Eye on InnovationPosted: November 8, 2010
Tonya Krause and her fellow science colleagues Josie Dennis and Jenna Henderson at Central Elementary School in Seagoville were dealing with multiple challenges several years ago, including one of the largest fifth grade enrollments in DISD (180+), geographic isolation, and Science TAKS passing percentages well below acceptable limits.
This year, they have modified their already-successful TAKS Blitz strategy to become “Freaky Fridays.” One Friday per six weeks, all eight fifth grade teachers (regardless of usual subject taught) participates in a morning-long round-robin of short (half-hour) hands-on activities, vocabulary games, and multimedia presentations specifically related to the TEKS which students have just been studying. Students move through a fast-paced rotation schedule, which Tonya says actually works to the teachers’ advantage, as the kids are so eager to get lined up and on to the next fun activity they don’t waste time! By spreading the “Freaky Fridays” out throughout the year, the teachers have plenty of time to prepare without feeling “blitzed” themselves. And Central’s science scores have improved over 20 points!