Went to an interesting workshop by a professor from Furman University on using film to teach about Brown v. Board of Education. I was hoping for some good things and did have some good conversation but overall, didn’t get anything new here. Libscomb didn’t seem like someone who has a strong grasp of film and how to use it in the classroom. Some basic things like: use short clips and have focus questions while viewing.

An interesting conversation did start though, almost completely unrelated to film. People seemed very eager to talk about the case in larger terms of race. Heard in last night as well at the larger forum. One lady grew up in Texas during the 60s who stated that she thought the integration of the schools went very smoothly. Basically stated that the policy of integrating one grade at a time, starting with kindergarten was a good idea. When someone asked why Texas didn’t start integration in 1954 when the case was decied, she simply said that it was better that way. “It took time.” She did admit that African-Americans may have felt differently about the length of time it took for total integration to happen. Duh, ya think?

Went to a session called “Geoliteracy for K-8 Classrooms.” This was pretty good and not just because I won a free CD with lessons on it. The presenters did a good job of showing off some great lessons and activities for integrating Geography into K-8 classes. Go to:

http://alliance.la.asu.edu/azga/

to download free samples.

The last two sessions were helpful but not outstanding. One was on reading strategies that gave another perspective on how to use fiction and non-fiction in the classroom. The last session showed how one district is using a variation of Understanding by Design to help teachers better create units and have a clear idea of what to teach. Again, all good ideas but nothing amazing.

Overall, a good conference with some helpful ideas!