New initiatives applied in school

Brannagan Mukaisu, reporter

Have you walked into your classes and noticed anything different? In the summer, teachers attended a workshop where new strategies like Can O’ Sticks and Four Corners were introduced to get students engaged in learning. A former teacher, David A. Shepard, held the workshop and now helps develop and refine educational programs. McKinley High School is now including these initiatives into the classrooms.

Irene Limos (12) said, “(The strategies are) a great idea because they get students involved in the lesson that we are learning” and make “class more interesting and alive rather than having it quiet and boring because everyone hopes that the Popsicle stick does not have their name on it, but it does.”

Sidney Li (12) also likes the strategies because “students are treated equally with no favoritism.”

Ricky Cheng (11) said the initiatives “benefit everyone.”

Jessica Uehara (12) said, “I think (the strategies are) a great idea because they are something new and interesting for us. I think sometimes change is good once in a while.”

Kay Nguyen (12) said the strategies benefit students “because we get to know each other a little more.”

In Eric Bott’s AP pschology classes, he has been using the Can O’ Sticks strategy and feels the strategy “does seem to be working.”

Bott said, “Overall these strategies seem to be classroom-tested” and “overall a good thing.”

In Yvette Lam’s history class, she has introduced the Roll Call Activity, but the activity is not used everyday because it “takes a little more time.”

She said these new school-wide initiatives make the students “more attentive” by allowing them to “take a part,” as well as being “a wonderful change of pace.”

Lam also finds the strategies introduced by Shepard to be “low-cost.”

Lam said, through these initiatives, “teachers just like students need to challenge themselves.”

Lam posts up the classroom rules and refers to the rules more, just as Shepard suggested to do. Now students know what is expected of them. This strategy helps the students be aware of what their roles are when in the classrooms. To incorporate her own ideas, Lam is going to do an electronic version of the Multiple Choice strategy. This idea of hers is going to allow students to give “more immediate feedback.”

The idea is similar to Shepard’s Multiple Choice strategy, except it is electronic. The strategy suggests that a teacher give each student Multiple Choice letters from A-D and when the teacher asks a question the student will raise the letter matching the answer they choose.

Overall, Lam thinks the strategies are a wonderful idea. The strategies are being incorporated into the classrooms by having each teacher choose a strategy and recording the information on a form. Now, the school’s administration can monitor the effectiveness of the new school-wide initiatives. The school administration even went out and bought every teacher Popsicle sticks, to enforce the new strategies.

Since the teachers are taking initiative, the “students have to try too” and be “open minded,” said Lam.

With this, students have to help be in charge of their own learning too, so everyone can achieve success through these new school-wide initiatives.