Raymond Temple Elementary School, Buena Park, California
Sometimes, only students performing at or above grade level get to benefit from more innovative approaches to instruction. Educators at Raymond Temple Elementary School in Buena Park, California, set out to extend the five C’s—communication, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and citizenship (global and digital)—to all students. The school’s Enriching Opportunities for ALL initiative includes all English language learners, students in special education, and students who are deaf or who have physical disabilities.
The school, part of the Centralia Elementary School District, started the initiative by moving its morning announcements to YouTube and adding a sign-language interpreter. “We have transformed our daily morning routine into a state-of-the-art program that includes virtual and augmented reality,” Principal Estela Salas-Sarmiento says. “Our morning announcements could rival many high school-level media presentations.”
Next, educators created a fifth- and sixth-grade video newsmagazine team to interview community members and compose feature stories about classmates and teachers. Students write scripts and design sets.
Finally, the school’s media room was transformed into a virtual and augmented reality lab for student projects. Students take virtual field trips and use augmented reality to research their favorite animals.
The school is achieving its inclusivity goals. The morning announcement team includes two members who are deaf, and English language learners participate on the newsmagazine team.
Each month, Salas-Sarmiento holds Innovation Celebration meetings to showcase teachers who have tried innovative approaches to instruction. She also created Teacher Cubed, a PD website focused on technology and innovative teaching with virtual and augmented reality.
“Dedicate time for teachers to play and plan,” Salas-Sarmiento says. “Without this time, I may not have had the same level of willingness to try virtual and augmented reality lessons.”