6th grade students in Mrs. Slone's Math class are working on equations right now. They're also learning about goal-setting and accountability, and today they took some time to enjoy listening to a book read by a special guest.
Pat Cooney, Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning, hired Nakia Slone several years ago when he was the principal at Brentwood Elementary. Later, while he was the PCMS principal, Slone transitioned to PCMS to teach 6th grade Math. Since then, she has invited Cooney to visit her classes from time to time, for a special book segment.
You might be wondering why a Math teacher would take time for reading? There are several reasons.
For one, throughout Plainfield Schools, there is a belief that reading is the foundation of all learning. In fact, Van Buren principal Ray Helmuth has instituted a program know as DEAR: Drop Everything and Read. When he announces "DEAR," students know they have 30 minutes to get comfortable and dig into their current book.
In addition, our teachers frequently use cross-curricular lessons, where they include several topics and key messages with their core subject matter.
Today, Mr. Cooney read "Salt in His Shoes," a book about Michael Jordan's childhood and his frustration over his lack of height as a young boy. Throughout the book, Cooney paused to ask students if they picked up on possible goals in the story, or to gauge their thoughts on some of the obstacles he faced.
Cooney and the students talked about their own goals and how they could ensure their success. In the next few days, students will record their goals, and then will hold one another accountable.
Regardless of what classroom you visit, you could experience lessons in math, vocabulary, reading (including listening skills), nutrition and exercise, goal-setting and more. And in today's example, like most others, students are engaged, enthusiastic, respectful, and finding the JOY in learning.