Accountability. Scores. Words educators are constantly thinking about.
By Danesa Jepson
Seventh-Grade Language Arts Teacher
SMART Exemplary Educator
Oakdale Junior High School
I teach at a traditional junior high school in California. We have 850 students, many of whom would qualify as “target” students. Educators focus on these students, striving for continual progress and improved test scores. But my focus is my Title I students.
For me, these students are more than just a score. They’re students in desperate need of connection, of learning in ways they enjoy. SMART products do just that – they give teachers a way to deliver lessons that are motivating and engaging, while increasing those all-important grades.
Having a SMART Board interactive whiteboard in my classroom didn’t automatically make learning more appealing for my students. That moment didn’t come until I created a lesson for a unit on affixes. It was an erase-to-reveal activity to help my Title I students easily focus on the concept. And yes, they better understood the concept, but more importantly, they wanted to keep learning. Students volunteered to go up to the interactive whiteboard. I had more hands in the air to answer questions. Students were excited to have immediate feedback while they were learning. They begged for more lessons that used the SMART Board interactive whiteboard so they could interact and play with it. This particular lesson and every one since has given my students the chance to enjoy learning, interact with subject matter and feel positive about their learning.
When students are engaged, having fun and focused on learning, the end results are better grades and test scores, which makes everyone smile.