Technology integration is at its best when a child or teacher does not stop to think that he or she is using a technology tool or device, simply because it has become second nature.
As a teacher, Morgan Hisey knows she is responsible for actively engaging her students in classroom projects. A seamless integration of technology strengthens the opportunities provided and allows for a large growth in willing participation from the students.
“It is my role as an educator,” Hisey said, “to provide hands-on, interactive experiences that allow students to be focused and engaged in their learning.”
Hisey is a first-grade teacher at Lubbock-Cooper Central Elementary. Hisey purchased five Osmo kits with the mini-grant. Osmo is an iPad-compatible system that uses hands-on manipulatives to provide learning through games for children ages 5-12.
“Technology surrounds us on a daily basis,” Hisey said. “It can be a powerful tool in the education of our children and aids in getting them ready for future endeavors.”
Hisey said having Osmo in the classroom has taken learning to the next level. Her students utilize Osmo daily in math and reading stations. Each Osmo kit comes with a Word, Tangrams, Numbers, Newton and Masterpiece set. Hisey’s students are able to learn classroom curriculum and meet statewide learning standards through the Osmo sets.
Hisey uses the Osmo Word set in her word work center.Hisey’s students are able to practice their spelling words and high-frequency words with Osmo. Students can also manipulate the letters to build new words. Hisey believes this helps her students see and understand how words are made.
Another section of Hisey’s classroom instruction is math centers. The Osmo Tangram, Newton and Numbers sets are all helpful in this area. Tangram allows Hisey’s first graders to compose two-dimensional shapes by joining two, three, or four figures to produce a target shape in more than one way, if possible.
While working with Newton, the students create and engineer in different ways to reach the end goal of the ball hitting the object. This set forces students to become problem solvers and to think outside of the box. Osmo Numbers gives Hisey’s students the ability to fluidly and seamlessly move from addition to subtraction, and back again, without missing a beat. Practicing basic facts, sometimes a boring task, transforms into an exciting learning opportunity for the students.
Hisey assigns class projects encouraging the use of the Osmo Masterpiece set. Masterpiece is used to add more detail and excitement to writing assignments. Hisey said her students are thoroughly amazed with this program because they see their ideas come to life. She said her class describes Masterpiece as “amazing.”
“The opportunities to support their learning are endless with different forms of technology,” Hisey said. “With Osmo in our classroom, I’m able to work with one small group while Osmo works with another small group. It’s amazing! Thanks to the Operation Round Up Teacher Mini-Grant, the Osmo kits have become a valuable education tool, for both my students and me.”
The Operation Round Up Board of Directors initiated a program offering small, $500 grants to teachers. Grants were available to K-12 teachers in math or language arts for the 2016-2017 school year. The funds are made available by South Plains Electric members who ask to have their monthly bill rounded up to the next dollar. The extra change, averaging only $6 per year, funds projects like the teacher mini-grants, scholarships and much more.
Operation Round Up was established in 1993 to help communities and individuals needing a hand up, not a hand out. The program’s tagline, “neighbors helping neighbors,” is at the heart of why South Plains Electric Cooperative exists.
During the past 24 years, Operation Round Up has helped hundreds of individuals and organizations. Many donations go unpublicized out of respect for the individual recipients. Operation Round Up, under the guidance of a 10-member board, sometimes works quietly to improve members’ lives.
Nine teacher mini-grants were awarded for the 2016-2017 school year. The other recipients were: Amy Drake, Lubbock ISD; Amanda Dunn, Lubbock-Cooper ISD; Kara Gibson, Shallowater ISD; Ollie Hart, Abernathy ISD; Jennifer Rodriquez, Lubbock-Cooper ISD; Lisa Sanders, Cotton Center ISD; Jana Simmons, Lubbock-Cooper ISD; and Carol Trent, Shallowater ISD.
If all of our members were participating in Operation Round Up, we would have over $200,000 a year to give back to our local communities. You can sign up for Operation Round Up online or call 806.775.7766. You may also sign up by checking the Operation Round Up box on your monthly bill.