A few weeks ago my colleague Jannita and I were in Las Vegas meeting with a group of DEN STAR Ambassadors from Clark County School District. We spent the day exploring instructional strategies and DE resources they can use to support student learning based on their Discovery Education Assessment data. As we wrapped up the day we were privileged to spend some time with Blossom Goldberg, a 6th grade reading teacher and Title 1 Coordinator/Instructional Coach. She was glowing as she talked about all the possibilities for using Discovery Education. She wanted to know how she could reach other educators to help them see the value and power of these tools. Her passion for education was evident as she shared all of the amazing things she was doing with DE and we knew after we left Las Vegas that we had to feature her in our next edition of our DEN UP Newsletter.
We reached out to Blossom to share her story, and in return we received a touching letter from her husband Cory (a 4th grade teacher in Clark County). Here is Blossom’s story, written by her husband.
Cory and Blossom- thank you for taking the time to share your story. You are both STARs and we are a better community because of you.
Meet Blossom- By Cory Goldberg
If you ask my wife why she became a DEN STAR, she would tell you it was because it is what is best for kids, and then launch into some long-winded speech about “innovation, technology, maximizing resources, student engagement, and why assessment data is so important.” But, in this circumstance, I feel I should tell you why she has actually been a STAR all along…
After the last DEN STAR Ambassador meeting she attended, it was like a TNT blast of possible uses for DE exploded over the typical “How was your day?” dinner conversation! “…The possibilities for elevating our teaching and generating new avenues in which so many of my struggling students…” are not words we educators often hear from other teachers. I cannot recall another time when my wife has been this sure of any instructional tool, and that night we stayed up way too late actually creating a mini “flipped-classroom” math lesson for my 4th graders and assigned it using the Builder Tools. I have assigned three such assignments thus far with nearly all my students completing the online activities outside of school and “Shazam”, their growth reflected on the Test C was off the chart. Please feel free to view them yourselves if there are skeptics, of which I am sure there are many, especially my old-school history- teaching father. Blossom even tried to get him on board by showing him how to log in and use the streaming search features. Can’t say it was a complete success, but hey, I appreciated her audacity in the attempt. Now the Data Assessment piece is really where she hits her stride; she is familiar with most data management systems, believing using student assessment data as a guide for her instruction is the sole reason for her kids’ success and I am fairly certain what she is accessing, analyzing, and utilizing via Discovery is pretty much the pinnacle of awesome in her book! So from two educators who oftentimes have trouble seeing eye to eye, props to Discovery for adding a little “spice” to our relationship (conversationally, that is)!