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The collaboration between Grace Meo and Heidi Hebert is not unusual in the Hamilton-Wenham School District. Through a program called "Peer Partners" many members of the district's faculty work together to plan and implement ways to improve classroom practice.

For example, when Tena Crowley, a fifth-grade teacher at the Winthrop School in Hamilton sought ways to make class discussions about books and stories richer and more inclusive, she collaborated with her peer partners, computer specialist Grace Meo and reading specialist Cheryl Sweeney.

During a planning meeting, the team devised a strategy that employed Inspiration. Using an LCD panel, Grace projected Inspiration onto a screen at the front of the classroom. As Cheryl Sweeney led the discussion of the book The Cay by Theodore Taylor, Grace used Inspiration to create a web incorporating the students reflections and insights. During the discussion, prejudice and survival emerged as central themes. Working together, the students clustered their points around these topics and then were able to use this Inspiration web to write book reports.

Inspiration enriched the learning experience for children of all abilities. The teaching team noted that this strategy was particularly powerful for students in the class with learning and attention difficulties, all of whom had been more vocal than usual during the discussion.

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This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP), located at Education Development Center, Inc. in Newton, Massachusetts.  NCIP was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from October 1, 1992 - September 30, 1998, Grant #H180N20013.  Permission is granted to copy and disseminate this information.  If you do so, please cite NCIP.   Contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government.  This site was last updated in September 1998. 

ŠEducation Development Center, Inc.