Laraway School teacher Carla Occaso won a summer scholarship to the prestigious Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Teacher Institute in Williamsburg, Virginia. Carla attended along with teachers from across the United States.
The Institute offers teachers:
· Primary source materials and standards-based content
· A lens to view people and events that is inclusive
· Creative teaching strategies to actively engage students in the classroom
· A truly immersive learning opportunity, on the rich Colonial Williamsburg site
· Opportunities to share ideas with fellow teachers and staff
· Access to the Colonial Williamsburg Education Resource Center, offering lesson plans, media, etc.
“I’m always thinking about what they (Laraway School students) like,” Carla said.
Carla recognized that many Laraway students enjoy playing Chess, Dungeons and Dragons, and the card game, Magic. She also knows our students benefit greatly from hands-on learning. Carla has been creating Artifact Bags, each containing items associated with a particular member of society during the Medieval Period. This era, also known as the Middle Ages, covers the 5th to the 15th centuries in Europe.
Students will rummage through the bags, lifting out items offering clues to who the contents might have belong too. Are they a king, a bishop, a noble, a knight, a cleric or a commoner? A gilded fork with a faux, plastic “jewel” might belong to a king, poised to thrust it into roasted wild boar. A rough-hewn, wooden spoon might be the sole eating implement for a commoner’s gruel.
Carla’s excitement is evident as she creates crowns, swords and shields for students to access in this highly tactile approach to teaching history. Let the learning begin!