Prepare, Assess, & Succeed: Teacher Patrick Heath
Position: Fourth Grade Teacher
District/School: Liberty County School System, GA/Frank Long Elementary
Number of Students in School: 610 students
Students, today, need interactivity. Using Study Island, along with an interactive whiteboard and classroom response systems helps students master grade-level content, and prepares them for our state assessments—in a fun, engaging way.
We initially started using Study Island in our after school program to provide supplemental instruction for at-risk students. The teachers and students loved it, so we launched it school-wide.
Our school consistently performs well on the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, and Study Island supports that progress. With Study Island, students don’t feel like they’re working on schoolwork because it’s fun. It’s more like a video game approach to learning. They love the games and rewards. I like Study Island because I can put students on the computer and know they’re working on standards-based items and building the skills they need to succeed.
It’s easy to use. Students are able to work with the web-based educational program independently, and with ease, both in school and at home.
How We Use It:
Students in grades 1-5 use Study Island in the computer lab. It gives us a great way to supplement and personalize instruction to prepare students for our state test. It matches our state standards and fits in really well with our classroom instruction. Students take what they learn and immediately apply it in the classroom
We also use Study Island for whole-class and small group instruction inside the classroom. For example, during whole-class instruction in math, I project problems onto a SMART Board and read the problems aloud. Students individually answer each problem using eInstruction CPS IR response systems. Together, we review the answers, talk about which choice is correct, and then select the answer the class decides upon. That way, students receive immediate feedback, and an explanation in Study Island. This approach allows me to instantly see how students are answering questions, and if they’re on target. Students like seeing the data about how many students select each choice. I also use an eInstruction Mobi interactive wireless pad to teach and interact with Study Island from anywhere in the room.
I also have learning centers, where students spend about 15 to 20 minutes at each center, before rotating to the next one. In the center for small group work, I use the SMART Board and CPS IR clickers to deliver targeted instruction to students. In the second center comprised of eight Gateway computers, students work independently on Study Island to gain additional standards-based instruction and practice, and address their individual goals. In the third center, students do independent seatwork—paper-and-pencil tasks, to reinforce learning. The center-based approach enhances instruction across the curriculum, and builds students’ independence and confidence.