SOS Story: Sims Middle School

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

The best part about the SOS is that they are flexible and can be used across grade levels and content areas. We are excited to share SOS Story: an SOS series that elevates and celebrates teachers showing how they put the SOS to work in their classrooms. We would love to share your SOS Story. Visit this form to find out how!

School District: Santa Rosa County District Schools, Florida

School: Sims Middle School

Featured SOS Strategies: Tweet Tweet (CDN Version), Six Word Story (CDN Version), Table Top Texting (CDN Version), SOS ABC Summary (CDN Version)

Their SOS Story

Tuesday, February 20, was an exciting day for Sims Middle School in Santa Rosa County, FL. With the help of Discovery Education STEM Professional Development Specialist Dacia Jones, members of the Sims Middle School staff challenged all teachers in the school to use Spotlight On Strategies and then share them in a Twitter Smackdown using the #smsstrategysmackdown hashtag. This fun challenge was part of their district’s “State of Innovate 2018″. We’re excited to elevate and celebrate several of the SOS stories from participating teachers. Read to find out about their experiences, and get ideas for how SOS can make a difference in your classroom, too!

Sandy Haynes

SOS Tweet Tweet (CDN Version)

The students in my online high school class were learning to use Excel, but their concentration was focused on writing correct formulas, which meant that they weren’t really connecting with the big picture of what this powerful tool can really accomplish. I wanted them to make connections with how Excel can help them personally, like helping them with money management and tracking grades.

My students used SOS Tweet Tweet to share ideas about what they’d like Excel do for them. Then, I used digital media to teach them about advanced Excel functions.

Next, I showed them a video showing how to calculate their GPA. This intrigued them, so I had them get hands-on and create their own GPA worksheet. My students told me all day how much fun the lesson was and how they felt like they understand Excel a little better.

I finished up the day by having them use SOS Tweet Tweet a second time to share something they learned by the end of the class period, which was a unique way to collect exit slip data!

Alesia Andry

Subject: Science

SOS Six Word Story (CDN Version)

The students in my class were learning about heat transfer, and I found a great Discovery Education video that demonstrated the three main ways in which heat is transferred: convection, conduction, and radiation.

After watching the video, I had students use SOS Six Word Story to tell what they know about heat transfer using vocabulary and examples from the video. Some of their Six Word Stories include:

  • Who knew heat transfer is cool?
  • Kinetic energy has lots of potential.
  • State your matter – solid, liquid, gas.
  • Convecting, radiating, and conducting energy everywhere.

Mr. Taylor and Mrs. Goodson

8th Grade History/ELA

SOS Six Word Story (CDN Version)

Our 8th grade students were working on using reading skills to learn history of the Mexican-American War. We asked them to highlight important parts of the text they were reading and then to generate SOS Six Word Story summaries of those highlighted parts.

They learned how to write concise summaries that helped them understand key ideas and details and then created a short storyline for the entire text. We found that our students were much more motivated to complete the task and really enjoyed the lesson more compared to just reading the passages and answering multiple choice questions at the end.

Gretchen McClain

8th Grade Pre-Algebra and 7th Grade Math

SOS: Table Top Texting (CDN Version)

My students needed practice with numbers and exponents, so I decided to use SOS: Table Top Texting and had them solve a multi-step equation via text.

I found this kept students engaged, and it helped them see each step of the problem-solving. They corrected each other’s mistakes, and they did a great job of showing their work. I will use this strategy again!

Ryan M. Wieczorek

Language Arts

SOS ABC Summary (CDN Version)

My 7th grade students reviewed the essay writing process by using SOS ABC Summary. Students were given five minutes to jot down as many tips, reminders, and important aspects of essay writing on their individual ABC charts.

Then, they had five more minutes to compare and complete their charts within small groups. Following this, each student added at least one of his or her tips on the class ABC list.

I found students were eager to share more once they saw that the tips being shared were helpful. As a class, we reviewed the list and ended up with a wonderful collection of tips and reminders for timed essay writing, Reviewing the list as a whole class was a very interactive, engaging, and thorough way to review the writing process.

We challenge you to try one of these ideas, or find a different SOS to use in your classroom. Don’t forget to share your own SOS Story with us!



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