Members of the Archbold Area School Board were treated to the story, “The Crazy Animals,” created as an Internet “vodcast” by members of Mrs. Coressel’s second grade class at the Monday, Dec. 19 board meeting.
A “vodcast” is a podcast, or an audio program with pictures.
Lorinda Brader, technology assistant for the school district, said the second grade classes of Lori Coressel and Kristin Shields collaborate to write a story, then illustrate it with pictures they draw.
Brader helps the students record themselves reading the stories, and combines it with their pictures.
When students hear themselves reading a portion of the story, they often ask to do it over. As they repeat the process, they become better readers, Brader said.
When completed, the “vodcast” is posted on the school website, where parents, grandparents, and others can view it.
In “The Crazy Animals,” Coressel’s students take a field trip to the Toledo Zoo, where animals sneak into their book bags. Chaos ensues until Dorothy Lambert, school principal, calls the Federal Bureau of Investigation to return the animals.
Brader also showed board members a how-to video, done by a student, on how to throw a football.
Brader said while some of the eight-year-olds have atrocious handwriting and difficulty using scissors, they have no trouble manipulating computer keyboards and mice.
Michelle Gladieux, high school business teacher, made a presentation to the board about the school Junior Achievement challenge team, which placed second out of more than 30 teams.
The program uses a computer based simulation in which students are presented with a business situation and must make correct decision to help their “virtual company” grow and prosper.
Zach Driver, a student who was part of the team, said at first, the team wasn’t doing well, until they decided to cut the price of their product.
“Sales went off the chart,” he said.
“It was a cool experience. I liked it.”
As second-place winners, each student on the team received a $2,000 scholarship.
Kirk Weldy, advisor to the group, said, “one way to learn is to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.”
He said in the world of business there is a lot of emotion, which can be lacking in traditional classroom business instruction.
Weldy said his role was not to tell students what to do; rather, he would advise them what he would do in a given situation, or they would discuss what they thought would happen if they took a certain action.
As a business model, they looked at Apple Computer, which introduces new, leading edge products, then cuts the prices.
“Do you want a high-end product, or a cheaper product that sells a lot?” he said.
“I thought the program was phenomenal. It’s a good preparation for college.”
Gladieux said 32 teams from across Northwest Ohio competed in the event, Nov. 18, at the University of Toledo. Out of those teams, three other Northwest Ohio Athletic League schools– Delta, Swanton, and Bryan– placed.
“We were well-represented as a league,” she said.
Gladieux also told the board she was one of 60 business teachers from across Ohio who were contacted by the Ohio Department of Education to look at new standards for business education.
She said personal finance was the subject of much of the discussion.
“It was a pretty hot topic,” she said.
State officials want personal finance to be taught as its own class, by a business teacher if one is available. She said the state requires teachers to go through a certifi cation class, then pass an exam.
She noted some schools have made passing a personal finance examination a graduation requirement.
Gladieux told board members Ohio’s business curriculum “hasn’t been touched in years.”
Ryan Sell, AHS vocational agriculture teacher, told board members his subject area will undergo big changes to meet new state requirements.
One will result in students being able to receive college credit for high school vo-ag classes.
Agreements are being worked out with Northwest State Community College and the University of Northwestern Ohio, he said.
He noted that unless a school utilizes “block scheduling,” some vo-ag classes must be one year long, rather than one semester.
For example, today a student may take animal science in one semester, followed by plant science the second. Under new rules proposed by the state, each class must be one year long.
Also, some vo-ag classes will count as science credits towards graduation.
Sell said he is apprehensive of the changes that are coming.