Language arts teacher Pam Crosby is the founder and director of the Mind Center Technology Lab, a comprehensive alternative learning environment at Poudre High School in Fort Collins. Students in the Center’s Language Arts and Math Program follow individualized goal-driven curricula that accommodate different learning styles and incorporate technology. The Center’s other offerings include an Adult Learning Evening Program that provides GED and continuing education instruction to adults and returning students; the Pathways at Night Program, which provides remedial instruction in the evening, and which has reduced the school’s dropout rate from seven to one percent; and ESL program in which students learn language and cultural customs by participating in schoolwide and community activities.
A social studies teacher and building technology coordinator at Preston Junior High School in Fort Collins, Scott DeVries has created a comprehensive online classroom for his ninth-grade world history classes. This online classroom provides general course information and standards, summaries of reading assignments, hyperlinked assignment calendars, sample test questions, and grades. Mr. DeVries encourages his students to submit assignments via electronic mail and provides instruction on effective Web searches, Web authoring tools, and graphics programs. Students apply these skills in researching and creating their own Web pages around a historical topic. Mr. DeVries has presented his ideas and experiences on teaching students to use the World Wide Web at Colorado’s Technology in Education Conference.
At Thunder Ridge High School in Highlands Ranch, mathematics teacher Kathy Granas takes a non-traditional approach to math instruction. Using non-routine problems in her pre-algebra classes, Ms. Granas teaches her students not only how to solve math problems but also to develop their skills and confidence in mathematical reasoning. She uses tests and quizzes not as an end but as a means of diagnosing students’ knowledge to help direct further learning and study. A National Board-certified teacher, she is an online mentor both to new teachers and teachers undergoing the certification process. Ms. Granas teaches a staff development course that she co-developed on effective classroom management and instruction techniques.
Before recently becoming assistant principal and activities director at Moffat County High School in Craig, Rob Sanders was principal of Cheyenne Wells Jr./Sr. High School in Cheyenne Wells. There he piloted a Brain-Based Learning Program that incorporates current research on the brain, targeting multiple intelligences with individualized lessons and assessments. He introduced a Writing Across the Curriculum program at Cheyenne Wells, taking students through a five-step process that includes selecting a subject, focusing the inquiry and research into that subject, and writing a peer-edited, publishable paper. Mr. Sanders has attended conferences on Brain-Based Learning and presented a workshop on current brain research to the district.
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