What’s Right With Our Schools: Taylor County Upper Elementary ‘Higher Order Thinking’ classes enhance thinking skills

TAYLOR COUNTY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Teachers and staff at Taylor County Upper Elementary are working to meet the needs of all of their students.

Students are learning academics as well as other skills needed in every day life.

“We’ve always just met the needs of struggling students. So, this year, we decided to take it a step further and try to meet the needs of all of our students,” says Principal Jolynn Moncrief.

Strategies, working together, cooperation, and collaboration are just a few skills students are learning in physical education. P.E. teacher Sheryl Brown is instilling it in them as they prepare for the real world.

“They might be on a team or might be a boss of someone and they’ll know how to work together, be able to have strategies and thinking skills that can help move them forward in life,” Brown adds.

RTI, or Response To Intervention, is a program that aims to help struggling students grow in academics. They’re placed in focused groups until they become on grade level. Students who are above grade level, are taking classes like Ms. Brown’s higher order thinking class, which gives them lessons to take beyond the classroom.

“She’s putting us in groups and she’s, like, making us work together. We have to do everything together whether we’re friends or not friends, but at the end we all become friends,” says fourth grader McKenzie McInvale.

The groups work together as a team and create their own games with rules. The creative thinking and collaboration is a lesson that helps them understand working together is important.

“We have made a game with a mitten and cone and a hula hoop. It takes teamwork,” adds fourth grader Natalie Youngblood.

“My favorite part of the program is P.E. when I get to make this game and just work with all these people,” fourth grader Emerson Logue continues.

“Them having this opportunity everyday to practice some team building skills definitely helps inside of the classroom as well,” says Principal Moncrief.

A universal screening is done three times a year to see where students are in reading and math. So far, teachers say the RTI program has been a success.

Categories: Local News, Special Report, Taylor County, What’s Right With Our Schools