Several Mason Prep faculty members attended and presented at the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) Master Teacher Conference this fall. The Master Teacher program recognizes teachers who exhibit best practices in the classroom and a willingness to share and collaborate with other educators. Master Teachers must inspire excellence in the classroom, among colleagues and, especially, among students.
Ms. Kathleen Thomas and Ms. Rollins Babb, Learning Specialists
Ms. Thomas and Ms. Babb did a presentation about multisensory phonics. They pointed out that, while most teaching curriculums cater to the auditory or visual learner, this is not a natural way for all children to learn. They spoke about the importance of involving all the senses (sight, sound, speech, touch, movement) in lessons, which allows all students’ neural pathways to be engaged. They shared examples of tools and activities that help engage students, ensuring that they are always interacting with the task and making connections with the material. Multisensory techniques provide more ways for understanding new information, more ways to remember it, and more ways to recall it later. In keeping with the subject matter, Ms. Thomas and Ms. Babb brought materials for attendees to make different items they took home to use as phonics teaching tools.
Mr. Hal Huser, 5th and 6th Grade Social Studies and 5th Grade GVC Teacher
Mr. Huser did a presentation on review games as ways to incorporate game-based learning in the classroom. Games (most of which are familiar to the students) allow students to interact with the material in new ways and make learning more fun. For example, the class can play Outburst to name countries that border the Mediterranean. You can play Pictionary or Charades to draw or act out Constitutional Amendments. Rather than memorizing material with flashcards or quizzing a study partner, these games allow the whole class to be involved in an engaging activity.
Ms. Meghan James, 7th and 8th Grade Math Teacher
Ms. James spoke to Master Teacher candidates about how to apply to be a SCISA Master Teacher. Ms. James is a Master Teacher and is very active with the program. She serves on the Master Teacher Committee with two educators from other schools. The Committee evaluates all of the master teacher portfolios submitted by candidates. Ms. James also co-facilitates the SCISA Teacher Institute during the summer where we do 2-day workshops for teachers who are new to SCISA on classroom management, assessment, communication, etc.
Head of School Jennifer Baker said, “We are so proud of our teachers for being at the forefront of their field and appreciate their dedication to helping other teachers bring new ideas and instructional methods into their classrooms.”
(pictured clockwise from top left: Ms. Rollins Babb, Ms. Kathleen Thomas, Mr. Hal Huser, Ms. Meghan James)
Mason Preparatory School is an independent school for grades Pre-K-8 located in downtown Charleston, SC. Mason Prep is committed to the education of the whole child in preparation for secondary education, to the development of the child into a productive citizen, and to the cultivation of respect, integrity, and personal responsibility. masonprep.org
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