Spotlight on Waverly-Shell Rock MS

Guest Blog Post by Erika Shanoff, Reading Teacher at Waverly-Shell Rock Middle School

Waverly-Shell Rock Middle School Student Using iPad

At Waverly-Shell Rock Middle School in Waverly, Iowa, we are fortunate to have an abundance of technology in our educational community. Each classroom is outfitted with interactive LCD projectors, Apple TV’s, voice amplification systems, and document cameras. In the fall of 2012, we implemented a 1:1 learning environment using the Apple iPad. Our 1:1 environment and the addition of Naiku formative assessment software is reshaping learning opportunities for students beyond the classroom, in their homes and community. Our teachers and administrators are enthused by all the possibilities Naiku has to offer and are eagerly implementing it into our school environment.

Naiku Quick Question allows teachers to quickly and efficiently ask a question, view student answers in real time, then provide immediate feedback to students. Students simply answer the question using a variety of formats such as multiple choice, true/false, and short answer. This tool has numerous uses, whether a teacher wants to informally give a quiz, ask a simple question to see who understands a concept, or take a poll.An important attribute of the Quick Question format is that it allows students to answer, and their answers can be shown anonymously. Many of us remember being too embarrassed to ask a question back in middle school. Naiku alleviates the embarrassment many might feel when asked to raise their hand if they don’t understand something. Now students can anonymously identify the concept they don’t understand and the teacher can post the results on the board or through other mediums. Another great benefit is the teacher can privately view the identity of polled students and can check in on struggling students after class.

During a student’s Extension period, we are using Naiku to monitor progress in the core content areas, preparation for the Iowa Assessments, and especially the new journaling feature to keep a running log of accomplishments and goals for the day and week. Students simply type in the “Journal” box what they did during study hall. It takes them seconds, then keeps a running record in their log. Come conference time, teachers can access student’s activity log to identify how they were spending their time in study hall. Now, teachers, parents, and students can view what the student was studying and for how long. This reinforces student accountability and helps them rethink how they’re managing their time.

Thanks to Naiku, staff are forming collaborative partnerships of shared assessments, data analysis, and the online forum available for open discussion nationally. These professional learning communities are all aiding in the monitoring of student’s growth and progress via Naiku’s reporting system.

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