Students attending summer school with Altus Public Schools were in for a surprise this year! Gone are the traditional rows of seating and one teacher standing at the front of the room lecturing. Instead, students entered a room set up for small groups and hands-on learning. Two or three highly qualified teachers work in each class along with numerous aides and volunteers. “We opted for a more non-traditional setting this year for summer school,” said director, Nicole Reed. “We are using thematic units to teach reading and math concepts, while also immersing the students in science.”
The theme for summer school is nature and many teachers used the recent rains as inspiration to explore water systems, organisms living in water and water produced energy. Students in the second grade class taught by Ms. Angie Allen and Ms. Laura Bell have studied the ancient sea creatures, ammonites and trilobites. Students researched the marine organisms using books and iPads and then created examples of their own.
Third grade students created models of the ocean using water bottles, sea shells and colored water. The lessons focused on case and effect, a difficult reading concept third grade students often struggle with. Students were able to simulate waves in the ocean and watch how those waves affected the shells. They then added oil to the bottle to create a polluted ocean. “The concrete examples of cause and effect that the students could see and touch will give them something to relate to when discussing and determining cause and effect in the future. This is one of our goals for summer school, to create experiences the students can draw from as they continue their learning journey,” states Ms. Reed.
Summer school will continue to run Monday through Thursday until June 25.