Study Island brings life to classroom

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 24, 2009

Classroom studies aren’t always entertaining, but some classes at Charles Henderson Middle School sure are making efforts.

“This is one of the things I’ve found that works both ways — it’s entertaining and educational,” said CHMS math teacher Becky Kirby, who presented a web-based program used in her classes to the Troy Board of Education Monday night.

“Study Island,” a Web site instructional program that offers math, science and reading studies, has been used in Kirby’s class the last two years.

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But, CHMS Principal Chresal Threadgill said the program has expanded locally this year to offer in seventh grade science classes.

In addition, Troy Elementary School Principal Geoffrey Spann said the program will be available to all students at the school, effective just this week.

“Study Island allows students to practice skills and concepts learned in class,” Threadgill said.

Kirby said she uses Study Island as a key component of her course work, beginning the week with a lesson from the program. Then, Kirby, a remedial math teacher, gives students worksheets, online tests and ends the week with a printed test.

The Internet program allows students to work at their own pace on math problems and even has games they can play to make the learning process a little more fun.

“Some have even quit playing the games,” Kirby said. “It’s a wonderful thing.”

“It allows them to learn when they don’t realize they’re learning,” Threadgill said.

Students who have access to the program at school can also continue the learning process at home, as they can log on Study Island from any computer.

While the program has shown success in the last two years, Threadgill said it doesn’t come without some costs to the school’s pocketbook.

That’s why in a year when schools have been hit hard in funding cuts, Threadgill said he hasn’t purchased the program for all CHMS students.

TES, however, used funds left from Title 1 to purchase the program.

Troy BOE Member Wally Lowery was especially impressed with the program Monday night.

“I applaud you. This is good stuff here,” Lowery said. “I would love to sit down and do this with my kids.”