Cross-Curricular Approach to Instruction: Tonya Clarke and Janetta Greenwood
AKA “Dr. ArithmeChic”
Coordinator of K-12 Mathematics – Clayton County Public Schools, GA
AKA “The STEMtress Defender”
K-12 Academic Science Coordinator – Clayton County Public Schools, GA
Janetta Greenwood, aka “The STEMtress Defender”, is the K-12 Academic Science Coordinator, and Tonya Clarke, aka “Dr. ArithmeChic”, is the Coordinator of K-12 Mathematics in Clayton County, the 5th largest public in Georgia. Like most educators, they both maintain a focus on “Students First” every day, with a unique twist of integrating engaging science and math learning for students. This cross-curricular approach to instruction is at the core of the work they are doing. From the start of the year, they wanted teachers to use Legends of Learning to understand how to connect a science topic like “Effect of Pollution on the Environment” with “Dividing Multi-Digit Numbers” as students keep boats from overfishing.
They created First Fridays to host PDs and introduce new opportunities and resources, like Legends of Learning, for teachers across the district to attend on the first Friday of each month. The STEMtress Defender shared, “Legends has allowed teachers and students to address gaps in their learning in a fun and innovative way!” Dr. ArithmeChic added, “Legends provides better methods for supporting students with developing fluency, monitoring progress, and providing immediate feedback.”
As Janetta and Tonya entered this school year, they knew it was going to present some unique challenges; one of the largest being student engagement. Both had heard of game-based learning before from a handful of teachers in the district using Legends of Learning. Knowing the impact game-based learning can have, this dynamic duo ventured into the space to try and solve lagging student engagement during this unique time of remote learning. Janetta shared that Legends hits on “student engagement while applying learning in context with their instructional games.” Legends is truly learning by doing. Tonya shared that she sees game-based learning “supporting computational thinking and building problem solving and strategic thinking skills,” an important skill set for 21st Century learners.
The most powerful part about what Dr. ArithmeChic shared is that students are actively choosing to do Legends on their own. Much like Tonya’s granddaughter, who asked to play Legends of Learning games during her free time.
It has been truly amazing to partner with these two leaders and Clayton County Public Schools. We are thrilled to be there to support them in their efforts to put students first and provide them with the best education possible.