Tammy Wallis (principal) has introduced two new learning programs for the computer for the students and teachers at Stafford Elementary. They are “Study Island” and “Reading Eggs.”
“Study Island” is a web based computer program that can be accessed in the classroom, in the computer lab or at home if they have internet access. Each child has a user name and a log in name. The kids are pre tested, which sets them in a certain level in their math, reading, science or social studies or all the subjects that are taught in the particular grade level.
Ms Wallis explained, “The students move at their own pace. The program does not allow them to move on until they have mastered certain areas and it is very hands on. For example, if they are learning measurement in math, they may be doing quarts oar leaders and they can actually manipulate the objects on the screen. So you may be pouring liquid from on cup to another or you may be spooning out flour. When you are measuring you can move things around so it is not just looking and answering. There is a lot of interaction that goes on with the program.”
This program helps the teachers determine who might need some intervention (meaning extra help) with which subjects and how much. This program also allows the students to monitor their progress.
Principal Wallis explained, “This is something that has been around for a while. I actually used this when I was a classroom teacher. The kids just loved it, they just flourished and commended scores just went out the roof. We are hoping that not only will it help us with interventions with the students but also will push our students to learn more. Push them to challenge themselves and they can monitor their own work. There are graphs and charts that show them where they are and where they need to be. And what skills they are low in and what they need extra practice on so they are actually able to know more about what they are learning and why they are learning and why it is important.”
“Reading Eggs” is just a branch off of “Study Island.” It is specifically for the lower grades — pre-k, kindergarten and first grade. The trial is pre k, kindergarten and first grade right now. But more than likely when we do purchase it, it will be a pre-k and kindergarten program. It is a reading study program. It goes into letter sounds through word reading. It is a touch screen (also on computer) and can be projected on the wall so the whole class can see what you are doing.
“I am just proud of the efforts of the teachers and the students. The kids are super excited about technology, it is easy to get them motivated”, said Wallis