students use ‘Super Seven’
By TIFFANY RONEY
CHAPMAN––Area students are finding new ways to learn.
Chapman Middle School teachers are using a series of best practices known as the “Super Seven” to ensure students are engaged as active learners. The teachers shared about the practices at shared at USD 473’s Board of Education meeting Monday night.
Last year, Bruce Hurford, principal of CMS, approached staff with the 10 best practices he found to improve student learning. Teachers started looking closely at the practices and communicating about them with each other and with students. They began putting lessons together that would better reach all students.
After working through the practices and testing them out with students, teachers settled on the Super Seven. The teachers use a poster that hangs on each classroom’s board to guide students through what is expected of them each day.
“The essential question is, of course, what you are doing with your lesson for the day,” Jill Goldsmith, language arts teacher at CMS, said. “The whole thing is, as a teacher, you already have this in your mind at the start. But the thing about this is we already had it in mind, but this is for the students. We want the students to know what we had in mind for the day.”
Dwynne Riegel, math teacher at CMS, said the Super Seven comes in handy not only for language arts classes, like Goldsmith’s, but also in mathematics. In fact, the math teachers’ new curriculum came with the Super Seven already integrated.
“I’d just like to put in a plug that we love our new curriculum,” Riegel said. “There are many reasons why we love it, but all the super seven are part of our curriculum. It’s built right in. Every lesson plan has an essential question: what the goal of the lesson was that day.”
For the second of the Super Seven - “activate your brain” - the curriculum gives students the first day of every unit to act rather than listen.
“The first day is activity day, where I don’t do a lot of talking,” Riegel said. “The kids are in partners and groups, and they’re doing discovery, where you figure it out on your own without the teacher drilling it into you. The second day, the teacher steps in and explains.”
In addition to the presentation about the Super Seven, the meeting included a short presentation by Adrian Fink, president of National Honor Society at Chapman High School.
Fink said the society has already held its first meeting of the 2013-2014 school year and has selected its officers. Juniors will be notified this year if they have qualified for membership in the society.
Induction of new members will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22. Dr. Andrew Brown, 2004 CHS graduate with a degree in pharmaceutical medicine, will present at the induction.
The board meeting took place at the USD 473 district office in Chapman.