The Rocket Flame

Circle Up to Gamify: English class takes on Classcraft

Back to Article
Back to Article

Circle Up to Gamify: English class takes on Classcraft

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






English 10 teachers Ms. Kelley Reeder and Ms. Nicole Myers explore the world of gamification in their Keystone English class to spice up the literature circle unit and bring some engagement and competition in for their students.

6 Reasons why you Should Listen to Audio Books

Back to Article
Back to Article

6 Reasons why you Should Listen to Audio Books

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Technology is changing and advancing every day and something that is rapidly changing is the way people are reading books. Instead of reading books, people are listening to them through audiobooks. Audiobooks are a new form of reading and listening as a narrator tells the story.

  1. Allows you to multitask.

 

Everyday people have to juggle many things. Students have to juggle homework, family, and extracurricular activities. All of these things make it difficult to sit down and read a book. Audiobooks allow you to be doing something while listening to a book at the same time.

“It is harder during the school year to sit down and read a book,” said student      

Alliah Fluent (10) “I have to spend more time doing school work and sports.”  

 

 2. More People are using audiobooks

 

More and more people are using audiobooks. For instance, teachers in our school like Nicole Myers (Faculty) and Kelley Reeder (Faculty) have used audio tools called podcasts and incorporated them into their lesson plans.

“I’ve done podcasts for two years now,” said Myers “It’s something a little bit different and picks up engagement.”

 

3. Fits Right into your Pocket

 

Since audiobooks are electronic, they are all read to you through your phone. This makes them easily portable. This lets you listen to a book anywhere at any time of the day.

“All the books I read myself are mostly audiobooks,” said Myers. “I like the different kind of platform and experience it gives you.”

4.  A thing to do when you’re bored

 

Audiobooks can give you something to do when you’re bored and you have nothing to do. Instead of scrolling through Instagram or constantly checking your phone waiting for a Snapchat, you can occupy yourself with an audiobook.

 

5. Great narrators can bring books to life

 

Audiobooks are read to you by a narrator, the narrator helps the reader to get a better picture of the characters, setting, and what the book is all about. You also get to see and listen to different perspectives read aloud by the narrator.

“The characters and narrators transport you to another time and place,” said Fluent. “It also helps you to get away from all the stress.”

6. Helps to Improve Vocabulary

When reading a book, sometimes there are words you may not know. Audiobooks can help with this, since the narrator is reading the book to you, you know the word is pronounced correctly. The word that you once didn’t know, you now do.

 

Breaking Out

Back to Article
Back to Article

Breaking Out

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Times are changing and with technology on the rise, students are becoming more and more tech-savvy. Teachers are innovating new ways to keep their students engaged in the classroom: gamification of the classroom, or using games to enhance student learning, has been getting very popular more recently.

 

A way teachers are gamifying their classrooms is by using digital breakouts. Teachers at James Buchanan have been beginning to use these for an entertaining way to review material. Mrs. Emily Poffenberger (Faculty), Ms. Kelley Reeder (Faculty), and Ms. Nicole Myers (Faculty), and Mrs. Erin Martin (Faculty) have all found their own ways to use digital breakouts.

 

This idea was inspired by escape rooms that can be found throughout the United States. A group of individuals are put into a room where they have to use clues to unlock puzzles and riddles to “escape.”

 

“I heard of them when the escape room started becoming a pretty big thing,” Myers said. “Once we had the idea of the Escape Room we started coming up with ways we could use them in the classroom.”

 

Digital breakouts have been created for education. Teachers can create their own or use ones they find online. These escape rooms have puzzles, riddles, and questions based on what their class may be learning.

 

Poffenberger, a Biology teacher, uses digital breakouts in her classroom to review material learned before a test.

 

“I use digital breakouts by having students solve different codes I have on a Google Form,” Poffenberger said. “They solve those codes using different resources that I make available to them. Some resources are embedded with links online, some are within resources I have handed them to help them unlock the different locks.”

 

The English Department used their digital breakout to prepare for the Keystone exam and media bias, using newspaper articles from the time of Jack the Ripper. In their final review of the unit, students had to go through a journey to prove their innocence to getting out of jail.

 

“They had to escape from being prosecuted by the people of Whitechapel, London. They had to convince the guard they were innocent, using persuasive appeals. Then they had to figure out the layout of the jail and how to get out of that,” Myers said. “They had to figure out different puzzles to then get on a boat, and codes to get into the governor’s house and convince him they are innocent.”

 

 

Students breakout of these situations by being able to complete questions they have already learned in class and using their brains for advanced thinking.

 

“We worked with the idea of author’s claim, author’s purpose, and author’s bias,” Myers said.

 

It is not easy to create your own digital breakout, Myers and Reeder found. There were a lot of steps to take in making their digital breakout successful and how they wanted it.

 

“We already had the idea to do this, but then we got the chance to go to a Google Summit workshop where we got to see it in action first,” Myers said. “We luckily had a snow day after so I could build it all. That was our big push, we had the time, and we had the endurance.”

 

There are also websites you can find pre-existing digital breakouts that you can buy or use in your classroom. Poffenberger used the website,  Teachers Pay Teachers for her first digital breakout. Teachers can create their own digital breakout and allow other teachers to buy what they have created.

