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Summer filled with training, professional development opportunities

PARKER – Only a few days into summer break, a group of dedicated high school and middle school teachers were back to work, waking up early to learn more about how backwards design can improve their courses.
Hundreds of teachers volunteered for the GVC Unit Design Academy, which is known as GUDA. Mary Murphy with the World-Class Education department says it is one of many opportunities that teachers have this summer to improve their craft.
“It’s a summer full of training, workshops and professional development,” Murphy said. “Next week is the elementary GUDA; there will also be science camp for elementary teachers.”
The GUDA sessions are only the first of six workshops offered by the department.
June 4th-5th, MS GUDA at the Wildlife Experience
June 6th-7th, HS GUDA at the Wildlife Experience
June 10th-11th, Outdoor Education Science Unit Design at the Outdoor Ed Center
June 11th-12th, Elem GUDA at the Lone Tree Arts Center
June 16th-17th, 19th-20th, and 23rd-24th, Elementary Science & Inquiry Camps all at Castle Rock Elementary
June 18th-19th, ESL Summer Institute at the Sheraton DTC
The Center for Professional Development is also offering courses in July and August on backwards design and how to align this planning to the District’s Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum (GVC).
“It was imperative for us to make sure that teachers understood Stages 1 and 2 [of backwards design] are directly aligned to GVC documents, which are also aligned to the system performance assessments as well,” Murphy said.
As teachers have worked to improve the GVC, the focus for GUDA has changed too.

“It’s no longer about standards and testing those standards,” explained Murphy. “It’s about using those standards in a pathway towards a skill to develop and master that world class outcome. That was probably the biggest 'ah ha' that we accomplished during the workshop.”

“It was amazing how many in the room made that shift right in front of our very eyes,” she added.

The World Class Education staff provided differentiated instruction, so that the teachers could learn at their own pace. The goal is for the educators to have backwards designed units that are ready to use for the fall.

Murphy believes that will translate to increased teacher effectiveness, as these educators take the lessons back to their classroom.

“I know we will see unbelievable engagement with the students, phenomenal summative assessments, and, we hope the teachers feel the results of their planning and hard work in this two-day workshop next year when they are in their classrooms, and through their students’ success,” Murphy said.

Teachers interested in attending the remaining workshops will want to contact the World Class Education department. They can sign up for the professional development courses by going to the Center for Professional Development’s Online Course Catalog.

The goal is also to train representatives from each school as Curriculum and Instructional Leaders (CILs) and those teacher leaders will then share their knowledge with their colleagues.

October 14, 2013 | By Anonymous | Category:

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It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.