Welcome the DE Summer School special edition of SOS. Our S.O.S series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum. During August, we’ll be featuring our STAR Community’s favorite strategies and how they have made them their own.
Special thanks to DEN STAR Dacia Jones (@dacia92) from Durham Public Schools for sharing how she brought this SOS to her students.
This is a story about how one SIMPLE strategy changed a student, a teacher, a school, and a culture.
My assignment was to facilitate instruction and raise test scores. No problem! As I walked from classroom to classroom- I noticed two things……1. Students weren’t engaged and 2. Neither were teachers. They were so beat down with procedures and testing that they couldn’t make sense of anything. I knew that in order to make a difference I would have to make a change.
I met with PLCs of teachers immediately. I brought chocolate, sodas, smiley face stickers, and lots of hugs and a listening ear. I needed to hear what they wanted to say. They were discouraged. They knew the scores were low. They knew their students were needy. They knew that things were as bad as they could get. They didn’t need to hear what was wrong- they needed to hear how I could help.
Enter Dr. Drizzle- We began the business of Engaging! Inspiring! Expecting! and Informing! We planned around the standard using DE tools and content. We ask the students what they wanted to learn from each standard. We inspired them by connecting them with classrooms across the world. We brought people they wanted to meet into the classroom via SKYPE and Google Hangout. We laid out the expectations and then we INFORMED.
Although I introduced the whole toolbox of SOS strategies- the students unanimously agreed that Myth Bustin’ was the best. They loved proving things right or wrong. Their communication improved. Their writing improved. Their collaboration was inspiring and the teachers were HAPPY.
Results: Test Scores went up! Student engagement=HIGH! Teacher planning= meaningful! Classrooms= active participation. Parents = involved!
When we start back next year- we will continue to ENGAGE! INSPIRE! EXPECT! and INFORM and OH the successes we will find.
From student Mia: “Knowing that you cared enough to include me in on the planning has changed my life”. Gangs will not take me! I will be the first in my family to go to college. I will be successful. Just try to prove me wrong”