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I want to thank Cooper C’de Baca for allowing us to be a part of his first day of school! One of our goals was to capture student interaction in Cooper’ classroom, and then brainstorm ways we can create that experience in a hybrid learning environment. We were able to capture the students explaining, getting to know each other, grappling with the material, and using the academic language all in day one. He literally had them interacting with one another before they even sat down.
I met Cooper at a CPM training this summer, and he trained us in the curriculum as if we were the students. He used an analogy about teaching someone to drive that helped me understand why he taught the way he did. It’s like those driver trainings that cost a lot of money. You can’t teach someone to drive on their own if they are in the passenger’s seat. The student has to be in the driver’s seat to learn to drive. The same applies to their learning.
He creates an environment from day 1 that tells the students that they are the “drivers” of their learning. His classroom is student-centered, where the teacher is only a “resource”, not the only source of information, and he empowers the students to take ownership of their learning by having them rely on each other.
I’m so grateful that Cooper allowed us to see all of this today. It was great to be able to celebrate the opening if the new school year in his classroom!
Also, thank you to Godinez Principal Cindy Landseidel!!
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