ALTAMONTE SPRINGS – Students at Annunciation Catholic Academy (ACA) were in for a big surprise as they arrived on campus Sept. 19. Their teachers were dressed in costumes, their classrooms had been transformed into unique and faraway places, and at their desks were props that would be used to bring their educational experience to life.
Unbeknownst to the children, the teachers had been planning a special day of teaching, as part of the 2nd annual “Rock Your School” celebration. The Rock Your School event is a product of Get Your Teach On, an educational movement energizing the K-8 community. As part of the celebration, teachers across the country were encouraged to offer an outside-the-box educational experience designed to engage their students.
ACA teachers, Christine Summers, accelerated math and STREAM, and Katie Holt, art, brought the idea to ACA after spending part of their summer at The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, GA and learning new teaching methods. Summers said they knew right away ACA was the perfect place to Rock Your School. The teachers were excited to make the day a reality for the students.
Here is a look at some of the lessons:
- Holt invited a local muralist in to speak to her fourth graders. The students then became muralists themselves as they painted on paper hanging on the walls of the school.
- Fifth graders were in for a tasty lesson, as their classrooms were transformed into “Fifth Street Pizzeria,” a restaurant in which the students had to determine how much to charge customers. They also learned how much change to give by adding and subtracting decimals.
- Third grade classrooms became construction zones. Students met with civil engineers to learn more about building bridges, which was based on their reading story of the week.
- Elaine Ashley, music teacher, taught kindergarteners how to play “Baby Shark” on xylophones and other instruments. The students sang and danced while their teacher was in a shark costume!
“It was fun to see the teachers dressed up,” said Kaili J., a sixth grade student. “We got to write songs on our iPads. That was my favorite activity.”
“ACA’s teachers made the day so magical,” said Summers. “They had so much fun planning their lessons, dressing the part, and surprising their students all while teaching their content.”
Principal Patty Kahle agreed, saying the day was a huge success. “The purpose of the day is to inspire creativity and engagement in the classroom,” she said, “Both the teachers and the students were inspired to take learning to new heights… but the long term lesson in all of this is that with a little creativity and enthusiasm any lesson can be transformed into an engaging learning opportunity.”
Special to Linda Caldwell of the Florida Catholic October 2, 2019