School districts are sharing methods for engaging students, and teachers and students are benefiting from new methods and ideas.
Some of the shared ideas from teachers in the Washington County, Pennsylvania school district include gamifying popular literature, arranging students in work groups, assigning online projects, and pitching ideas for inventions in a “Shark Tank” styled presentation.
Teachers agree that the way that they are reworking their class time is not all fun and games, but can make even basic subjects more interesting and engaging.
Joelle Cooper, a geometry and calculus teacher at Avella High School is facilitating team building lessons through a “blended learning” model piloted by the district through Carnegie Learning.
“In the past, it was drill and skill. It wasn’t very engaging. Now, it’s word problems and applications of those problems in real-world contexts,” Cooper said. Her classes work with work with books in class three days a week and online learning for two days.
“I’m not in front of the class much any more. The students have to talk to each other and work in groups, and they’re learning better than they ever would with me through a lecture. I walk around listening to the ideas they’re working on, and it’s positive encouragement for them to figure out their own solutions to problems,” Cooper said.