Collaborating for education

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

CORNING, AR (KAIT) - Teachers in one Region 8 school are working together to make the learning experience easier and more fun for students.  They call it cross collaboration.  Teachers in one subject use what students are good at to help them connect with a subject that needs work.  They hope doing this can help close the gap in student test scores!

"Often in high school we teach in isolation and we don't do the cross curricular things that we need to be doing," said Corning Curriculum Specialist Annie Morrow.

"Anytime we can get the teachers working together and get the students excited about something it always has positive results," said Superintendent J.M. Edington.

In the past, if teachers ever wanted to get together and collaborate they did it before or after school.

"It's all about reinforcement," said 7th Grade Science Teacher Robert Fox.

Teachers can take what another teacher is teaching and apply it to their classroom.

"They may be talking about the word probable in literacy class.  I can take that word and use it in my science class," said Fox.

"Kids can be very successful in hand on but when they get in the geometry classroom they think it's a foreign language and they're just lost," said Morrow.

"There's really no better way to learn than to put it right in front of them and then over emphasize it in another class," said student Emily Hill.

The board is like a living spreadsheet.  Grades 7th through 12th are listed on the side with all the subjects across the top.

"I can look at not only the math teacher in 7th grade but the English teacher," said Fox.

This all started as a way to help close the gap in test scores.  Educators met with parents of 7th and 8th grades earlier in the year to explain this premise and how the parents can help make a difference.

They've only been using this collaboration board in Corning for a couple of weeks and already there are other schools interested in following their lead.

"Every class talks about the same things in different aspects it just brings it all together," said Fox.

And hopefully when they take their state mandated tests at the end of the year these students will be ready armed with a new way to look at what they've learned.

"Helping them reach their fullest potential, that's our goal.  That is what we think this helps us do," said Edington.

Morrow originally got the idea when visiting her grandson three years ago at Baldwin Elementary in Paragould.  She said it took her that long to convince teachers at her school that this would benefit the students.

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