Doing What’s Best for Kids: Katelyn Leitner
Katelyn LeitnerAKA "Captain Engagement"
“Do what’s best for kids!” is positioned at the bottom of every one of Katelyn Leitner’s emails, and that is exactly what she aims to do as the Supervisor of Science Instruction for Suffolk Public Schools!
Science instruction in the age of the coronavirus presents a big problem: how can students complete lab work and experience hands-on, inquiry-based learning without access to a science lab? With cues from her teachers and students, Katelyn, aka Captain Engagement, turned to the Legends of Learning team to help solve this very problem: “With virtual learning, I wanted to ensure our teachers and students had an aligned resource that increased engagement and allowed for hands-on and inquiry-based learning to still take place.” Today, Suffolk’s students are thinking like scientists and through interactive engagement with the Legends of Learning platform.
Teaming with Legends of Learning has teachers and students alike excited: “Our teachers are thrilled to have a science resource to use to assist with asynchronous learning!” As far as her students, Katelyn loved seeing the excitement in their eyes as they learned about this new resource: “The ‘hook’ is the gaming platform; students love video games!” Strong usage data across the district confirms that Suffolk teachers and students are enjoying the platform while also mastering science and math skills.
Suffolk students “are not only intrigued by these educational games and making large gains in science, but the research indicates that video games can improve problem-solving, decision-making, and critical thinking skills”. Additionally, Katelyn recognizes how Legends of Learning supports district initiatives; for example, “it has allowed Suffolk students to check their understanding of content while engaged in the 5C’s”.
Yes, Suffolk Public School students have “LOVED” creating their own superhero avatars on the Legends platform. However, we know that Katelyn is the true superhero here, doing “what’s best for kids” and providing a standards-aligned resource that “hooks” students into science learning. She has truly earned her superhero name, Captain Engagement!