Welcome to my Home Page.
My name is Sue Atkins and I am a teacher at Spring Hill Elementary School. I teach 5th grade students.
Spring Hill is situated about 45 miles north of Tampa. The existence of a spring is debatable, but the area is hilly. Locals claim fame by being right next door to Weeki Wachee, the home of mermaids and popular tourist attraction on the Nature Coast. It gets very hot and humid in Spring Hill, Florida. The temperature often reaches 98 degrees.
My program, Construction Junction, is designed to help At-Risk students be successful at school and with life in the future. I am very interested in meeting with other teachers who work with or are interested in this type of student. E-Mail me:
Miami Museum of Science
Space Team Online
Disney Presents...Bill Nye the Science Guy
PBS Kids: Welcome!
Apple - K-12 Education - Teaching and Learning Resources
Scholastic.com Home Page
Welcome to Goosebumps on the Web!
Click on the image below to visit the Education World site.
Back to the Top
- A place where different paths are offered to get to your learning destination. . .
- A place where students with different strengths and weaknesses come together and learn because they need to. . .
- A place where simulations of the real world present a need to know information to answer questions and solve problems that arise. . .
- A place where students learn from each other. . .
- A place where low esteem is bolstered as helpers realize they do have important skills to offer to the group. . .
- A place where learning is not for the test on Friday, but for Life. . .
1. You might find students who were not successful in our regular Language Arts or Mathematics programs.
2. You might also find students who used to be unmotivated to do "regular" schoolwork because
Parent involvement in the program will be vital.
Besides an open door policy to visit the classroom anytime after checking in with the office, families will also be invited to a Living Portfolio Night every nine weeks. This evening provides parents with an in-depth presentation by the students. Parents who attend the Living Portfolio programs will be able to see the growth and learning over the course of the year.
Also, parents, along with other members of the community will be invited to speak to the class in our once-a-week "What's it Like Out There?" seminars.
Unless we retain that personal lifelong desire to learn and are helped to acquire skills to do that, we sometimes join the ranks of dropouts from life in future years.
All students enter kindergarten expecting to learn, especially to learn to read. We must be sure that does happen, and if it takes a little longer, the students know we won't give up and they shouldn't either!
We all have strengths, multiple talents, and weaknesses. We can use our strengths and talents to overcome our weaknesses.
Skills learned in situations when they are needed to complete a task in a real problem are better learned, remembered, and applied in new situations.
Students will find themselves
The program at Construction Junction will rely heavily on students learning skills needed to be able to perform a task in simulations and investigations of the world of work.
Possible simulations might include
home.html Car Talk Radio engmain.html Radio Santa Claus
Radio Santa Claus
Planet Earth You Make A Difference
The President's CabinetToday in History: July 1
Learning Page of the Library of Congress: Feature Presentation on Pioneering Women in American Memory
Library of Congress Learning Page: Using Oral History: Lesson Overview
White House for Kids
Construction IndustryBuilding & Construction Links for Kids - B4UBUILD.COM
Tourism and Ecotourism
Eco Tourism International Home Page ELAN: feb97 : Online International Ecotourism Conference (fwd)
Planet Earth Main Page
Florida Kids Page
Health CareersThe Heart: An Online Exploration
Managing a Small Business
EducationApple - K-12 Education - Teaching and Learning Resources
Index of /multimed/sounds/birds
Ducks Unlimited Canada - Education & Ecotourism
Planet Earth Treasure Hunt
Florida Kids Page
NetVet Veterinary Resources / Electronic Zoo Animal Species
The "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society
Education Programs at the Rachel Carson Homestead
Computers and Technology
Examples of Simulations and Possible Tasks
- Sell, write and produce commercials
- Read copy (Speaking skills, fluency, expression)
- Read and listen critically to ads
- Write and act out a talk show/interview, or read a story with sound effects
- Interview workers at a radio station
- Schedule programming
- learn about electricity, sound,magnetism, transistors, radio waves, microwave dishes
- study freedom of speech and press and how our country came to think that those were important freedoms to protect and respect
- research the history of radio and communication
- develop a time line of inventions and improvements in radio
- draw symmetrical designs
- measure to the nearest inch, centimeter
- layout a perfect rectangle for the foundation
- determine cubic ft. of concrete needed to pour a foundation
- angles for moldings, roof joists
- determine square feet of tile to tile the kitchen floor
- tessellate a tiling pattern
- determine square yards of carpet needed
- learn calendar skills as the head contractor coordinates all subcontractors
- research history of dwellings throughout different eras of history
- use, conservation, and depletion of natural resources
- financing and mortgage, interest and principal
- sources for building materials
- learn about electricity, parallel and series circuits, fuses
- heating, cooling, insulation, energy conservation
Community Construction Kit, (houses throughout history are designed, printed, and assembled
The President's Cabinet
Applied Technology/Social Studies/Math
- Prepare for a visit of a foreign dignitary--the queen of England, history of relations with the dignitary's country, Colonization, Revolutionary War
- Plan for a Presidential tour to 3 countries, learn the social/political issues and plan strategies to bring about change during the visits--where should the President go or not go? Should he honor an event or a person, or show concern or apology? Should he work to ease tensions over issues which could lead to a military confrontation?
- Plan itinerary, flights, cities, sightseeing press releases
- Learn a custom of the other country, (greetings, simple phrases in the target language, mealtime customs, signs of respect) and teach them in some way to your group
- Current events, keep a scrapbook of the president in the news
- Getting elected, the 2 party system, and electoral college
- Speech writing and giving
- Biographies of the presidents
- Summarize current events to send E-mail to the President while on tour
- Prepare press releases, schedule a press conference, give speech and answer questions from the press. Class members will be the reporters.
