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Friday December 21, 2018 at 10:16am Age: 92 days
Category: Middle School, District

MVMS: EXPLORATORY COURSES ENCOURAGE STUDENT CHOICE AND ENGAGEMENT


In the traditional classroom environment, learning activities were the same for one and all, but 21st century instruction is increasingly personalized and choice-based.

Minisink Valley Middle School course offerings include self-paced, exploratory classes for students in all grades. Jodi Roda’s computers course involves coding, photo editing, building a web page for an imaginary business, and designing a travel brochure to a destination of choice.

Not surprisingly, student choice increases student engagement and connection to learning, as demonstrated by these eighth graders who shared about their experience in Mrs. Roda’s course.

“I really enjoy coding,” Jasmine Lamboy said. “You can design what you want, with your own view. You get to express yourself.”

Parker Toth concurred: “You get to do what you like and make stuff.”

In the exploratory environment, students are also more likely to find real-life applications for their learning.

“I like this class because I’m learning things I can use right away,” Anderson Ravelo said. He’s especially fascinated with photo editing and the power of manipulating and altering images to create very different ones. “It’s also more relaxed and I get to listen to my music while I work,” he added.

The self-paced nature of the curriculum also encourages students to challenge themselves, persevere and reflect on their progress. “I’m not good at photo editing, but I like it and I’m getting better,” Hailey Vail said.