PSEA Learning Lessons

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PSEA Learning Lessons

"Learning Lessons: Great ideas, Great schools," features stories and videos of educators doing great things in Pennsylvania's public schools. 

Share your ideas: Does your school have an innovative program? Do you use a unique approach to teaching that works for your students? A creative initiative you think other educators could try?

Features in Voice Magazine

November 2018: Students mine history though song

The Welsh immigrants who toiled in the mines of the famous Peach Bottom Slate Ridge would be proud of a group of middle school students and two science teachers.

The heritage and history of mining the ridge – running from southcentral Pennsylvania to northern Maryland – from the mid-18th to early 20th  centuries have been captured in music and videos through a remarkable project involving teachers and students in different school districts.

September 2018: Teachers in the Parks Comes to Reading

On a warm, June day, groups of students are huddled around enthusiastic teachers. Children are laughing, smiling, and enjoying their lessons. And as the breeze blows and birds sing a summer song, this doesn’t feel like a community that is struggling. It feels like a community with hope.

July 2018: Adaptive Music Class

When Andrew Vensel sings to greet the students in his adaptive music class, it lights up their faces. His voice carries easily across the large music room in Middletown Area High School as he provides positive reinforcement to each individual student with acknowledgement, eye contact, and a bright smile.

May 2018: Discovery Room

When you walk into the Discovery Room at Conewago Township Elementary, you’re transported into a bustling town. A doctor checks out a patient. The mayor sits at her desk taking an important phone call. Theater participants prepare for a show. Students learn and discover through imaginative play.

March 2018: Prosthetic Hands Program

Eighth-graders in Gavin Sikorski’s STEM class in Southmoreland Middle School are using what they learn there to change lives. The Westmoreland County teacher connects with families online whose children are born without fingers or a hand, and his class builds the child a custom prosthetic.

November 2017: Robotics in the Classroom

When educators think of creating robots, the subjects of art, literature, and history don’t often come to mind. But at Case Avenue Elementary in western Pennsylvania, students are learning in these areas while designing and building robots.

September 2017: Teachers in the Parks

On a summer day in Exeter Township, a group of students is happy and carefree at the community pool. But upon closer inspection, these children are learning. And they are loving it. This is Teachers in the Parks.

July 2017: Business Incubator Project (part 2)

PSEA Learning Lessons returned to the district this spring to report on another successful year for Cherie Powell's innovative Business Incubator Project - a “Shark Tank”-style class for aspiring entrepreneurs.

May 2017: Comics in the Classroom

In most high school classrooms, if a student was reading a comic book, it would be taken away. But in Tim Smyth’s social studies class at Wissahickon High School, the walls are covered with comics, bookshelves are filled with comics, graphic novels, and figurines and toys, and even Smyth’s tie features Spider-Man.

March 2017: Helping Hands Club

At Bethel Springs Elementary School in the Garnet Valley School District, students are learning how to make a difference at a young age. Elementary kids in grades 2-5 take part in service learning projects through the Helping Hands Club.

November 2016: Spanish Immersion Program

Students in the Spanish Immersion Program at Liberty Bell Elementary in Southern Lehigh School District learn the same curriculum as their peers – the content is simply taught in Spanish. In its 26th year, the competitive program is thriving.

September 2016: Unified physical education class

In physical education class at Biglerville High School, students are learning lessons that go far beyond the rules of baseball or the intricacies of basketball skills. They are learning how to adapt, empathize, and interact with each other, no matter their differences.

July 2016: Business incubator project at Big Spring High School

A "Shark Tank"- style class at Big Spring High School matches students with local business mentors who help teach them how to be entrepreneurs.

May 2016: Distance teaching project

Michael Soskil's fourth-grade students at Wallenpaupack South Elementary are video chatting with students in Kenya. They are comparing ways to get the weather forecast. The students in Kenya don't have access to the Internet at home. They can't Google the weather. So they pay attention to the clouds - the color and shape, and the direction of the wind.