Academic showcase gives peak at learning at GRC

Published 3:00 pm Saturday, November 19, 2022

For those who haven’t attended school in some time, it’s only human to wonder what learning takes place.

At George Rogers Clark High School on Wednesday afternoon, an opportunity to discover so presented itself.

The GRC Academic Showcase occurred, allowing observers from the community to view different classrooms and see how teachers and students interact, plus the content.

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“We wanted to showcase great things going on in our classrooms,” said GRC Principal Jamie Keene. “Hopefully, we were able to get a lot of community people here and see a lot of great things”

The event lasted from 8:35 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Various classrooms surrounding different grade levels and content were points of interest.

Some classes introduced concepts, as Mrs. Embs’ English class reviewed possessive, subjective, and objective pronouns.

Elsewhere, some were intended for a particular group of students.

Robyn Murphy, an English teacher at the school, worked with youth in a class designed as a pathway toward careers in teaching.

Their activity for the day was to have a “Podcast Party,” whereby students presented podcasts they had created.

One such example – created by Isabelle McDonald – showcased a discussion of the differences between snack brands Little Debbie and Hostess.

While informative and entertaining, it was also meant to help students explore activities for student engagement.

“[We are] looking at how rigor and authentic assessment work together in the classroom to engage students,” Murphy said. “What we’ve been working on now, for about…two and a half weeks, is how we create our own podcast and use that in the classroom as an alternative assessment.”

Following the viewing of podcasts created by students, Murphy supplemented instruction by asking what questions students had for the creator and tying in why teachers might sometimes ask particular questions.

Science classrooms also offered their share of information.

When teaching her 9th grade class interdisciplinary science, Keisha Collins had students model the Earth’s stratosphere and mesosphere.

Since the Earth’s mantle consists of solid rocks yet may flow similarly to a liquid, students made a fluid that modeled this behavior.

“Basically, they’re mixing corn starch and water and adding some food coloring to make a semi-solid oobleck, slime-like material,” said Collins. “They’re doing a couple of things like poking it, putting it with heat and ice, and [seeing] what happens to see how the magma within the earth kind of interacts with other layers.”

Numerous world history classes were engaged in learning about urbanization and industrialization.

Other content, such as physical education and health, foreign language, mathematics, arts and humanities, JROTC, and classes associated with the Area Technology Center (ATC), was also highlighted.

After observing for the day, attendees could fill out a feedback form.

As a result, they could not only name the class but also explain what the teacher and students were doing while inputting additional comments.

“It’s really good to get that feedback from our stakeholders,” Keene said. “Hopefully, we’re showing our community that we are doing our very best to get kids ready for whatever is next for them after high school.”

The day’s events was beneficial in other ways also. 

“It also made an effort for many teachers in our building on planning period to go into other classrooms and see some of the great things that their peers are doing as well,” Keene said.