Personalizing Learning with Discovery Education and Instructional Technology

Innovative teachers in Cobb are creating meaningful student-centered learning experiences for their students by using various modes of instruction and assessment. Ms. Burns, an ELA teacher at Garrett Middle School implemented a series of lessons to engage and inspire her students in the study of the Holocaust through collaboration with Discovery Education and CCSD’s Instructional Technology department.

Student-centered learning experiences are happening across the Cobb County School District. Teachers are intentionally implementing best practices within lessons while integrating innovative technology and strategic energizing practices to personalize learning for students. One example of this can be seen in Ms. Burns classroom at Garrett Middle School. She is an innovative teacher that demonstrates intentional collaborative practices for her ELA students as evidenced in their study of the Holocaust and reading of the Number the Stars novel.

The ELA standard and learning targets in these lessons challenged students to cite textual evidence to support and connect real world applications with the topic.  Collaboration with the Cobb Technology Training/Integration Specialists (TTIS) provided Ms. Burns with training and assistance with integrating virtual reality (VR) integration into her lesson.  Her students experienced an amazingly realistic virtual field trip at the Holocaust Museum in DC. A video clip, Kitty Hart-Morton: Holocaust Survivor,was later provided to students through Discovery Ed resources. The video was a shortened documentary of a Holocaust survivor talking and walking with two teenage girls on the grounds of Auschwitz.

The grand finale was a Paper Chat, Spotlight on Strategies (SOS) activity in which student groups selected an image provided and summarized it with a statement that connected it to an event, setting or character in the novel and then supported it with text evidence.  Each group displayed their posters around the room and the teacher utilized a Gallery Walk to provide students with the opportunity to examine and discuss the work of each group.  Students were energized by the lesson and were able to describe what it meant to be a Holocaust survivor. Students discussed the impact and the relevance of what they had learned to the world they live in today.

Cheryl Crooks, Supervisor
Personalized Learning

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