Darlington School: Teaching With Passion: Darlington Coffee EDU
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Teaching With Passion: Darlington Coffee EDU

Beth Wardlaw | June 26, 2019 | 122 views

Each Tuesday morning, Darlington faculty have the opportunity to participate in Coffee Edu. The purpose of Coffee Edu is to foster growth, build relationships, and collaborate with peers while learning new ideas to use in the classroom. Here is a summary of what was covered during the month of June:

June 4: Google Classroom: Teachers were looking for ways the students could record themselves, submit for feedback, get feedback, then resubmit until correct. Google Classroom allows you to view all student videos and progress in one place. You can hold off on the grading aspect until the ultimate goal can be reached. We have seen this being used very successfully in a variety of different classrooms. It is even used in the Thatcher library to turn in Battle of the Realm projects. 

June 11: Teaching Strategies:

The website Cult of Pedagogy has a plethora of information regarding teaching and assessment strategies, classroom management, educational technology, and advice for teachers. The three teaching strategies covered at this Coffee Edu were:

Inductive Learning: A way to engage students in higher-level thinking by having them analyze examples before being introduced to overarching theories or rules.

Jigsaw Method: This cooperative learning strategy increases student engagement, encourages collaboration, and results in better learning. 

The Concept Attainment Lesson: In concept attainment, students figure out the attributes of a group or category that has already been formed by the teacher.

June 18: Differentiation with Digital Choice

Differentiation with choice is one of the most popular differentiation strategies, due to student interest and achievement. It has been proven that students are often more motivated when given a choice in their lesson/learning. Choice boards and menus allow the teacher to determine the content and tangible outcomes, while giving students the freedom to choose how they achieve the needed goals and complete the process.

June 25: Tangible Programming with Sphero

Today, more than ever, students are being encouraged to learn how to program. We now know computational thinking is a skill that will benefit students in every aspect of education. Millions of students are now learning how to code, but there is still a lot of work to do to make it truly a new literacy. There has been a wide variety of research to show that tangible programming is one of the best ways to teach young students this valuable skill. By putting toys that students are already used to using in their hands (for example blocks and legos), they are more likely to think freely and learn the skill faster. 

We had a lot of fun at this Coffee Edu focusing on tangible programming. We explored Sphero for EDU activities and tried out several different levels of programming.  Please see the link below, to check out some of the different activities we did based on subject and grade level: Sphero EDU---Activities by subject and grade level.  We will be hosting a Programming Playground next month to show how tangible programming can be used in any class, with a variety of connected toys and robots. 


We have had a blast working with our amazing faculty this month! We can’t wait to see what exciting things happen in July! Here are some of the topics we will be covering:

Tuesday, July 2:  

Book discussion of our summer reading book Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain by Dr. Janet Zadina. Specifically, we will focus on creating homework menus for the emotion, attention and memory, and social pathways. 

Tuesday, July 9:

Melissa Smyly will be sharing strategies she learned at the AP Language workshop. The strategies she will share can be used in any classroom!

Other Workshops (dates to be determined):

  • Google Certification through Google Teacher Center. You've spent the time growing your skills, now get certified to be recognized for the work you've done!
  • Apple Teacher Certification through Apple Teacher. Apple Teacher is a free professional learning program designed to support and celebrate educators using Apple products for teaching and learning. As an educator you can build skills on iPad and Mac that directly apply to activities with your students, earn recognition for the new things you learn, and be rewarded for the great work you do every day. In addition, we will be going over the new Apple classroom, as a form of classroom management with devices. 
  • Programming Playground: Digital toys and robots that provide opportunities for tangible programming in any content area. We will be working with:

If there are any topics that you as a parent or community member would like to learn more about, please reach out to us! We would love to have you join us for Coffee EDU.