WASHINGTON, July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Delaware Department of Education is expanding its successful task-based Common Core professional development partnership with LearnZillion, a digital curriculum and professional learning provider, to recruit up to 50 talented educators from across the state to join the 2015 Delaware Dream Team.
The participants on the 2014 Delaware Dream Team were unanimous in their support of this hands-on, job-embedded experience, with 95 percent noting that this training had positively and specifically impacted their efficacy in the classroom.
"The concept and process of taking one item and back-mapping it and then creating some checkpoints from the student work collected was highly educational. I learned a lot about how to look at the student work through this lens and really analyze the student misconceptions," said 2014 Delaware Dream Team member and Alfred G. Waters Middle School sixth-grade math and science teacher Laura Conner.
Michael Watson, Delaware's chief academic officer, noted that "last year, we made a choice to invest in LearnZillion's collaborative, lesson-study-inspired model for Common Core professional development. The 2014 Delaware Dream Team created rigorous, vetted Common Core-aligned resources that every teacher in Delaware can now use as part of their instruction, and have become effective ambassadors for how the Common Core can support exceptional instruction for Delaware's students. We are very excited to extend this tremendous Common Core professional development model to more of Delaware's teachers this year."
Christiana High School's Christina Hanna echoed these sentiments, sharing: "Being on the Delaware Dream Team is a chance to plan, teach, and talk about learning alongside fellow Dream Team members who are going to help you devise a plan and materials to get you one step closer to reaching your classroom-utopia."
Once selected, Delaware Dream Team teachers will attend TeachFest, an all-expenses paid professional development event facilitated by LearnZillion from October 23-25, 2014. Following Delaware's TeachFest, the Delaware Dream Team will use LearnZillion's platform to continue working with content coaches in a collaborative, online professional learning communities (PLCs). At the suggestion of the 2014 team, the 2015 Dream Team will reconvene for three half-day professional development sessions during the school year. During this process, they will translate their proven teaching methods and classroom expertise into formative assessment tools and resources that will be made available to teachers in Delaware, and around the country, through LearnZillion's free Common Core resource library. Examples of the 2014 Delaware Dream Team work can be seen here.
"We are excited for the opportunity to work with more of the state's top teachers in the coming year as we support their Common Core implementation efforts," Secretary of Education Mark Murphy said. "This is an opportunity for some of our most accomplished educators to collaborate across school, district and county lines for the benefit of students across the state and country."
LearnZillion CEO Eric Westendorf agreed: "We're looking forward to helping more of Delaware's teachers scale their impact for the benefit of colleagues and students across the state. The team last year had incredible energy, and the work they produced was top notch. It's exciting to imagine the positive changes that will become real once this 2015 Dream Team is provided time, space and support to collaborate with each other for the benefit of students."
To learn more, or to apply, visit delawaredreamteam.fluidreview.com. The application deadline is September 19, 2014.
LearnZillion champions teachers and provides schools and districts with an effective bridge to the Common Core. LearnZillion Premium's math curricular resources and close reading/writing program are built by a Dream Team of top educators directly from the standards to unlock the instructional potential of teachers and prepare every student for the rigorous new assessments. A flexible learning platform allows schools and districts to develop teacher leaders as they customize a high-quality curriculum for every building. Over 415,000 teachers now use the LearnZillion platform. Customers include District of Columbia Public Schools, Syracuse City Public Schools, the Delaware Department of Education, the Connecticut State Department of Education and various school consortia throughout the United States. Founded in 2011 by two former teachers, LearnZillion is on Fast Company's World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Education. Connect online at @LearnZillion and www.LearnZillion.com.