(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons) [Order this photo]
As full implementation of Common Core State Standards is approaching, the state's Curriculum and Instruction Division made a commitment to spend time in classrooms across Tennessee.
The tour kicked off Monday, with the division planning 50 classroom visits for the day and a goal of 1,000 for the school year.
"Touch thumbs with your chips and salsa partner," said Mary Pitner, middle Tennessee's reigning Teacher of the Year, in an upbeat and interactive session on point of view. With a photo of a messy bedroom on the Smartboard, students and state representatives were all fully engaged in the lesson, in which students discussed their view of the room and what their parents might say.
"Clean this up right now, or you are grounded," piped up a student who understood the parental point of view.
The DOE is seeking to gain a "deep and real-time sense of teaching and learning," in order to build upon the system's strengths ahead of summer training for teachers.
"There is nothing evaluative intended," said Kate Shelnutt, state director. "This is purely a learning tour."
The group visited several of Learning Way's classrooms, and interacted closely with the students as they proceeded through common core lessons.