- Reclamation project
- Environmental issues with possible concurrent themes of forestry, wildlife management, food chains, nitrogen fixing bacteria in legumes, interdependence, botany/zoology
- wise decisions in use of natural resources
- Solar powered seismographs
- Solar power
- Field trip to Southwest Florida Water Management District/Aripeka site to compare habitats
- Process: computing daily tonnage that is produced, and sold,
- Measuring specific gravity of the product, grams, decimals, using charts, calculators,
- Field trip to see process, and to the lab to see how the rock is gradated and tested for Specific gravity
- Uses for the resource as a product consumers need and want
- Job applications
- On-the-job rules and disciplines
- Letters to the environment
- Poetry about sights, sounds, impressions
- Using identification books as reference material in the field
- Keeping journals of activities and observations
- Write a script to narrate the film " Garbage" from HITV library.
- Write descriptions of plants and animals with specific details to use in identification.
- Write nature trail descriptions specific enough for identification.
- Listen to a speaker from Waste Management.
Community awareness, persuasive writing
- Gather data on waste generated by our class for a week (classroom trash, water, lunchroom trash) Estimate amount for the year.
- Wildlife, their needs, habitat, habits and identification
- Manage wildlife at school or other sites (like Florida Rock). At school we monitor the bluebird trail and manage the habitat for birds and butterflies. At Florida Rock, we currently manage an area for the American Kestrel. We hope to expand to help with reclamation of a leased area of the Withlacoochee State Forest.
- Develop a plan to improve environment in some way.
Determine all stakeholders of the problem and their effect on the outcome of a solution.
The community, the internet, and many other resources will be our teaching materials. Students learn skills using materials, techniques, and hands-on activities not yet written or invented for elementary students. Partnerships will be developed with area businesses to enhance our learning opportunities.
Florida Rock Industries
The partnership with Florida Rock provides a connection
with a local industry for first hand knowledge of careers from laborers
Florida Rock also has definite requirements for employment including having a safe driving record, passing a drug test and physical, and demanding strict adherence to safety rules. Continued employment is jeopardized by insubordination, absenteeism, tardiness, fighting, and not being able to work with members of your crew.
Project Help has been an evolving project. It's main goal was to develop students' lifelong practices in the area of conservation, preservation, and restoration of our habitat. Activities and projects occur at school and on field trips. We developed a partnership with Florida Rock Industries, Brooksville Quarry.
Loving nature with
The Wildlife Habitat team there had worked to have the quarry become a Certified Wildlife Habitat through a program with the Wildlife Habitat Council. The materials from the Wildlife Habitat Council have been very helpful. We have used their FAQ sheets on managing land for bluebirds, quail, Eastern rabbit American kestrel, building brush piles, and providing for reptiles and amphibians. Their newest booklet on managing your own land is packed with ideas and pictures!
Our Fourth YearThe Environmental team works with the students on site on various topics such as conservation of resources, mining, land reclamation, species identification, and wildlife management. They also come to school to do presentations and help with habitat enhancement.
In 1998, we plan to return to Florida Rock Industries, the Brooksville Quarry for the 4th year. The students will continue efforts begun in previous years to reclaim an area and manage it for the American Kestrel. In this key wildlife management area, we will maintain bluebird boxes, a small pond, plantings of legumes and grains which workers disk to enrich the soil, a brush pile and a meadow of native grasses and wildflowers.
|One important aspect of our work at the quarry is learning about water: the importance of wetlands and the wise use of water resources. The settling ponds and recycling ponds are favorite sites for observation of different species of water birds, alligators, turtles, insects, and fish.|
11th Annual Commissioner's Business Recognition AwardIn March, 1998, Florida Rock Industries, the Brooksville Quarry received one of two awards given to corporations in Hernando County from the State Department of Education for their role in supporting this partnership.
Students are evaluated based on the job they do in the simulations. Finished products are judged much the same way work is judged in the workplace.
Determination of Mastery of Sunshine State Benchmarks is based on performance on the activities. Rubrics are developed with the help of the workers that give points to different required aspects of the project.
Examples of Assessment
A design for a room layout might be evaluated for keeping to scale (math, science, and social studies), neatness of labels (legibility on Florida Writes), meeting the needs of the customer (following directions, Applied Technology).
A speech written by a Presidential speech writer might be evaluated for persuasive points, sticking to the topic, a good hook, maintaining interest, based on fact with supportive proof from research, etc. (Florida Writes, Applied Technology).
An environmentalist group working to change public attitudes on a subject might be evaluated on the media blitz, commercials, newspaper releases (Florida Writes, Applied Technology)
Records will be kept on Easy Grade Pro
Attitude surveys at the beginning and end of each year will be used to evaluate changes toward being self/motivated to learn and work toward personal goals. We hope to have a positive effect on decreasing disruptive behavior.
Behavioral observations will be done in the classroom, following the clinical Educator Model, at a minimum of 4 week intervals throughout the year. These observations will generate quantitative data in regards to off-task behaviors .
An Increase positive disciplines and decrease in negative disciplines will also be an indicator of successful attainment of this goal.
The records of skill attainment in Easy Grade Pro provide an individual record for each student of how and when each skill was mastered.
Academic pre- and post testing in reading and math and daily probes offer a measure of mastery of the curriculum being taught.
Formal Testing Measures already in place for all students including Florida Writes, FCAT Reading and Math, and the local standardized tests used at the time show progress as compared to other students in the district, state, and nation.