Using creative methods to break down complicated topics

Every student in Collierville Schools learns differently. Some concepts take a little imagination and inventiveness to properly grasp. That’s why teachers at Collierville Schools are using their CEF grants to develop innovative methods that explain complicated lessons.


A popular, complex topic of discussion in recent years is coding. Kids of all ages are learning to code as the skill becomes more sought after in job markets. Beyond future career marketability, coding can help develop problem solving and processing skills. Schilling Farms Elementary School teacher, Terri Plunk, and Sycamore Elementary School teacher, Lynn Rushdi, both noticed that coding helps children strengthen their analytical thinking skills and communication abilities. That’s why both teachers used CEF grants to purchase supplies to teach young students more about the concept of coding.


Ms. Plunk’s grant money was put toward a coding tool called Cubettos. Cubetto is a wooden robot that moves along a mat as children place directional pieces on its corresponding wooden block. This simple, puzzle-like project teaches Ms. Plunk’s preschool aged students about cause and effect as Cubetto navigates its mat according to their commands. This is a simple way to start understanding basic coding – especially for young children who might not be reading yet!


Ms. Plunk is ecstatic about the fluidity in thinking her students will soon develop as she teaches them more about the concept of coding. Ms. Rushdi’s funds were used to purchase Bee-Bots, which are bee-shaped robots that respond to commands that her students program. Unlike Cubetto, the Bee-Bots can roam more freely and have more than 40 programmable commands, allowing students to estimate the impact their sequencing has on directionality and distance. Thanks to CEF and Bee-Bots, Sycamore students are extending their creativity to learn the intricacies of coding.


West Collierville Middle School teacher, Beth Hines, noticed abstract concepts in science were hard for students to grasp if they couldn't visualize them. Using a CEF grant, Ms. Hines purchased physics equipment to illustrate concepts in her physical science class. The equipment demonstrates the effects of temperature and pressure on glasses and allows students to experience Newton's law.


One Collierville Elementary School teacher wanted a creative way to take her students up, up and away! Tracy James used her CEF grant for a little hands-on discovery around the science of flight. Ms. James’ grant money bought kits for each pupil to design, build, test and launch their very own rockets and hot air balloons. Through the exciting and imaginative process of building their own flying objects, Collierville Elementary students learned about projectile motion, density, buoyancy, aerodynamics and other complicated topics.


These are just a few of the many ways Collierville teachers tirelessly work to ensure their students have access to the most effective methods necessary to grasp complex subjects. We are delighted to be a part of the advanced learning that is happening every day at Collierville Schools, and we can’t wait to see what its students are up to next.

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