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UCPS holds first Middle School Expo for educators

Teaching Math in the Digital Age was the topic of this session taught during the Union County Public Schools first Middle School Expo held at the Professional Development Center on Brewer Drive. (Below) Garrett Williams, a UCPS Instructional Technology Facilitator, assists a teacher in one of the sessions for beginning teachers called Creating Your Online Classroom.

About 160 Union County Public Schools middle school educators took advantage of summer break to hone their teaching skills in the school system’s first Middle School Expo.

The event, held Wednesday, Aug. 6 and Thursday, Aug. 7, at the Professional Development Center on Brewer Drive, spanned two days and featured about 40 sessions.

Dr. Laurel Healy, Director of Middle School Education and Staff Development, said there were about 30 presenters at the expo, teaching such classes as Collecting Data Using Best Practices, Engaging Students in Learning Activities, 3D Printing, Social Media and Your PLC and Creating Digital Textbooks in the Social Studies Classroom.

“Today’s been great,” Healy said. “I’ve had several people stop me in the hall and say, ‘That was a great session! I’m so excited!’ They can’t wait to use what they’ve learned in the classroom.”

Educators also learned how to define rigor in Middle School Language Arts, create an online classroom and perform digital classroom management.

Tracy Cress, a seventh-grade teacher at Piedmont Middle, said she learned methods to help her students dig deeper into text they read.

“Right now, we're working on a section about academic vocabulary,” Cress said.

“We’re trying to identify words that students need to know in order to comprehend the text. This expo is important because as a professional, it helps us keep growing and develop ways of teaching the common core,” Cress added.

Healy said the expo is slated to become an annual event. “We’re hoping it will be even bigger next year,” she said.

“We are trying to do everything we can to support these educators because they work very hard so they can have a positive impact on their students,” Healy added.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Aug 07, 2014 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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