At WMS, teachers keep learning so students can too.

Recently, eighth grade science teacher Ms. Angele Reinke attended a Project Learning Tree training through the Panhandle Area Education Consortium (PAEC) in Chipley. Last week, she implemented her new learning through a hands-on experience with her students.

When class began, it looked perhaps more like PE than science. Ms. Reinke began the lesson by asking students what percentage of earth’s makeup is actually water. The class then stood in a circle, throwing a blown up ball resembling our planet around and around, tallying how many times their right thumbs landed on water instead of land. Remarkably, their results accurately represented that ~71% of earth is actually water.

The class then switched gears, as students journeyed through the water cycle as a water molecule. They all took different journeys between the ocean, plants, groundwater, animals, etc. Sometimes students—as water molecules--rolled downstream to the ocean, while other times they were used by humans to brush their teeth, then being spit out, only to travel down the pipes of a sewage treatment plan.

After the journeys were completed, Ms. Reinke then asked students to write creatively about their experiences as water molecules. Some wrote poems, while others wrote funny stories. The class then discussed how the water molecules’ journeys were all different, wrapping the lesson up by drawing diagrams of the water cycle.

When teachers learn creative strategies for enhancing learning, their students gain new knowledge in exciting and interactive ways.

We are one tribe, on one mission, making creative connections so students can learn (and have fun along the way).