SOS Story: It’s all about the cookies!

The Spotlight On Strategies (SOS) 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: a 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!

Teachers:  Jackie Druck, Megan SmithBrandi Swavely, Melissa Hamby 

Focus: Sharing the SOS series with teachers

District: Manheim Township School District in Lancaster, PA

Roles: Technology Integration Specialists

Their Story

As told by Jackie Druck

I am one of four technology integration specialists in the Manheim Township School District in Lancaster, PA. As a district, we have been very fortunate to have Discovery Education for over 10 years, but many of our teachers still think of it simply as a great place to find videos.

When my team and I heard about the Spotlight on Strategies series, we knew to find a way to share them with our teachers: they are quick, easy, and effective—a teacher’s dream!  

But, we faced a challenge: how to get teachers to try something new, right before the winter break, when kids are hyped up on holiday spirit and survival is key? The answer was: COOKIES!

Melissa Hamby, a fellow technology specialist, recently went to the Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching where she attended a session on gamification. We merged the idea of gamification in the classroom, SOS, and cookies and to create a project to encourage teachers to give SOS a try.

We created an entry forms (cookies), put up bulletin boards in each of our nine buildings, and hosted optional PD sessions at the buildings to introduce SOS. When we went into classrooms to do model lessons, we also tried to make it a point to model the strategies when applicable.


In the end, our teachers integrated about 20 different strategies, the most popular being Snowball Fight (CDN Version), Six Word Story (CDN Version), and A-E-I-O-U (CDN Version).

One of our elementary schools won a grand prize—a cookie platter for their faculty meeting—by having the highest percentage of teacher participation.

We also randomly selected a winning teacher from the entries from each building to get a prize (which included, of course, a cookie).


We had a lot of positive feedback from teachers, everything from “Wow, these are such great strategies,” and, “I had no idea DE was anything more than videos,” to “I had never heard of DE! What a great resource!”

We even had a principal pull the strategy into her staff development—let’s just say there was snowball fight with teachers. It was a great experience for us to try out gamification, learn more about Discovery Education, SOS, and, of course, eat cookies.


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