here are our thoughts on Mindset below. We loved using this visual thinking routine because it required us to be open and honest about what we really thought about Mindset.

By: Aug 20th, 2014

Our First Department Meeting

Wednesdays at PDS call for early student dismissal and an afternoon of department and all-staff meetings for the faculty. Today’s meeting — our first faculty meeting — took an interesting turn. As of recent, social media has been nearly overtaken with philanthropic souls willingly dumping buckets of freezing cold ice water over their heads. As teaching residents with The Martin Institute, we certainly have a heart for all things charity. However, as teaching residents with The Martin Institute, we certainly do not carry much of a curiosity for the sensation of being doused in ever-so-chilly water on a hot, hot, heat-advised Memphis afternoon. Well, we weren’t smart enough to keep to ourselves our skepticism around, or maybe even near unwillingness for, jumping on the bandwagon and join millions of other big hearts in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Word spread.


By: Aug 19th, 2014