Archive for Thursday, May 11, 2006

Students impress board with technology

May 11, 2006

Although technology continues to advance, elementary school students in the Basehor-Linwood district showed school board members Monday night that they have a handle on it.

Basehor Elementary School principal Teri Holmes, along with BES third grade teacher Amy Garver and a handful of students ranging from third grade to sixth grade, presented Focus on Learning during the Monday night meeting of the Basehor-Linwood School Board.

"We here at Basehor Elementary School are really trying to integrate technology into the classroom," Garver said.

The school has been issued 50 Apple iBook laptop computers for the students to use and Garver said they are a hit among students.

"We fight over them all the time," she told board members laughing.

Students in Garver's class mainly use the computers to help them learn multiplication. A program called TrackStar allows Garver to create games and practice tests to make learning fun for the students.

Garver explained the logistics of the program such as how to access it, use it and the different options it offers, while a demonstration of the multiplication flashcards section of the program was displayed on a monitor for board members to view.

"For many kids, they love computers, so they'll play all day," she said. "It's an excellent stepping stone for going into fourth and fifth grade."

A group of fifth graders then presented a keynote presentation, which is similar to a PowerPoint presentation, on George Washington. The students demonstrated their ability to use sound, music and pictures to add to their presentation. They also added a video clip of themselves acting out the famous story of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree and got some laughs from a bloopers reel they threw in as well.

Two sixth graders also explained how they had been using the computers to learn and showed board members a keynote presentation they had been working on.

After the presentation, Holmes thanked board members for their support of technology and members expressed their appreciation for the presentation.

"Thank you," Kerry Mueller, board president said. "It was very enlightening."

Garver's third graders were caught in the act Tuesday morning as they practiced their multiplication tables on the laptops. The sound of cash registers clanging indicating a correct answer to a multiplication problem filled the classroom as the students played a game called Lemonade Stand.

After playing a variety of practice games, Garver directed the children to a section of the program where the students could see how many problems they could answer correctly in 60 seconds. She also encouraged the students to play the games at home.

"I want you all to play these at home," she said. "And the more you play the faster you'll learn your times tables."

During the Monday night meeting, the Basehor-Linwood School Board took action on the following items:

  • Approved, 6-0, social studies curriculum revisions..
  • Approved, 6-0, Driver's Education curriculum and textbook revisions.
  • Approved, 6-0, out-of-state travel to Chicago for two Basehor-Linwood High School students and two faculty members for a national forensics competition.
  • Approved, 6-0, additional teaching positions: A part-time kindergarten teacher at Basehor Elementary School, a full time social studies and physical education teacher at BLHS, a combination reading specialist for the district and a full time P.E. teacher for BLHS will be added for the 2006-07 school year.
  • Approved, 6-0, contracts of several teachers.
  • Approved, 6-0, teacher resignation.
  • Approved, 6-0, teacher retirement.

The board also went into executive session for personnel matters for non-elected personnel.

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