NEW BREMEN — Parents in the New Bremen Local School District now may have a look into their child’s classroom, as the district has started a school blog to document academic activities.
Middle School Principal Jason Schrader said he saw the blog, NewBremenSchools.blogspot.com, as an opportunity.
“I was looking at everything New Bremen has to offer, and I saw it as a missing piece,” Schrader told The Evening Leader. “It’s always nice to advertise what goes on in the classroom and let the public know what’s going on.”
Schrader had previous experience using a blog to promote school activities while at Greenville City Schools. He noted the blog allows parents and community members to observe what is happening in the classroom and to observe how teaching methods have changed in the last 20 to 30 years.
“We’re focusing more now on problem solving, reasoning, analyzing data and drawing conclusions more so on application terms than things were in the past when it was more knowledge-based,” Schrader said. “Some of those practices that are used to get students to do that are a little bit different than what some people are accustomed to. I wanted to have the opportunity to share some of those teaching methods and also some of the special events that are going on here.”
Technology plays a larger role in determining lesson plans, he added.
“Technology is a big thing,” he said.
“Something we look at is using real-time data and making our decisions on how lessons are progressing. We’re taking measurements with our formative instruction, and that actually drives what we teach next ... It’s more real-time. We’re moving more to a student-progress format.”
Schrader uses his classroom walkthroughs as a time to take pictures and video footage for the blog posts.
“I have classroom walkthroughs and I try to gauge what’s going on in a classroom, and I thought that would be a good time, if I see an activity, to take a few pictures or take a short video clip,” he said. “Those are very frequent things, something that happens on a daily or weekly basis.”
In addition to Schrader, Elementary Principal Diane Kramer also contributes to the blog.
“We’re updating as frequently as we possibly can,” Schrader said. “We’ve had some teachers starting to submit some things to us, which is making it a little more convenient to get that out.”
Although the blog began as a middle and elementary school project, Schrader said the blog may become a district-wide initiative.
“We had started it (the link to the blog) out on the elementary/middle school page, but we have since moved the link to the district page,” he said. “It’s something we’re going to consider doing if the high school would also like to be included.”
The blog is an opportunity to showcase the academics at New Bremen Local Schools.
“The actual classroom activities are what we’re all about, and it’s good to recognize that,” Schrader said.