Katara Simmons/News-Sun Fifth grade teacher Tracy Schuknecht gives a thumbs up to students Thursday morning at Sun 'N Lake Elementary School in Sebring.
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published: Sunday, September 01, 2013
Team teaching excites Sun 'N Lake's 'Superville' classroom
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING -- Sun 'N lake Elementary School is one of the small group of elementary schools in the district that have jumped on board with the Team Teaching Model for the new school year.
Though SNLE is only in its second week of its first year of the model, teachers Tracy Schuknecht and Tari Hornick have teamed up to create their version of the model known as "Superville."
The superheroes (students) in Superville had plenty to say Thursday morning in their classroom. Fifth graders Maci Leaphart and Tanesha Morris were busy measuring away in their small work group and were excited about the work they were doing.
"We are measuring in inches and millimeters," said Morris.
Team teaching uses both teachers to help in the classroom. Through the model, teachers are better able to assess the needs of every individual on any level.
"Math is one of the hardest subjects, but with these big classrooms it makes it fun. I feel like I'm learning more this year," said Morris.
Morris' partner agreed that the dual classrooms were a neat idea.
"I like that this is a super classroom. We have more space to move around and for centers and we can split up into groups and do more things," said Leaphart.
What makes the teaching model unique at SNLE is the number of students in the classroom itself.
"Most of the other schools -- Woodlawn, Cracker Trail -- they have about 40 to 45 students. We have 53 in ours," said Schuknecht.
Due to the large classroom number, administration hired a substitute to help in the classroom for the first two weeks of school. A certified teaching assistant (CTA) will be placed in the classroom on Monday.
"This isn't a HARRT classroom. It's almost like a regular fifth grade classroom except we have more kids. We have a very broad range of students in here on all different levels and of all different backgrounds and knowledge," Schuknecht said.
The diverse classroom is another unique attribute to SNLE's team teaching model. The students have been grouped based on how they did on the baseline assessment given the first week of school. The groups may likely change once the nine weeks progresses and students show changes in their knowledge levels.
"Right now we have three groups. That group with Mr. (Todd) Coleman is going over homework. Over here we have instruction or re-teaching and back here this group is broken up into the centers," said Hornick. "We've seen a lot of models that show that the team teaching is successful. This is just an opportunity for more information and resources to be shared."
Superville's superhero students are well on their way to a year filled with learning and growth.
Hornick and Schuknecht have worked on many different ways to teach concepts and curriculum by attending conferences and forums during the summer months.
Hornick, who speaks with other team teachers in the district, sees the model as a way to network and share information not only with teachers in one specific school but with others in the district.
Hornick explained the model allows each teacher to have personal one-on-one time to help with the needs of the individual while not taking away from a lesson.
"This model is really working well. We thought it would work better with our veteran teachers. The administration is very supportive of this classroom and the model," said Assistant Principal Isaac Durance. "The kids are getting a lot of education in a lot of different ways. It keeps them excited about learning."
superville (by: Windy - 9/2/2013)
Excellent idea! Making learning fun, Mrs Schuknecht is an excellent teacher and the thumbs up, kid love to know their doing great. My Daughter did. Kids enjoying having fun and the school work with stick in their heads better.
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