The SPARK U Curriculum. Rigorous. Practical. Actionable.
Designed by teachers for teachers. SPARK U is 5 days of rigorous professional development that moves well beyond “theory” to introduce a foundational roadmap of actionable tools and techniques for successful classroom management, improved lesson planning, and effective classroom instruction. Every module of the SPARK U curriculum is developed from proven best practices based on real-world teaching principles.
SPARK U Training Modules
Module 1: How Healthy is Your Classroom?
The first building block of an effective teacher is the environment that each teacher creates. In this module, SPARK U teachers will evaluate the health of their classroom by examining their organization and expectations, and developing a “backup” plan to use, if all else fails. Each teacher will be asked to develop a management plan that is compatible with the unique realities of their classroom.
Module 2: Strategic Instructional Design
“I know that there are many pieces to lessons, I’m just not sure how all of them fit together.”
This was the sentiment of a K-2 multiage classroom teacher as she struggled with lesson planning. Lesson planning can be tedious and time consuming. In this SPARK U Module teachers discover a new, simple and straightforward way to design lessons so that learning is maximized for all students. They will create lessons that are aligned to a clear learning objective, and include a strong beginning, flexible middle and comprehensive ending.
Module 3: The Teaching/Learning Cycle
The learning gap can be very frustrating to teachers! In this SPARK U Module teachers will experience first hand the importance of “checking for understanding” and the valuable role it plays in the teaching learning cycle. Well placed formative assessments can make a huge difference in the classroom by helping students monitor their learning and teachers plan their next moves. Teachers will have the opportunity to create several formative assessments (checks) that will ensure that learning is occurring for all and not just a few students.
Module 4: Retention
A key to learning is to recognize how the brain processes and stores information. In this SPARK U Module, teachers will explore the most important factors that influence students’ ability to process and retain information. Elements of modeling, practice, meaning and feeling tone are explored as teachers create learning opportunities that improve how quickly students learn and how long they remember what they learned.
Module 5: Motivation
“You can’t make a child learn.But we can create pathways to open a child’s eyes to learning.” The classroom is full of opportunities to motivate children so that learning can become fun, interesting and personal. Each day, teachers will experience a “motivation tip” that can be used to build enthusiasm and passion for learning. It is much easier and more enjoyable to teach a class of eager and attentive students.
Module 6: Beginnings and Endings
“No attention, no engagement, no learning!” The final SPARK U Module is dedicated to the importance of beginnings and endings and how purposeful the teacher needs to be when planning these key areas of learning. Students tend to remember that which comes first and last in a learning cycle, so these learning segments become vital as teachers prepare their lessons.