Brooke Abramson shows off her interpretation of the work of Georgia O'Keefe

 Celebrating Women's History Month

Students love the ability to choose the topics they want to learn and the activities they’d like to complete to apply or demonstrate their learning. That’s why choice boards are so popular. They’re menus of topics and activities that allow students to be in the driver’s seat of their own learning. Research has shown that this instructional strategy increases engagement, motivation, skills, and retention.
 
On March 19, the district celebrated national Women’s History Month with a day devoted to learning about the contributions of women past and present, and celebrating influential women in their own lives. Sandshore students were provided with choice boards for their unique grade levels, and each student selected four to complete over the course of the day.
 
Kindergartners, for example, had choices that included learning about women in sports (e.g., Wilma Rudolph, Venus and Serena Williams) and learning about several inspirational women (e.g. Sonia Sotomayor, Jane Goodall, computer scientist Katherine Johnson). Fourth-graders had choices such as learning about artist Georgia O’Keefe and Vice President Kamala Harris. On the following school day, students shared with their classmates what they learned and the activities they completed.
 
The instructional supervisors from each elementary school worked together as a team to develop the choice boards for the district’s elementary students.
 
The special day began with a video from Kimberley Markus, the district’s executive director of innovation and personnel. In 2017, Markus became the second woman to serve as the commissioner of education at the New Jersey Department of Education. As commissioner, she was charged with oversight of the education of the New Jersey’s 1.4 million students.


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