“They have been working on their lesson plans, getting their bulletin boards ready, getting their take-home notes and folders for the parents and the kids,” Kappel said. “... The science standards changed this past year so they’re updating all of their science information to correlate with the Common Core,” Kappel said.
Despite the curriculum shift to reflect Common Core, Kappel said teachers have been positive about making the necessary changes for the upcoming year. Beyond providing services such as access to materials, The Resource Center also provides space to facilitate training sessions when needed.
“[The teachers] haven’t expressed concern, they’re excited about it and glad their school system is supporting them and are giving them some training time to deal with [the shift] so they’re all on the same page,” Kappel said.
She said as technology grows in local schools, The Resource Center works to provide ways to supplement new technology.
“What I’m finding is a lot of the test cards that we already have on the computer, they can be manipulated to work with [teachers’] Promethean Boards or SMART Boards, so basically a lot of curriculum that is already on the computer and information that can support their lesson plans can be manipulated to fit this new technology,” Kappel said. “You have to go the way of technology ... but even though students have these iPads and technologically savvy things in their hands, it’s still hands on and they’re still learning something.
“... You’re not mimicking what the teacher is writing on the board ... and [teachers] are encouraging them to think outside the box and aren’t spoon-feeding them [information].”
According to its website, www.bartowtrc.com, “The Resource Center is a program of a private operating foundation serving the Bartow County community. The Center provides resources for area teachers to research lesson plans, create instructional aids for their classrooms and supplemental equipment for specific lessons.”
Darya Barnes, a kindergarten teacher at Cartersville Primary School, was working on take-home sight work folders for her class on Wednesday at The Resource Center.
“[Take home sight work folders] are folders that have been laminated with the basic words kindergarteners need to know and they need to learn 90 words before they leave kindergarten,” Barnes said. “They get three words a week [to learn] ... and that’s to help them with reading readiness.”
She continued, “They’ll take these home every night and parents will flash them [the cards] and on Fridays I’ll test the kids to make sure they learned them and then on Monday they’ll get three new words.”
Barnes said one of her favorite resources at the center is the lamination machine.
“Lamination is very expensive and lamination helps with the durability of these folders because they’re being sent home and being brought back and of course little kids [leave] food and fingerprints [on the cards] and if something wet gets on it, this protects it,” Barnes said. “This is something that otherwise I wouldn’t be able to afford if this center wasn’t here; I’d have to reproduce this every year but I’m making this one time and I’ll probably be able to use it again for the next three years.”