Columbia elementary finds success in different teaching methods

3 years 7 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, March 31 2015 Mar 31, 2015 Tuesday, March 31, 2015 4:54:00 PM CDT March 31, 2015 in News
By: Phil Bergman, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Cedar Ridge Elementary school is slowly falling apart. The school is over its capacity and many classrooms, are taught in trailers next to the school. There is no running water in their kitchen, meaning cafeteria food has to be trucked in every day and there are only one set of bathrooms per gender in the building.

However, Cedar Ridge elementary school will get a new location by 2017, resolving some of these problems. While there may be problems with the structure of the school, inside the classroom, things are going in the opposite direction. 

Unlike most elementary schools, Cedar Ridge Elementary School doesn't group students solely by grades, but instead groups students of multiple ages together, giving them the ability to assess students more closely and group them based on academic level as well. 

Students at the elementary school are sorted into three different groups; the kangaroos (grades K-1), the bees (grades 2-3) and the scholars (grades 4-5). Students are then with the same teachers for two years, which help teachers get to know their students better and also gives them the ability to help out their students at a one-on-one level more. Inside each group, students can learn at their own pace, and if some are learning at a faster pace than others, they can move up to a different group for certain classes. For instance, if a kangaroo is showing exceptional skills at math, they can grab their books and go to a scholar classroom for their math lessons. 

"I think our main goal is that the education fits the kids instead of the kid fitting the education," said Lonna Franklin-Eaton, a teacher of the scholar-age students. "We change things constantly to make sure we're hitting every kids' needs, so it's really about that."

Overall, teachers at Cedar Ridge really enjoy the style used at the school and prefer it over traditional teaching methods. 

"I don't want to teach any other way," Franklin-Eaton said. "It's definitely more work, but we get better results, these kids are happy and it's a happier place to teach. I can't imagine going back to any other way."

According to Franklin-Eaton, students at Cedar Ridge are not held back to groups with kids younger due to problems it may create socially with them. As well, Principal Angie Chandler said if students are excelling in the classroom, the school will still make sure to group them in many classes with kids their age, to help develop strong friendships and social skills. 

"We don't make it a point to take kids down a level because emotionally that might not be a good thing," Chandler said. "A kindergartner may be ready to go to first grade but emotionally if they need that teacher, we're going to differentiate for that student and let them stay. We are never going to let us pushing them affect them negatively emotionally."

A former teacher, Chandler thought of starting this curriculum a few years ago, and with district support, she helped make her idea into a reality in 2011. 

"We decided to go a whole building that next year and have every person in the building bringing the momentum to make this work, and I think that was a big part of this." Chandler said. "You're either going to do it or you might struggle."

While at first parents were a little confused with how everything worked, Franklin-Eaton says now parents have bought into the system. 

"The first year we had a parent meeting and they were very concerned," Franklin-Eaton said. "Now they love it and they see how happy their kids are and how much they're learning."

Currently, Cedar Ridge is the only elementary school in the district to use these methods. However, Chandler said Ridgeway Elementary uses a similar approach and that her students are seeing success at the middle school levels. In fact, some students at Cedar Ridge were learning at such a fast pace that Chandler said she had to talk to the Middle School departments about enhancing their curriculum's to match the pace that some of her students are working at. Chandler currently has some students that are doing algebra at an eighth-grade level, while they are still in the fourth or fifth grade, and he resorted to taking the daily math problems out of the Columbia Tribune for students to solve to give them something challenging to do. In fact, some of the students are doing some math better than their parents. 

More News

Grid
List
BOONE COUNTY - One person was hospitalized Saturday evening after a shooting just east of Columbia, the Boone County Sheriff's... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 11:01:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - Community members gathered Saturday to raise money for the Police Unity Tour. Every year, police officers... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 7:12:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man is home from the hospital Saturday after spending three weeks in the ICU, recovering from... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 6:58:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
PHELPS COUNTY - One man was airlifted to the hospital Saturday morning after he suffered "a large caliber gunshot wound... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 4:46:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Fall Into Art kicked off the weekend with its annual show, and artists shared what their art means... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 3:50:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One of the largest holiday shopping events in mid-Missouri takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Columbia Exposition... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 2:20:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - From the amateurs to the professional travel teams, dodgeball players of all skill sets took part in the... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 2:05:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A chase that reached speeds of 115 mph and a subsequent foot pursuit led to the arrest... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 12:50:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
Royal Palm Beach, FL ( WPTV ) -- Firefighters rescued several pets from a house fire in Royal Palm Beach... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 11:45:00 AM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - Another fatal crash occurred in Missouri early Saturday morning. 30 year-old Richard Lowry, of Eugene, was pronounced... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 5:57:00 AM CST November 17, 2018 in News
SEDALIA - A Sedalia woman was pronounced dead following a crash near Sedalia on Nov. 16. 51-year-old Janna McQueen... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 5:24:00 AM CST November 17, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A jury has found a Wisconsin man guilty of first-degree murder for killing a Missouri mother who... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 9:47:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Families filled empty shoeboxes with hygiene products, school supplies, clothes, shoes and toys for children in need at... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 8:04:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The price of a typical Thanksgiving meal in Missouri is a full $5.25 higher than the national average.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 7:18:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The nature of Twitter and how government officials use it was at the heart of a hearing... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 4:11:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - The University of Missouri Board of Curators announced cuts to costs Friday to help with enrollment at... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 3:24:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- USA Gymnastics' longtime chief operating officer has resigned, the organization said Friday, becoming the latest in a string... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 2:56:27 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- A tree in downtown Columbia became the target of vandalism Thursday night when two men were caught on camera... More >>
1 day ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 2:49:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 31°
10am 31°
11am 32°
12pm 33°
1pm 35°