SOS Story: Marvin Rainey

The Spotlight On Strategies series (CDN subscribers) is one of Discovery Education’s most popular resources. First introduced 2012, these strategies help teachers use media in effective and engaging ways in their classrooms.

The best part about the SOS is that they are flexible and can be used across grade levels and content areas. We are excited for our SOS Story: a new SOS series that spotlights teachers showing off how they have put the SOS to work in their classrooms.

SOS Strategy: AEIOU and Half of the Story

Name: Marvin Rainey

District: Midway PreK-3 Elementary School in Shreveport, Louisiana

Role: Principal

Twitter:  @mrainey06

Marvin’s SOS Story:

I am Marvin Rainey, principal of Midway PreK-3 Elementary School in Shreveport, Louisiana.   Due to the large size classes in second grade this year, central office gave me an additional teacher to reduce the teacher-student ratio.  I wasn’t given the privilege to hire a teacher.  I was sent a teacher from an overstaffed school.  The teacher began working at Midway on the sixth week into the school year.  The teacher is a first year teacher with no prior teaching experience, and at her former school she was departmentalized.  She taught math and science for the first five weeks of school.  At Midway she is required to teach every subject because my second grade classes are not departmentalized.

presentation3Upon getting her classroom set up for her new students, I required the teacher to shadow the other three 2nd Grade teachers so that she could get a feel of the students she would be receiving as well as how our ELA instructional blocks flow.  After shadowing for a week, the teacher began to teach her class.  I visited the teacher’s classroom daily to make sure everything was going smoothly as well as to see if the teacher had effectively implemented the strategies and techniques I suggested.  After a few days, I could see major frustration on the teacher’s face.  I would debrief with the teacher each day and she explained that she was overwhelmed and didn’t have a clue where to start when teaching her ELA block.  At that point, I had no choice but to sign up for the job of teaching the class.  I did not want the teacher frustrated in such an early part of her teaching career nor the students missing out on core content.  Therefore, I decided to co-teach with her so I could model what an effective ELA instructional block consisted of as well as model the expectations I wanted to see in the teacher.

Being that I had not taught a full ELA lesson in over ten years and that this teacher’s class was very unique, I knew I had to study and plan some awesome activities if I wanted to get struggling learners and kids with low attention spans effectively engaged in reading.  My DENSI 2016 Principal Summit experience came in handy.  I began to use a lot of technology in my class because I knew how much my students loved it.  AEIOU (CDN subscribers) and Half the Story (CDN subscribers) are the S.O.S. Strategies that I used weekly to get my students talking, making predictions and having student-to-student dialogue.  

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-10-18-pmMy students are fired up about reading after completing a Half the Story activity and finding out through predictions what our weekly text is about.  The AEIOU produces powerful and focused discussions in my classroom.  We do a lot of reviewing with Kahoot quizzes and incorporate a lot of other engaging technology-based activities.  The teacher is now smiling with excitement because she is learning a lot.  The students are smiling with excitement because the learning process is fun and filled with innovation.  I am smiling with excitement because both the teacher and the students are benefiting from this experience.  Thank you, Discovery Education.  




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  1. Jenn Fithian said:

    This story is amazing! I love that as a principal you were willing to actually go into the classroom and TEAM teach in order to model your expectations and suggestions. This level of collaboration and community between staff, teachers, and administrators is exactly what students need and deserve in every school.

  2. said:

    It is a good thing that such kinds of resources exist and and help to promote education. This article brings a good feeling and hope in the future.


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