STEAM--Elementary--Amber Moore and Courtney Harper (Team--Teach Me Bridges)
New Market School - New Market
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/teachmebridges or amberhaslackermoore
Class Website on Wordpress: www.mrsmooresclass.wordpress.com
Fund for Teachers Video Spotlight
Video Overview: Amber Moore teaches 5th Grade at New Market School and Courtney Harper is the art teacher. Amber explains how they used the Fund for Teachers grant to learn about bridges and create a STEAM based Teach Me Bridges unit
2015 Summer Fellowship Plans:
Explore the design and history of twelve bridges in Portugal, Spain, France and Switzerland, and also observe teaching strategies at top European design universities and architectural firms, to develop a high-interest, project-based bridge unit focusing on STEAM integration and college/career readiness skills.
As leaders of our school’s project-based learning team, we are excited to pilot implementation in our own classrooms, motivate other teachers to try project-based learning, and create quality teacher resources. To create a unit for this shift in our school’s current teaching model, we started by listening to our students. A local bridge expansion project really piqued their interest and sparked a number of questions. “Who makes new bridges and how do they know what kind of bridge to make?” “What’s the oldest/tallest/longest bridge in the world?” “What’s the coolest bridge you’ve ever seen?” We decided to utilize this natural curiosity and create a project-based bridge unit focused on building skills for college and career readiness. In order to develop our unit, Teach Me Bridges, we have customized a travel itinerary of specific European bridges, innovative design firms, and top architectural schools that will help us meet the learning and research goals we developed based on our students’ questions. First, we need to build our personal background knowledge and exposure to different bridge designs. Second, we want to understand how modern bridge design balances the needs of urban development with space limitations of historic cities. Third, we desire to know how professionals are trained for solving engineering challenges, including general career readiness skills. As the K-6 art teacher and 5th grade math and science teacher with 12 years of combined teaching experience, we are very excited to use these goals to show students the relationships between our seemingly different subject areas through a unique project-based learning unit.
- Our Fund for Teachers fellowship has significantly impacted our teaching careers by allowing us to:
- Collaborate with professional educators abroad to increase our understanding of the project based learning model.
- Connect with architectural firms and engineers to increase our content knowledge about the design process.
- Participate in lectures about how purposefully planned architecture can create positive environmental change at the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, a prestigious design school in Barcelona.
- Challenge ourselves as we develop an academically rigorous curriculum unit.
- Take on teacher leadership roles to promote a change toward project based teaching and learning in our home schools.
- Encourage other teachers in our system to try the project based learning model based on what we learned on our fellowship and what we have tried in our classrooms.
- Personalize our state standards by connecting objectives to real world experiences, specifically in math and art.
- Share our cultural experiences with our current students and local teaching cohort.
- Proactively engage ourselves and our students in our own learning.
Message from Amber Moore
"I am beyond excited about our fellowship this summer! I’ve attached a picture collage to prove it. J The top picture is of my 5th grade students whose questions about a local bridge project inspired Courtney and I to develop this fellowship. The bottom right is me with my three student translators for the unit. The last image is of the “logo” that the art club helped develop yesterday. J Courtney is working at a different school this semester (she floats between 4 schools) so she isn’t in the images."