Last week I visited Gateway International Charter School in Sacramento California for a SOLE training, and I was so impressed by the educators and culture of their campus that I wanted to share about my experience. I was also very fortunate that Kori Haverstick was able to join me for this training, she’s becoming our go-to resource for SOLE in IB environments after she presented at the Global IB conference in San Diego this summer.
We began our day by reviewing Dr. Sugata Mitra’s TED Talk, and breaking out into small groups to discuss. Next, we reviewed the structure of a SOLE session and Kori facilitated a SOLE with the big question “What is the future of learning?”. Teachers worked in small groups to research for about 30 minutes and then presented what they found in some very creative ways: several posters, Google slideshows, a Padlet, and even some skits about robotic paraprofessionals and space tech!
After our break we talked about integrating SOLE into IB units of inquiry and how our tools can be used to support this practice in the classroom. Everyone took time to try things out for themselves and plan a few SOLE lessons to take back to their students. I was especially struck by a practice the school principal introduced at the end of our session, where all teachers gave affirmations about the day. This practice comes from Capturing Kid’s Hearts, a program that Gateway International has implemented with great success. Kori and I were able to check out some classrooms after our presentation and it was clear that these practices had permeated the school.
I’m also happy to say that since we left we’ve seen some great SOLE sessions being completed by teachers at Gateway International, here’s one from a 6th grade classroom where students were exploring the big question “What are character traits?”. It’s always reinvigorating to see the amazing work students do with SOLE in their classrooms.