SLE’s Lesley Carballo prepares engaging student studies

Thursday, October 19, 2017 0 Comments

SLE’s Lesley Carballo prepares engaging student studies

What do Spanish Lake Elementary School teachers do during the summer? Rest? Travel? Plan? Maybe a little of all three. As for planning, teachers have been creating enriching school curriculum for student interest and success. Three funded grants of interest were submitted by fifth grade teacher Lesley Caraballo for stability balls, brag tags, and a science lab based on a winter break holiday party. 

Stability balls, an alternative seating option, give students movement to “get wiggles out” that a chair does not allow. They improve concentration by students having the freedom to move without distracting others. The stability balls aid students focusing as they are able to expend excess energy that builds up throughout the day. This flexible seating option improves students' behavior and class engagement.

Brag Tags have proven to be an effective and efficient classroom incentive program to celebrate positive behavior from improvement in academics to behavior to character to any type of class responsibility. A teacher sets her own ground rules.

Caraballo's Brag Tags hang on a bulletin board. Brag Tags are given out as earned and children may wear their tags for the day before returning to the bulletin board prior to dismissal. The individual tags are printed on card stock, laminated, and put on a 24 inch chain. She has found Brag Tags replace the expensive treasure box and children more readily are challenged to perform and to earn as many Brag Tags as possible.

The book, “How To Fill Your Bucket” by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer, inspired bucket fillers. Under each child's Brag Tag is a colorful library pocket envelope with each child's name. When another student is in need of cheering or has done something to be commended, another student may perform an act of kindness by writing something positive to place in another student's bucket.  

Caraballo, however, is most excited to turn a class party into a true learning experience with science based lab centers. The rotations include: How to silence a bell, dissolving candy canes, exploratory attributes of a pinecone, and coding a sleigh game. This will incorporate the love of science with the holidays.

Other teachers have been busily planning for new curriculum based on gardening endeavors, linking special days to interactive and curriculum-based events, and ways to further engage the community into becoming a more vital part of the school.

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