TSI: Here is What You Missed

The Teacher Summer Institute for the William. S. Hart District was held the first full week of June on the West Ranch Campus.  I LOVE TSI for many reasons.  First, I am able to reconnect with teachers from around the District.   I saw teachers I worked with years ago for ILP and AVID programs.  We caught up on the happenings in both our personal and professional lives. Second, I was able to work with teachers from schools all over the District and made some new friends.  Third, I learned so much… We had inspiring keynote speakers, productive learning experiences, and thoughtful conversations with our colleagues.   You will be so impressed with what our cross-curricular, cross-district teams created…

So for those of you who were unable to attend, here is a quick recap of what you missed!

Keynote Speakers: We had three speakers over the four day period.  

Technology workshops: On Monday we offered 10 technology workshops.  Each participant chose two workshops to attend.  I taught the Collaborative Writing with Google Docs session and worked with a great group of teachers.  Although I’m a teensy bit jealous I was not able to attend the other sessions!  Here is a list of what was offered (and I added links to the resources where available!). Please note, you must be logged in with your Hart District GMAIL account to access these documents.

  1. Intro to Google Classroom
  2. Collaborative Writing with Google Docs
  3. StoryBird (taught by our very own Dominic Marcucilli!)
  4. iMovie
  5. Twitter
  6. The Digital Library
  7. Padlet
  8. Apps for Math
  9. Google Forms for Creating Assessment
  10. Online Assessments:
    1. Kahoot.it https://getkahoot.com/
    2. Plickers https://plickers.com/
    3. Socrative.com http://socrative.com/

Shared Professional Learning:  Now on to the fun part!  The participants formed cross-curricular teams (from different schools!) and worked on projects that incorporated all of the learning over the three days (including the technology, the Anchor Standards, and the various components the speakers addressed!).  There were three to four teams with a facilitator. They worked hard, but also had so much fun!

The end result was the “TSI Talk” (a bit like a TED Talk).  Each group presented while a principal graded them using our TSI rubric (<-Check out all of the requirements!).  The 10 winning groups then presented in the auditorium on stage for the everyone!  At the end we were able to vote for our favorite TSI Talk using polls on Google Classroom.  Some of the winning presentations are below.  They require critical thinking,  communication,  collaboration,  and creativity…hmmmm?  Sounds like 21st century learning to me!


  1. How Does Society Define Success?
  2. Cuba (Greg Borish and Gilda Stubblefield helped create this one!)
  3. Are You Worth Your Weight in Salt?
  4. Warfare Evolved
  5. The Great Debate (Tara Holloway was part of this group!)

And the winning TSI Talk: Zombi Apocalypse Dead Talk: Brains Worth Sharing?    You should have seen the confusion of our faces as zombies starting emerging from the audience and dragging themselves around the auditorium!  

If you can attend a conference or workshop this year, I highly recommend you take advantage of the chance to re-energize and re-invigorate your teaching practices.  I’ll see you at the next institute!

If you want more information on any of the items detailed in this post, do not hesitate to contact me.  Would you like to form a cross-curricular team and create a project like those outlined above?  This would be a great starting point for a lesson study as well.  Contact me for details!