The Kump Education Research Seminar has its own home at last

ELKINS — The Ninth Annual Kump Education Research Seminar was held April 24, 2019 for the first time in its true home on South Randolph Avenue.

Now that the historic Kump house is heated, it can come to life and begin to serve educational purposes. This seminar was as lively as any seminar could be. Five Randolph County teachers and four future teachers from Davis & Elkins College enthusiastically presented innovations and research-based practices designed to help students learn.

Danielle Riggins from at Midland Elementary School spoke on the benefits of National Board Certification. She has gone through this rigorous process twice and finds that it has made her a more reflective teacher. She enjoyed watching films of her students when she was not nearby and learning more about the ways they learn from each other. Kump Education Center plans to work with Fairmont State and Randolph County Schools to begin a National Board Certification cadre this fall.

North Elementary School Teacher Susan Isner and her D&E student teacher Lauren Cain shared their excitement about winning two Rocketbook Waves. This technology combines a notebook and cloud services to take educators and students on a journey into the future. Using a Pilot FriXion pen and Rocketbook Wave notepad kids can take notes normally. Then with the Rocketbook app on an iPhone or Android device, they can scan the written notes and send them to any destination. The unique feature is that written notes can be erased by placing the Rocketbook in a microwave oven making it reusable.

Rosie McTaggart and Kendyl Taylor are both student teachers from Davis & Elkins College who are teaching in local public schools this spring. Their teacher work samples targeted the problems of teaching fractions to students who do not like fractions and may lack confidence in math. Ms. McTaggart found a popular technique called the “Butterfly Method” to stimulate visual images that remind students how to recognize work with fractions. Ms. Taylor used a combination of seven strategies to appeal to different types of learners. Both teacher work samples included pre and post tests showing that the students made significant progress in learning how to work with fractions.

Skylee Watson junior at Davis & Elkins College spoke on applying educational research to plan a unit on the history of child labor legislation in the U.S. She used ideas from Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Valentine’s Instructional Practice Inventory, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and Constructivist design theory to plan her teaching unit. Class activities included role-playing, analyzing pictures, identifying where WV children performed labor, debating a resolution on child labor laws, and finally creating a song about children in the work force.

Sarah Wamsley, a fourth-grade teacher at Midland Elementary School told how her students “Walk, Listen, and Learn.” The Walking Classroom is a nationally recognized award-winning program that promotes the positive benefits of exercise and cognitive function. Students take a brisk, 20-minute walk while listening to preloaded research-based podcasts on Reading-Language Arts, Science, or Social Studies topics interwoven with brief health and literacy messages. Educators no longer have to worry about sacrificing instructional time to help high energy students get the wiggles out. For more information visit www.thewalkingclassroom.org.

Amanda Sacks and Andrew Carroll are in their second year of teaching American Studies as a collaboratively taught interdisciplinary course at Elkins High School. The course seeks to use history, literature, sociology, anthropology, folklore, and other disciplines to explore American Culture and the impact it has had across the world. Sacks and Carroll shared their qualitative and quantitative assessments of the course on students. Additionally, they provided anecdotal evidence of the positive impact collaborative teaching has on teachers’ attitudes toward the profession and teacher performance.