The fourth annual Monday at Marist program was held in October. Each year it includes workshops for local grade school teachers and principals presented by Marist teachers. It is a great way to partner with local educators.
This year’s event featured mini presentations about lessons and strategies to meet the needs of 21st century learners. English teachers Mary Cozzie and Samantha Paoletti shared how creating writing assignments with authentic audiences engage their students more fully. Paoletti’s students write books for kindergartners and then meet them in person to read together. Cozzie’s students write blogs and book reviews on popular literary sites.
Religion teachers Br. Sam Amos and Joe O’Brien ’09 gave an overview of integrating Genius Hour, a program that gives students one class period per week to devote to a personal improvement endeavor. Some students took up knitting, while others learned how to play an instrument. Still another researched the knee surgery she underwent. The time is meant to inspire creativity and ingenuity. Gmail is a product of Genius Hour at Google, while Post-Its are the result of the program at 3M.
Sarah Rakauskas, who oversees the peer leadership program, shared how her students engage in online conversations regarding their service experiences, which both enriches their work and uses social media in a positive, constructive way. English teacher Megan outlined how to create an atmosphere where small group discussion flourishes through structure and set outcomes. Director of Curriculum and Instruction Joanne Paprocki also did something interesting, offering teachers strategies on how to create more challenging, open-ended questions.
Lastly, social studies teacher Mike Landstrom ’08 described bringing history beyond the text through lived experiences. He used his lesson on the Viet Nam war as an example. After teaching the basics of the time period, the students participated in a “draft” and then went through a mock war scene, going over obstacles blindfolded while the sounds of bombs and gunfire went off in the background.
“Sharing resources and knowledge with local teachers creates a richer educational community for us all,” Principal Larry Tucker said. The school hopes to add an additional spring session to the program.
Photo: Principal Larry Tucker ’79 helps a table of grade school teachers with a science challenge he presented at the start of the Monday at Marist program, which pushed them to think outside the box and change their assumptions about student understanding.