Tuesday, 17 October 2017 18:26

Classroom in Guilford makes strides in new approach to learning Featured

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GUILFORD- In a classroom at Piscataquis County Community School, writing on furniture and rocking in your chair isn't only allowed, it's encouraged.

“There is research that shows many students learn better when they're moving,” said Sue Chase, a resource and special education teacher at PCCS.


Her room may look like a normal classroom, but don't be fooled.


“Everything in my room is here for a design purpose. Or a function. So the lanterns are actually led lights. And they're here because the florescent lights are often very distracting to my students,” said Chase.


The idea is to make the classroom a more comfortable environment, stepping away from sitting still and upright at an uncomfortable desk, and instead putting the mind at east so the rest comes naturally.


“I read on the couch, I read in bed, I read in the hammock out at camp. I want reading to be something that kids associate with something enjoyable. Sitting in a blue plastic chair for an hour and reading is not enjoyable,” said Robyn Rich, 8th grade language arts and 7th and 8th grade integrated studies teacher.


It's a method being adopted in classrooms in each grade at PCCS, teaching students at a young age skills that go beyond just academics.


“You've got to look at is more as a way to get your body ready to learn. And many of them don't have body awareness. I look it more as getting that brain organized to be able to learn,” said Jolane Clawson, special education teacher.


It's not something only kids deal with-- think about all the times you are trying to concentrate on something, and find yourself kicking your foot or doodling on a piece of scrap paper.


According to these teachers, the motions go hand-in-hand with deep thinking, and they hope other teachers will encourage this behavior as well.


“Young teachers are taught content and not how to set up a classroom so it's conducive to learning,” said Rich.


“It's not always an exact science to find out what works for students in terms of helping them focus and get motivated on school work,” said Chase.


The teachers tell us their next goal is to bring a therapy dog into the classroom, again, helping students put their minds at ease to enhance learning.

Ashley Paul

Evening News Anchor/Reporter
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Ashley joined the WVII ABC 7 and WFVX Fox 22 in April 2015. After working as an intern at Fox 29 in Philadelphia, Fox 25 and Channel 7 in Boston, and The Today Show in Australia, she is so excited to officially kick off her career as a reporter here in Maine!

Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Ashley has had an interest in news since anchoring the morning broadcast at her elementary school at the age of 10. Ashley is also a graduate of Boston University, with a degree in Journalism. At BU, she participated in various BUTV programs and reported live from the democratic headquarters during the election day coverage.

When not at the station, Ashley enjoys working out, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and watching movies. She is so excited to enjoy all that Maine has to offer, so if you see her out be sure to say hello!