Wilmington City Schools to foster learning-by-talking


Getting pupils to talk content

By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



Holmes Elementary School Principal Marilee Tanner, Ed.D., delivers a report Monday night to the school board.

Holmes Elementary School Principal Marilee Tanner, Ed.D., delivers a report Monday night to the school board.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

WILMINGTON — The person doing the talking is the person doing the learning.

That saying is well-known among educators, said Nicole “Nikki” Quallen, the director of curriculum and instruction for Wilmington City Schools (WCS). At Monday’s professional development day in the district, Wilmington Middle School and High School teachers were encouraged to increase the opportunities for students to discuss content.

“We know if students are talking about content, and making connections to content and vocabulary, that students are more likely to be engaged in their learning,” Quallen said Tuesday.

She said this strategy of “effective discussion” can work in math.

One of the standards for math practices is encouraging conversation about problem-solving in the math class, she said.

Staff from the three elementaries, meanwhile, were diving Monday into something called “effective feedback.”

Effective feedback is part of good teaching, said the director of curriculum and instruction. So elementary teachers were taking time to look at what research shows are the most important parts of feedback.

Quallen called effective feedback “a high-yield strategy to accelerate student learning.”

Elementary staffers also focused on trauma-informed care during their professional development day, a continuation of the work in that area that began last year.

On Monday evening, the WCS Board of Education met and below are some of the actions it took.

Board members approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Solutions Community Counseling and Recovery Centers to provide prevention services to Wilmington City Schools’ students, faculty/staff, and parents during the 2019-2020 academic year.

An overnight, out-of-state field trip for FFA students was approved. The Wilmington FFA chapter members will attend the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Butler County Educational Service Center will provide behavioral coaching for the WCS district for up to five days during the school year.

There were two donations approved: Pat Swindler donated $500 for Chromebook fee scholarships, and Margaret Rector donated $50 toward the same cause.

The WCS Board of Education recognized East End Elementary students for “being a great role model, a leader, and hard working.” Recognized were Michala Welch, Colton Anderson, Wyatt Mounts, Ryder Pauley, David Young, Allie Martin, Payton Watson, Mckenzie Lightle, Jacob Scott, Damian Bell-Simpson, Emily Goodwin, Lynn Rogers, Izzy Rhoads, Makaelynn Harris, Matthew Manson, Tannor Loos, Kendall Beus, Zihanna Charles, and Marco Curtis.

The following were approved as volunteers for school sports teams: Dustin Brown for bowling, and Gary VanPelt and Alan Borton for wrestling.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Holmes Elementary School Principal Marilee Tanner, Ed.D., delivers a report Monday night to the school board.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2019/09/web1_DSC_0763.jpgHolmes Elementary School Principal Marilee Tanner, Ed.D., delivers a report Monday night to the school board. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal
Getting pupils to talk content

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com