 

Digital breakouts cannot only be used to teach material learned in class, but also life skills.

 

“It teaches them to not be dependent on a teacher, but trying to figure it out on their own with the technology, tools, and the peer they have with them,” Myers said. “It really teaches students problem-solving skills and relationship skills.”

 

Gamification is about creating a fun atmosphere for learning so that students do not actually realize that learning is taking place. Digital breakouts are not just a resource for teachers to review material they have taught but also allow students to have fun while also learning.

 

“The best part of the day is when my kids say, ‘Ms. Myers, that was really fun.’” Myers said.

 

With the times always changing teachers must be on top of what works best for students when it comes to reviewing material. With digital games at the fingertips of students at all times, a digital breakout can allow students to have fun while also using their video game skills and skills they learned in the classroom.

 

What is Student Media?

Back to Article
Back to Article

What is Student Media?

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






From the outside, Student Media may look like it is just taking pictures, but there is much more to it than that. Yearbook does many things like choosing a theme for the yearbook, designing pages, and writing articles not only to document the year, but for our online school newspaper, as well.

 

However, Student Media has just as much fun as they do working with special events, such as the Yearbook Wedding, Ad Sales Day, and the monthly Work Nights.

 

At the beginning of the year, it is all about getting the newbies introduced to how a journalism classroom runs, from the way photos should be taken, how to write features, or how to design their own pages. There are many things done to prepare the new staff for publishing the yearbook and newspaper, like the Photo Challenge where they practice taking pictures, the article they all wrote together to teach them how to write as a journalist, and the study of digital design.

 

“Being the editor, and having a year of experience has significantly helped me to enhance my skills so that I could teach the new staff,” said Hannah Zomak (11).

 

As the year progressed the staff worked on completing the seven sections of the yearbook in four deadlines. They were able to meet each deadline on time as they had planned. The sections range from the People section, to Student Life, to Ads. They are all different, but they each take a lot of work for the staff to complete.

 

“The biggest challenge I had would have been with the Academics sections and that’s because I had PLTW/AG/Business/Tech Ed.” said Madi Dorsey (11). “That is a spread that has four departments on it and it was hard to fit all four departments on two pages.”

Even though there was a lot of work to be done, the staff also made time to participate in activities together. They participated in the Ag Olympics together, went to a PJ night at the movies, and even went out to eat at Burger King.

 

Student Media is period 7/8 in the school day, so the staff is able to work together and have some bonding time. One period of the day is not enough, so once a month they have Work Nights. when the staff gets together after school to work on the yearbook, have a meal, and also enjoy one another’s company.

 

Work Nights are full of laughter and many inside jokes. To the yearbook staff, at these Work Nights is where they become more of a family. At the first work night, they had they Yearbook Wedding where each staff member vowed to be loyal to each other as well to the yearbook. Each Work Night has a different theme and everyone enjoys them.

 

“I really like talking with everybody and it is a great way to work and socialize,” said Rachel Kimmel (12).

 

As the year is coming to an end, many classes are finishing up their work for the year, but Student Media is already getting prepared for the next year. Currently, the staff is working on the Theme Project, where they design the theme for next year’s yearbook and try to “sell” their theme to admin in the district.

 

The staff is divided into three teams with three different designs, and they create and sell a theme package that they present. The class then votes along with the judges on the Best theme for the upcoming school year. The three themes they are choosing from are “Once Upon a Year”, “Let’s Rewind”, and “Day in, Day out”.

 

“Our theme we are working on is all about the work students and staff put in day in and day out,” said Emma Gipe (11) “Every day everyone put in hours of hard work along with balancing their outside life.”

 

As well as doing work for next year, the staff is also looking for students to join Student Media. There will be a meeting held on April 19 in room 220 activity period for anyone who is interested. If you are unable to attend the meeting, come down to Ms.Reeder’s room and get the information. The JB Student Media Staff is excited for you to become a part of their family and are looking forward to seeing you at the meeting.

Navigate Left
  • Circle Up to Gamify: English class takes on Classcraft

    On Campus

    Tri-M Inductions

  • Circle Up to Gamify: English class takes on Classcraft

    Entertainment

    October Festivities

  • Circle Up to Gamify: English class takes on Classcraft

    Entertainment

    Back On Track

  • Circle Up to Gamify: English class takes on Classcraft

    On Campus

    Activity Period Change

  • Circle Up to Gamify: English class takes on Classcraft

    On Campus

    Dancing Through the Decades

  • Circle Up to Gamify: English class takes on Classcraft

    Entertainment

    A Jamboree to the End of the School Year.

  • Circle Up to Gamify: English class takes on Classcraft

    News

    All Graduates Need is Money!

  • Circle Up to Gamify: English class takes on Classcraft

    News

    A Louder Finale

  • Circle Up to Gamify: English class takes on Classcraft

    On Campus

    Rockets Catching the Dub for School Spirit

  • Circle Up to Gamify: English class takes on Classcraft

    Entertainment

    2019 Special Olympics

Navigate Right
The Student News Site of James Buchanan High School
Ms.Kelley Reeder