Longview Elementary School, Hickory, North Carolina
District State: North Carolina
District Website: hickoryschools.net
Every Monday night at 7:30 p.m., Joshua Seabolt, a fourth-grade teacher at Longview Elementary School, can be found in front of his computer, meeting with students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Together, they work on new math concepts and doodle on Google Sheets.
Seabolt uses the collaborative platform to illustrate lessons on geometry, lines of symmetry, area and perimeter. Thirty-minute sessions end with “creating a cool picture of whatever the student would like,” Seabolt says.
Students who attend the after-school Monday meetups have to present what they learned every Friday morning. As Seabolt says, this is their “entry ticket” into the classroom.
Through the program, Seabolt has built a rapport with his students, creating a buzz among families who say the program shows that he cares about their child’s life outside of school. It also reinforces students’ understanding of math concepts, Seabolt says. Students who have fallen way behind have caught up by the time classes end.
“The students who participated in the program have shown a greater interest in getting to know me and in school,” Seabolt says. “Each of the students who did participate, and some were far below grade-level proficiency, all passed their end-of-year test.”