Teachers use activities to engage with students


Abigail Rudy

No tests! Mr. McBurney’s class makes comic strips. Students made different comics about the progressive era actions that left a lasting impact on society today.

Some teachers use their own ways of teaching and others use more traditional ways to teach. The traditional way to teach is giving students notes and then a test or a quiz. Amy Martin, uses her own alternative way to teach her classes.

“I use movies in heroes and monsters to teach concepts. We studied a hero’s journey, and we’re going to study the backstory and the hero’s code. Then we apply that to a movie, and they pull ideas from it,” Martin said.

Martin uses different ways to teach her classes. She doesn’t like to teach with notes and tests, but she teaches with movies and other activities. She uses her own teaching methods to engage her students.

“I am not a fan of repetition. I know there’s a place for it, and a lot of people operate on a really structured system of doing certain things on certain days. I find that exceedingly boring. I’m always trying to look for new things and new ways to teach them. I like change. I think having something new and different is good,” Martin said.

Any teaching method can have different effects on the students who are learning it. Sophomore Thomas Rudy enjoys the creativity of the classwork that the teachers assign.

“It seemed like whenever students aren’t really interested in taking notes and when I went through and explained how the simulation related to what actually happened during World War One, they were a little more engaged and wanted to know why things happen the way that they happened,” American history teacher Shane McBurney said.

Hands-on activities can be a way to teach students instead of giving them notes and tests. Freshman Samuel Smith expressed he likes doing hand on activities and would rather be up and moving around then sitting at a desk writing notes.

“I still give tests and quizzes. I think they are equally as important to assess a student’s knowledge and understanding. I also feel strongly that students learn best by doing hands-on activities. I have done some hands-on activities like heart dissections, Blood spatter analysis, Brain Mapping Swim Caps and drawing blood from a Phlebotomy arm,” STEAM tech ed teacher, Rebecca Skebeck said.

Some teachers can tell how their students feel about their teaching methods when their students give them feedback.

“I have gotten a lot of positive responses whenever we do something that’s not on Google Classroom or not just a worksheet or standard activity. A lot of people came up and they told me, ‘Oh my gosh, this murder mystery was so much fun,’ and ‘Oh, I’m so glad we played the Lady and the Tiger game because that was nice to break up my day.” ninth grade English teacher, Jordan Corman said.

Some teachers open up many options for students to learn better.

“The very best way to learn is for students to find their own path. I think of it in terms of writing: There’s some people that really thrive with graphic organizers, if they have that their writing is going to be amazing. I think it’s a matter of finding the best way to learn. I’ve tried to offer a lot of different things so that something might click. I try to offer as many different possibilities so that they can find their own path,” Martin said.