Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Scarlett Middle School Students and MAC Interns inspired by Summer Clinical Program

Tags: birdyshaw, dershimer, mitchellscarlett, secondary education, young

Scarlett Middle School Students and MAC Interns inspired by Summer Clinical Program Ivory turned to his partner and said, "You better turn your brain on" before beginning to construct an index card tower in competition with his classmates from Scarlett Middle School. Thirty minutes later, the Ford Auditorium in the U-M College of Engineering’s Industrial Operations Building, was filled with a variety of structures in response to the engineering challenge of designing a way to support a stuffed animal over 20 centimeters in the air. Jenalyn Lawrence, a secondary MAC student commented, “Seeing the excitement and pride on my group of students’ faces when they won the index card challenge was a moment I will carry with me for the rest of my teaching career…”

On Thursday July 11, Scarlett Middle School students and teachers, and U-M staff, faculty and Secondary MAC interns, ended their first week of the Scarlett Summer School program with a visit to the University of Michigan’s North Campus. The day started with a tour of the wave field, Lurie Nanofabrication Facility, and the U-M solar car garage. The tour included a visit with Hans Sowder from the Center for Engineering Diversity and Outreach, who facilitated the index card challenge to help students and interns learn about the engineering design process. In the afternoon everyone had a chance to work with Tom Bray, Converging Technologies Consultant, and the talented staff of the Digital Media Commons to learn the basics of video special effects and electronic music production. The day would not have been complete without a visit to the U-M video game library. The goal of the visit was to inspire the Scarlett Middle School students to visualize themselves one day doing this kind of work. Kathryn Young, Clinical Experiences Coordinator for Teacher Education, noted that in one of the video studios when the students were asked if there were any questions, one young man asked, "Does it get any more amazing than this?"

Scarlett Middle School Students and MAC Interns inspired by Summer Clinical Program During Scarlett’s summer school program, middle school students and U-M teaching interns learn from each other as part of the Mitchell Scarlett Teaching and Learning Collaborative, the School of Education’s partnership with Ann Arbor Public Schools, which is beginning its third year. The summer school program serves approximately 50 students in grades 6-8, and is focused on strengthening the students’ reading and math skills in preparation for their next school year. From July 8 through August 9, U-M interns spend four days a week supporting the language arts and math classrooms by working with Scarlett teachers to learn teaching practices that help support learning with individuals and small groups of students. Liv Racine, a Scarlett Math teacher notes, “It's so great to look around the room and see all of my students completely engaged and having fun! They're all getting the attention and help that they need (from the interns) to learn and grow—it's so awesome!!” These clinical experiences are integrated into the interns’ education classes by U-M faculty, Charles Dershimer and Deanna Birdyshaw, who are teaching the Education 511 Records of Practice class on site at Scarlett Middle School. This signature class in the secondary MAC program combines course work on learning theory and student motivation with the classroom teaching practices associated with reading apprenticeship and facilitating student conversations. Interns integrate the different worlds of the U-M and Scarlett classrooms through discussions of video records of the interns’ practice, and reflective writing tasks where interns review and comment on their competency with the teaching practices they are enacting.

How did the first week of the program end after a long day spent touring campus? In response to this question, Morgan Hooks, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in the MAC program noted, “It was amazing to watch the students get so excited about the different activities during the field trip, especially because they were having so much fun that they didn't even realize they were learning! It inspired me to create these types of experiences for my own students when I'm teaching math next year.”

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