Moultrie Observer

Local News

April 9, 2013

Colquitt County teachers help study student interaction

MOULTRIE — A generation ago, talking in class was against the rules. Now, four Colquitt County teachers are participating in a two-year study to see if that once-forbidden behavior could actually help kids learn.

Early results are promising, according to a press release from the University of Georgia’s College of Education, which is doing the research..

Bonnie Kirkley and Angie Roberts from R. B. Wright Elementary along with Leah Jordan from Cox Elementary and Kirsten Saunders from Hamilton Elementary in the Colquitt County School System are among 100 teachers from across the state who are participating in the study.

"Current instruction often fails to connect with immigrant children’s learning potential and doesn’t make the most of the cultural capital these children bring to our education system," said Pedro Portes, executive director of the College of Education’s Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education (CLASE).

The Instructional Conversation method involves encouraging students to discuss lessons, not just with their teachers but with each other. While the study is aimed at improving outcomes for students whose first language isn’t English, teachers find that the method helps all students.

Last year was a learning year for Saunders and Kirkley as they received support and training throughout the school year from Donna Thomas, CLASE instructional coach, on how to become facilitators in their classrooms as students participated in Instructional Conversations. They have continued to utilize the method this year with much success, according to a press release from the UGA CLASE.

Jordan and Roberts joined the program this year and have received the support of Thomas as their instructional coach. The method may be used with discussions in any subject matter as it assists teachers in understanding which students are grasping the material and which need more assistance.

 Saunders said she recognizes the positive changes in her classroom since utilizing the IC method.

“I love the Instructional Conversation Model!” she said. “It has guided me in learning how to instruct not only my ELLs (English Language Learners), but all of my students, through learning from one another in small group discussions. The model encourages teaching through higher order questioning techniques. Students learn more through the small group conversations, and many youngsters are more open to talking and expressing their ideas in the small groups. Instructional Conversation has been an awesome addition in my classroom for the past two years.”

Roberts likes the fact that her classroom has become more student-centered.

“My students are talking to each other and learning from each other more,” she said. “I think it helps them learn responsibility and cooperation. Students also have an opportunity to share more of who they are with the class.”

“This has been a wonderful experience in which I am so thrilled to be a part of,” Jordan said. “My students have benefited so much from the use of Instructional Conversations. It is so exciting to walk around the classroom and hear conversations centered around the instruction that the students have received. It has definitely made a difference in my classroom — not only in the ways my students learn, but in the way I teach as well.”

The $2.9 million research project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences examines the effectiveness of the Instructional Conversation teaching method in improving English languages learners’ achievements toward Common Core standards.

Researchers are seeking a final group of teachers to commit to the two-year study. Teachers who participate are provided with $1,000 to $3,000 in compensation and trained in the method’s strategies. Teachers will receive weekly coaching and support for one year.

Any elementary school administrator, third- or fifth-grade teacher who is interested in participating in the project or who wants more information should contact Paula Mellom pjmellom@uga.edu at the University of Georgia’s Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education. Teachers can sign up online at www.coe.uga.edu/clase/confirmation-of-interest-form/.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • REID, Hank.jpg Two fatal wrecks

    A summer of road tragedies continued this week with a Berlin motorist dying Tuesday afternoon in a head-on collision in Thomas County and a Hartsfield man killed when he lost control of his motorcycle on Wednesday morning.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Police charge owners of dogs left in hot cars

    In less than three hours Monday, Moultrie police issued citations to two shoppers accused of leaving dogs inside cars as the temperature outside soared to more than 90 degrees.

    July 9, 2014

  • Downtown2.jpg Sidewalk upgrade about one-third complete

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blood bank warns of O-negative shortage

    OneBlood blood center, which provides blood to Colquitt Regional Medical Center and other facilities in Florida and southern parts of Georgia and Alabama, noted Wednesday that it has an immediate need for type O-negative blood.

    July 9, 2014

  • Health officials: Vaccinate now to beat the rush

    The Colquitt County Health Department encourages parents and guardians to take advantage of flexible summer schedules to get state-required vaccinations for their children now — and avoid the hassle and time-consuming delays that sometimes occur when the back-to-school rush begins.

    July 9, 2014

  • AgGeorgia pays out $305,000 to Colquitt County members

    AgGeorgia Farm Credit customers recently received a welcomed envelope in their mailboxes. Last week the agricultural cooperative mailed out checks totaling nearly $7.5 million to their members statewide. This included $305,086 to members of the Moultrie Branch, which services Colquitt County.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0708 hayden chapman.jpg And the winner is …

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Expo Field Day takes flight

    Tractor-pulled trams won’t be the fastest form of transportation farmers see in the fields on Thursday during the annual field day in Moultrie as airplanes will be featured for the first time.

    July 8, 2014

  • 0709 YMCA at Cox.jpg Study shows YMCA after-school students show improvement

    Cox Elementary students who participated in the 2013-2014 Moultrie YMCA afterschool program showed significant improvement in math and reading grades, according to an evaluation submitted to the Georgia Department of Education and the Colquitt County Board of Education.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman argues with houseguest

    A Moultrie woman’s effort last week to be a good Samaritan had an unhappy ending when a man she allowed to stay in her apartment stole her television and assaulted her.

    July 8, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Service Held for 200 Whose Bodies Went Unclaimed Kim Kardashian Hits Up Valentino Show in Paris "Hotwives" Spoofs Reality TV Israeli Offensive Escalates in Gaza Attack Dozens Gain Citizenship As Debate Continues Dodgers Found Partly Responsible in Fan Beating Children of Deported Parents Speak Out GOP: Immigration a 'human Rights Issue' Raw: 10-year Sentence for Ex-New Orleans Mayor Raw: Fans Gather for Argentina-Netherlands Match Froome Crashes Out on Bumpy 5th Tour Stage Obama Talks Economy, Slams Republicans Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Tornadoes Kill Four in Central New York McCaskill: Campus Assault Survey Is Wake Up Call Raw: Obama Shoots Pool in Denver Typhoon Nears Japan's Main Islands Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Weaver Reprises Ripley Role for 'Alien' Game
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
More
weatherradar
Seasonal Content
Poll

Should the U.S. negotiate with groups it considers terrorists?

No. Never.
Generally no, but prisoner exchanges are an exception.
Negotiation will be required to end the conflicts we have with those groups.
     View Results