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Adapting the classroom to the students’ needs

By Tom O'Donahoo on 14 May 2020Partner School StoriesUKstaffroomNSWstaffroom

An Atomi teacher story: Angie Cooper, PDHPE Coordinator at Kildare Catholic College.

Meet Angie

Angie Cooper is the PDHPE Coordinator at Kildare Catholic College in Wagga Wagga, where she teaches PDHPE and Studies Of Religion.

Over her 15 years of experience in teaching, Angie has learned that the best approach in the classroom is to be adaptive, tailoring her teaching to the demands of the class in front of her.

Angie’s teaching style extends beyond merely technical flexibility. She considers a friendly and caring disposition, and the ability to infuse humour into her teaching environment, to be amongst the most valuable of attributes a teacher can have.

Every class has a different dynamic so I tend to have varied approaches depending on which students I have in front of me each lesson.

The challenge

For Angie’s students, the volume of syllabus content they face has often proved daunting. Breaking these complex ideas down into manageable chunks and extracting key information was not made any easier by the layout and density of traditional textbooks.

For Angie, these traditional resources only encouraged passive engagement with the material. Despite her relentless search for resources that would engage students in the course content and skills, most resources available for PE and Religion were little more than static notes.

In Atomi, Angie found the resource she had been searching for.

Atomi presents complex information and concepts in a simplified and engaging way, using mind maps, tables, images, and animations.

In Angie’s classes, you might find her using Atomi in a range of ways. One of her favourites is the “stop and go”, watching a video together in class with her students, pausing for important note-taking opportunities or a class discussion.

As Atomi focuses on preparing students with not just the content, but the skills to apply their knowledge to exams and assessments, it has proved to be a powerful tool in promoting higher-order thinking for her students.

Atomi helps to provide structure to my class as the videos generally follow the natural sequence of a lesson. It allows students to move from ‘knowing’ to ‘doing’.

Angie also occasionally assigns Atomi videos for homework or pre-work, preparing her students in advance for tomorrow’s lesson.

Furthermore, Atomi’s testing and tracking functions allow Angie to maintain a clear and consistent profile of how her students are performing. This enables Angie to dynamically adapt her approach and deliver a more deeply personalised instruction to those students that might need a little extra help, encouragement or support.

Impact

Angie’s students have reacted enthusiastically and constructively to the use of Atomi in their classrooms. Their ability to deal with complex concepts and scaffold responses in a way that is consistent with the requirements of exam questions has seen a marked improvement.

I had a Year 12 PDHPE student who set some goals for improved learning during his HSC year, and Atomi formed part of his approach to developing a more structured approach to his independent study both at school and at home. I was able to assign the relevant previous lessons to the student as tasks from the Atomi dashboard to guide the content and skills that he needed to revise. I observed some very positive changes in his application to the course which resulted in improved results in the Trial HSC Examination.

With new features such as Atomi’s AI-powered revision recommendations and study scheduling proving a hit with students in her class upon release, Angie predicts that the growing variety of uses on offer through the Atomi platform will make it an even more valuable resource for her dynamic, adaptive classroom in the future.

My students and I love Atomi! The videos and resources are engaging, logically structured and expertly designed, providing enormous flexibility and support for both teachers and students.

  • School type: Non-government
  • Established: 2004
  • Students: 944
  • Teaching Staff: 82

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