By Bailey Beringer
Cactus Canyon Junior High has given eighth-grade students the opportunity to move ahead in their education. Social studies teacher Sheryl Anderson is teaching one extra class this year – a ninth-grade world history class that is taken almost entirely online.
Only eighth grade CCJH students are offered this extra learning opportunity. The class doesn’t require or put the students under pressure to turn their assignments in on time or take tests before they’re ready, but lets the student move at his or her own pace. By taking this online students can take an extra elective, a higher class, or any other class they prefer to take their freshman year.
“Most of the students that signed up for this class are students that have strong academic work ethics and a history of good grades,” Mrs. Anderson said.
But any student could do well in the class, Mrs. Anderson said.
“I think this would be a good class for a struggling learner if the student has the desire to succeed. Even struggling readers have a good chance of succeeding because the reading selections can be heard with an audio option. The computer is a patient teacher. It just keeps repeating the lesson until you ‘get it.’”
Not all of the students will have an Internet connection at their home, and some may not be able to do their assignments that day due to sports or other needs, making the ELO time a very important part of the class. Students always have the option of doing the class assignments during the extra learning opportunity time.
The only time these students won’t be using a computer for this subject is for extra help and taking the semester tests, which take place at the Apache Junction High school with a freshman history teacher.
“I like this online class because I can do the work at my own pace,” said Chelsie Stangle, a eight-grade student taking this online history class.
Mrs. Anderson said she is excited about the opportunity, but adjusting to her new role as instruction.
“I miss the face to face interaction, but it allows students to move ahead as quickly as they want to,” she said. “Students raise their hands electronically by using e-mail to get their questions answered. As an online teacher, I am more like a coach. The kids are out on the field doing the work, and I advise them when they need me.”