And We’re Off!

Monday, June 4th

Written By: Tammy Dunn

Around noon on Sunday afternoon, June 3, A+ College Ready team members arrive at Carroll High School in Ozark, Alabama for the first E3 Training of Summer 2018.




 The host site, Ozark High School is a Cohort IX program school and was recognized last year as an A+ College Ready School of Excellence for meeting it’s ambitious AP qualifying score goal during the first year in the program!


Soon, the trainers who would lead the E3 training began to arrive.  The hallways and the classrooms began to take shape in preparation for four phenomenal days of training!                                


At the end of the day, the entire A+ College Ready staff and all of the presenters gathered to discuss final plans for the week.


Early Monday morning, staff members and trainers began arriving preparing to meet the 200 teachers who were registered for the training.  The halls were filled with enthusiastic teachers and the last nine month’s work by the A+ College Ready team was about to be put into action.

At 8:30 AM, social studies, English, math, science and middle school computer sessions began and the first of three weeks of E3 summer training was underway.  It was a pleasure to get to visit several classrooms. Below are some photos and some quotes and quips from those visits!

Presenter Russ Williams begins the day by sharing the 8th grade World History resources with the teachers and discusses their availability on the Canvas LMS.  Teachers immediately dive into the standards for eighth grade social studies and start exploring content and resources for those standards.

This summer, A+ College Ready is piloting an OGAP (Ongoing Assessment Program) class on fractional reasoning for middle school math teachers led by Marissa Benjamin. These teachers were having a very in-depth discussion about the meaning and significance of equivalent fractions.  Deeper teacher content knowledge leads to higher student achievement.



Kimberly Tucker shared her personal “Where I’m From” poem?  She then shared an example written by one of her students. She MODELED quality work for the “student” participants.  Then, she explained that this exercise not only would allow students to get to know each other but that it would begin the nine week theme of CHARACTERIZATION!  Great teachers are great CONNECTORS and this week in English training, teachers learn strategic nine week plans built around a central theme.


In a different English classroom, presenter Kanita Sturdivant discussed the importance of appropriate pacing with the teachers.  Kanita as well as several participants discussed important strategies for maintaining a lively pace with the curriculum even in the face of multiple barriers.  Our students DESERVE access to ALL of the standards for their grade level, not just ½ or ⅔.


Finally, It is very exciting when you go to different DISCIPLINES and hear teachers being coached similarly POWERFUL PEDAGOGY.


I visited Computer Science Discoveries and Biology and basically heard the same admonition:

  1. Explore before Explain
  2. Activity before Concept
  3. Concept before Vocabulary
  4. Evaluate throughout

Whew!  What a great and this is just DAY 1.  Stay tuned for Day 2!