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Educators and students present Words Their Way, PES honored with Golden Apple Award

SchoolBoardBy CALVIN PYNN

calvin@southwesttimes.com

 

The Pulaski County School Board got a look at a new system of teaching methods from the teachers using them, and the students learning from them.

As part of their monthly instructional focus, the board heard a presentation from Dalton and Assistant Principal Donna Payne about the “Words Their Way” lesson. Dublin Elementary has been working with the lesson for several years, with professional development from professors at Radford University and Virginia Tech.

Words Their Way is a lesson that allows students to learn the basics of words through a series of steps. As the students progress through elementary school, the ongoing lesson teaches them vocabulary, spelling, word origins, as well as Latin and Greco roots in language.

“The one thing we want to do is get kids hooked on words,” said Payne.

According to Payne, Words Their Way allows students to engage in the lesson through hands on learning, therefore making the lesson more enjoyable for them.

Dalton presented the portion of Words Their Way that she implements for her current class of first graders. Her lessons include spelling through word lists, as well as word-picture association, and other methods involving sorting, cutting, and pasting to form words.

Following the presentation, students came up and showed members of the board what they’ve learned through Words Their Way in small one-on-one lessons.

The children demonstrated different stages of Words Their Way for their grade level. As the board members got their own hands-on lesson, they also got a firsthand look at how the students have benefited from the innovative methods.

During the meeting’s award ceremony, Pulaski Elementary School (PES) was given the Golden Apple Award. The recognition was based on student achievement during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years.

PES achieved a mean score at the 60th percentile for English and Math, met full accreditation standards for two years in a row, and exceeded annual measurable objectives (AMOs) for all students. The school will be recognized at the annual Title I State Conference later this year.

Multiple individuals were also honored during the School Board meeting. Among them were Pulaski Elementary School nurse Jenny Shepherd and ISS monitor Susan Stike, who were given the Employee of the Month award for November and December, respectively.

Pulaski County High School agriculture Instructor Codi Jo Smith was also honored as Teacher of the Month for December 2013.

Other items covered during the meeting included a budget analysis, discussion of the 2014-2015 Capital Improvement Plan, and a discussion to update the Superintendent’s Assessment Handbook.

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