In November I had the opportunity to visit both the middle school and high school for two full days, spending time meeting with teachers and visiting classrooms. During my class visits I saw highly engaged students who were applying learned knowledge in a variety of meaningful ways.
Social Studies classes at the middle school involved several hands-on activities where students were engaged in interactive mapping, organizing information in a note-taking outline, and watching portions of a famous Broadway musical linked to the topic of study. The enthusiasm of the teachers as they taught and reinforced the content through showing part of the Broadway show had all students motivated and learning.
Students in 7th Grade Technology Education were engaged in an activity that required making a circuit that launched a fan blade, thereby simulating a flying saucer. One of the students initially stated that her circuit “would never be able to launch a blade!” After much deliberation with her partner and numerous test trials, she was able to effectively launch her fan blade. The excitement on the faces of these two students was priceless. The lesson learned: Success comes with diligence and much effort.
One of the highlights from the high school visit consisted of my observation in a co-taught Social Studies class. In this co-teaching class, both the regular education teacher and the special education teacher work together to plan strong academic lessons that use effective instructional strategies that meet the needs of students at various ability levels. During my visit students were learning how to invest in the stock market; all students were applying higher-order thinking skills at their individual levels.
I’m looking forward to visiting two more schools in December – Landis Run Intermediate School and Reidenbaugh Elementary School.