6 Michigan teachers chosen for elite U.S. group to build model lesson plans, help kids and educators succeed

EAST LANSING, Mich., Sept. 17, 2013 —  Six Michigan teachers have been tapped to share their cutting-edge lesson plans, methods, observations and other tips with other teachers across the nation.

The teachers — all members of the Michigan Education Association — have been selected to be part of the Master Teacher Project, an elite national program of some of the nation’s best teachers who will share best practices through a single platform, designed to be accessible to all teachers, educators and learning experts across the nation.

The Michigan teachers selected are:

  • Melody Arabo, a third-grade teacher at Keith Elementary in the Walled Lake School District
  • Leah Braman, an English teacher at Dansville High School in Dansville Schools
  • Cassandra Joss, a Kindergarten teacher at Burr Elementary in Utica Community Schools
  • Michelle Marcus, a third-grade teacher at Pembroke Elementary School in the Troy School District
  • Deborah Moran, a Kindergarten teacher at Whitmore Lake Elementary School in Whitmore Lake Public Schools
  • Michelle Spisz, an English teacher at Fowlerville Junior High School in Fowlerville Community Schools

In total, 96 teachers selected across the nation will share math and English language arts teaching skills and resources that can serve as a living, breathing document over the course of the year, with the goal of transforming and modernizing teaching and learning. Their experiences, observations, and lesson plans will be uploaded to www.betterlesson.com.

The betterlesson.com site launches as U.S. schools implement Common Core State Standards, a set of learning goals adopted by 45 states  that aim to create a coherent educational identity for U.S. schools and prepare students to be college and career-ready.

Common Core stresses competence in building skills and in core subjects. Since its adoption, teachers and administrators have been diligently working to implement the standards, but have faced challenges primarily due to lack of resources.  

The 96 master teachers will create a collection of free resources as they describe both the “how” (instructional strategies and classroom management procedures) and the “what” (complete lessons, units and courses) behind their successful teaching.

The content developed by the master teachers will be made available in stages on betterlesson.com — first to a select group of testers, and then to the public in spring 2014, once the teachers have core content ready.