SMART and Title 1 Students: A Model for Engagement and Achievement

This article originally appeared on the EDCompass Blog.  Click here for the original URL.

By Danesa Jepson Menge

I teach at a traditional junior high school in California. We have 850 students, many of whom would qualify as “target” students. Educators focus on these students, striving for continual progress, improved test scores, and a love of learning. But my focus is my Title I students.

For me, these students are more than just a score. They’re students in desperate need of connection, of learning in ways they enjoy. SMART products help me do just that – they give teachers a way to deliver lessons that are motivating and engaging, while increasing those all-important grades.

Inside my classroom

I am fortunate enough to have multiple SMART products. They allow my Title I students the engagement and hands-on learning they need to enrich their learning. For me, it all began with an erase-to-reveal activity to help my Title I students easily focus on the concept. Yes, they understood the concept, but more importantly, theywanted to keep learning. They wanted to interact with the SMART Board more, with each other, and even more importantly, with the material.

Students volunteered to go up to the interactive whiteboard. I had more hands in the air to answer questions. Students were excited to have immediate feedback while they were learning. This particular lesson and every one since has given my students the chance to enjoy learning, interact with subject matter and feel positive about their learning. Now I have SMART Board 800i interactive whiteboard so that multiple students can interact with the content, SMART AudioSMART Response XE and VESMART Slates to pass around from student to student, and XC Add-on Beta for SMART Notebook software, which allow students answers, questions, responses, and pictures to be directly displayed on the SMART Board for all students see. Such powerful connects students get with the use of SMART.

Student success story

One particular student that has had incredible success is Israel. He is a kind, smart student. He has been in our district’s Special Education program and ELD since 2004. Because of the use of SMART products, Israel has not only become proficient in English, but he has been exited from both programs!

Check out our video on the impact that SMART products have had in our classroom!

When students are engaged, having fun and focused on learning, the end results are better grades and test scores, and a love of learning, which makes everyone smile.

I also wanted to share links to lessons on the SMART Exchange website that I use with my class:

About Danesa Jepson Menge

Danesa Jepson Menge is a SMART Exemplary Educator and SMART Certified Lesson Developer. She teaches English language arts at Oakdale Junior High in Oakdale, California. You can connect with her as @Jepson on Twitter. She often participates in Tuesday night #SMARTee chats.

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