Cos Cob School Teachers Present Ideas at Three Conferences for Gifted Education

Lori Leibowitz and Jessica Stargardter

Lori Leibowitz and Jessica Stargardter. Contributed photo

It all started in the Fall at the Creativity Conference, Connecticut’s annual gifted education conference. Lori Leibowitz and Jessica Stargardter were inspired by what they saw and decided that they too wanted to share their vision with other educators.

“We didn’t expect an acceptance at one conference, let alone three conferences!” Lori Leibowitz, ALP (Advanced Learning Program) teacher at Cos Cob School explained.

Together with Jessica Stargardter, ALP teacher at Cos Cob, the teachers wrote proposals to three different annual conferences for Gifted Education.

They recently visited Arizona, California and Georgia sharing the work they have been doing regarding personalized learning through technology and sharing the mission of the Greenwich Public Schools with colleagues around the country.

“Personalized learning and technology are hot topics in education right now,” Stargardter explained. “Districts are looking to integrate technology into curriculum to get students ready for jobs that don’t exist yet.”

Lori Leibowitz and Jessica Stargardter  say the feedback has been exceptional, with participants surveyed responding, “Your enthusiasm and information was excellent,” and “By far this was the best session I attended at GAGC (Georgia Association for the Gifted Conference) this year!”

To stay connected with their students while they were away, the teachers developed a website where they uploaded daily problems aligned with Common Core State Standards based on their travels.

The students were able to virtually connect with their teachers and take ownership of their learning while Mrs. Leibowitz and Ms. Stargardter were away. The teachers connect with educators around the globe through Twitter.

Aptly titled TheBrightSide_2, Leibowitz and Stargardter are able to not only share their experiences, but also contribute to and learn from their professional learning network.

They have analyzed the connection between personalized learning and gifted education and are constantly refining what that looks like in their classrooms. Thanks to a local Connecticut artist, Michelle Hawran, the teachers were able to put their thoughts into a sketchnote.

Thanks to a local Connecticut artist, Michelle Hawran, the teachers were able to put their thoughts into a sketchnote.

Thanks to a local Connecticut artist, Michelle Hawran, the teachers were able to put their thoughts into a sketchnote.

Thankful for the opportunity to present, the teachers are looking towards
the future. They hope to present again in 2018-2019 and continue bringing new ideas into their classroom.

Gene Schmidt, Cos Cob School Principal, said, “The work Lori and Jessica are doing highlights our theory of action to achieve our strategic goals at Cos Cob School. I’m proud that they have been able to communicate these goals on a more national level.”

Follow the teachers on Twitter @TheBrightSide_2
or check out their website The Bright Side.