Innovation in Education Dist. 26 Teachers Go above Standard Methods to Bring Lessons Home to Students

Article excerpt

Byline: Max Seigle Daily Herald Staff Writer

At a recent meeting, Cary District 26 school board members witnessed firsthand the fruits of their labor.

The seven-member board was presented with the results of four innovative grant programs awarded by the board last December.

At the meeting, teachers from Cary Junior High and Maplewood and Three Oaks elementary schools talked about the success of their programs and even brought board members and Superintendent Tim Kelly to their feet for a few sample exercises used in the various projects.

The first innovative grant presentation featured an evolving form of education known as Quantum Learning.

According to district Math and Science Resource teacher, Judy Alford, "the goal of (Quantum Learning) is to use all intelligences to facilitate learning and create memory."

Alford introduced this idea to teachers in a workshop held in February, where she showed how physical, visual and sensory cues used in everyday classroom activities can help not only trigger memory, but more importantly maintain it.

A few examples of this "life-long learning tool" presented at the meeting included a train whistle to remember the commutative math property, music for clean-up reminders, and visual aids above eye level to recall memory.

Following Alford's presentation, came three more involving roller coasters, origami and neighborhood meetings.

Jill Natrop and Erin Schurter, seventh-grade math and science teachers at Cary Junior High, presented the results of their integrated unit, which culminated with the design and construction of roller coasters. Preceding construction of the coasters, students participated in several learning stations where they learned about Newton's three laws of motion, acceleration and gravity and potential and kinetic energy. …