Guest Teacher Post: How I Increased Student Engagement


Editor's Note: Susan Lyons teaches social studies at McKinley Middle School in Saint Albans, West Virginia. In this guest post, Susan describes how she uses Curriculum Pathways in her 1:1 iPad classroom. This is the third in a series of blog posts written by West Virginia educators sharing how they have integrated digital content in their classrooms. This series is part of a larger collaboration between Curriculum Pathways and SETDA, one that includes this October 2017 webinar.

When I was introduced to Curriculum Pathways -- during a workshop for science and social studies teachers -- I was immediately hooked and could not stop thinking of the ways that I could use this resource in my social studies class and that other teachers could use it in their own middle school disciplines. Back then, I was part of a pilot program in which social studies teachers were given a set of laptops as part of our new textbook adoption.

Fast-forward five years: our county is now 1:1. All students have their own iPad, and Curriculum Pathways has become a valuable tool in my classroom. I use it to enrich my lessons, expand my students’ knowledge, and enhance my students’ overall educational experience. Curriculum Pathways engages my students, creating an environment in which they are excited about learning.

Roman Inventions from Curriculum Pathways explores a historical narrative that presents key people, events, and issues related to this focus question: How did ancient Roman inventions contribute to modern civilization?

One of the many resources I use is Roman Inventions, Quick Launch (QL) number 1340. I use the introduction portion to review Rome’s rise from a republic to an empire. Working independently, students use a graphic organizer to explain the importance of each invention and to clarify its impact on modern society. The most valuable part of this section -- the Interactive Points (IP) -- allows students to explore how Roman roads were built and to see the similarities between those roads and the ones we travel on every day. Finally, the Test Your Knowledge section helps me assess whether students have mastered the concepts and objectives of the lesson.

This much is clear: Curriculum Pathways has increased student engagement in my classroom.  The resources make history come alive, enabling students to see links between past civilizations and modern society.


About Author

LeeEllen Harmer

Sr Account Executive

SAS’ CEO Dr. Jim Goodnight made Curriculum Pathways available at no cost to the nation’s educators in 2008 and committed SAS to continued support, enhancement and expansion of the web-based curriculum resources. It became Lee Ellen Harmer’s sole focus to promote the use of Curriculum Pathways in US schools…and it is now in use in thousands of schools in all 50 states. Lee Ellen originally joined SAS in 2008 to sell Curriculum Pathways, but has also managed sales of traditional SAS software for teaching and research in higher education. Much of her career has been in sales and marketing to the Education industry, including experience in enterprise software sales to the industry for Red Hat (a vendor of Linux and open source technology). She also has a strong background in IT, with prior experience at US Airways. Lee Ellen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business with a marketing concentration from Wake Forest University (Winston Salem, NC).

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