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Local teachers learn from each other

Roughly 25 science teachers from western Wisconsin descended on New Richmond on Oct. 3 to share ideas and gather input.

The WIShare organization is a group of area science teachers who meet every other month to support each other and discuss what is and isn't working in the classrooms.

The Oct. 3 meeting was held in New Richmond and featured a presentation by Shelley Lee, science education consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Lee discussed the new science standards and what they mean for the local science teachers.

Teachers from as far as Eau Claire attend the meetings, said Jeff Albarado, New Richmond High School science teacher.

The WIShare group is run by Jason Brazzale, a Prescott teacher, and Brad Wysocki, a Bloomer teacher. It started as a meeting of local teachers, mostly those in the Middle Border Conference, Albarado said. It soon expanded to what it is today.

"It's pretty unique," he said of their meeting. "As far as I know no one else has meetings like this... maybe ag. FFA does something similar. They're a tight knit group."

Albarado said the meetings are voluntary and that teachers get involved simply because they want to better their teaching.

"Every time you come back with something you can use," he said. "And it's nice to compare how everyone is teaching to the standards."

Albarado said most teachers bring a lesson to share, something that's worked well for them in the past.

For example, Albarado said he shared a project he teaches in his anatomy class. Frozen rats are purchased from Doyle's Farm and Home and students are responsible for dissecting the rat, tanning the hide and reassembling the skeleton.

"Each student (enrolled in the class) goes through that process so I shared that with them, along with all the handouts that go with it. Now, Clear Lake is going to use that this year."

The next WIShare meeting is slated for December in Chippewa Falls.

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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