Last Wednesday, January 19, 2011, I attended the Middle School’s staff meeting. The purpose was to review some data and progress on School and District Goals. I shared the same data I presented to the Board in January. The faculty members commented on the progress they see with students year to year and day to day. They realize that students are better prepared for grade level work than in 2004. The most exciting portion of the meeting was the faculty review of goals and progress being made this year on School and District Goals. Eric Diamond, RMS Band Instructor, shared a computer program he uses with students. The students rehearse along with this computer program. The students select a song from the list of songs available for their instruments, then the software records their performance, rates the performance and they can easily see which notes they hit or missed. The song is also recorded so the instructor can review the performance. So, while the rest of the Band practices, individual students can be working on their individuals skills. It used to take two weeks to have students perform this rehearsal with the teacher listening. It made it difficult to have an ongoing class, and rehearse. This has increased student engagement and shows an effective use of technology.
My visits to classrooms this week, demonstrated the effective use of Smartboards in classrooms. Many teachers asked me about getting a Smartboards for their classroom. We will continue to pursue any opportunities to expand their classroom use. They are making a difference in classroom engagement and student performance.