BOCES presents a fun new way to learn

WESTFIELD – Stu-dents at Westfield Academy and Central School may have a fun new way to learn.

Erie 2 BOCES Staff Development Specialist Sean VanHatten gave a PowerPoint presentation to Westfield Academy and Central School Board of Education members recently.

The presentation titled “Instructional Shifts for the Common Core” broke down step-by-step how students and teachers can work together as a team in reading and math.

“The shifts will help students to become their own readers,” VanHatten said. “Students will read the full text instead of teachers summarizing it for them.”

VanHatten said he believes students will “engage in rich and rigorous conversation about the text.”

“A key point in the Common Core shifts is all teachers K-12 now teach reading, writing, speaking and listening and this will help intensify the direct impact reading has on ELA (English Language Arts),” he said.

Board member Ivana Hite said, “One teacher is taking old mythology and putting a modern spin on it to teach her students how to bring these stories into their own world.”

In a way, this is like allowing students to compare what they read to real-life situations that they can relate to.

This is what VanHatten pointed out in his presentation.

“Find something that interests them and make them feel motivated to read it,” he said.

VanHatten went on to discuss how this same policy works with mathematics.

“Allow the students to have a deep understanding of what they are looking at so they work out, talk about, and prove the new problems they are learning,” he said.

Again, students can “apply real world concepts to real world situations,” making it “not just a procedure, but offering many ways to get the same result,” he said.

When accomplished, the Common Core shifts will “encourage a lot more reading, a lot more information, and a way more intense understanding,” VanHatter said.

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