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ERIC Number: EJ916327
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
The Wow Factor
Kruskamp, Bill; Harrison, Jeff; Opferman, Susan; Spikes, Emily
Principal Leadership, v11 n6 p54-56, 58 Feb 2011
Originally drawing from a "country club" community in Gwinnett County, Georgia, Creekland Middle School has undergone significant changes in the past decade. The percentage of students receiving free and reduced-price lunch has risen--and continues to do so. This year, 46% of its student population is economically disadvantaged, up 20% from 2006-07. Creekland has become more ethnically diverse as well. A majority of Creekland's students were not being purposefully engaged in learning because they were different from the students whom the faculty and staff members had become accustomed to teaching. Their students were diverse learners, but the teachers were by and large not prepared to differentiate their teaching styles and instructional strategies to accommodate the many learning styles present in their classrooms. The administrators and faculty decided that they needed a change, and the administrators met almost every Friday morning at the local IHOP to discuss what that change would look like. They decided it would take the form of a new initiative that demanded that teachers alter their lesson planning. The initiative--180 Days of Wow!--was introduced to the faculty in January 2008 and included a vision of delivering 180 days of lessons that were planned with purpose and consistency. The explanation was simple and direct: Give the students a reason to want to be at school. Give them a reason to want to be in classrooms. The means of doing so were plain and to the point: wow the students. Now into their third full year of the initiative, they can look back at the results from their first two years with both excitement and pride. The positive results of planning have touched their students and faculty members. The teachers have embraced collaboration and say that planning for authentic student engagement has changed how they teach their students. Students--and many parents--have expressed their growing satisfaction with the reality of authentic engagement and its role in developing more responsible and motivated learners
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia