New methods make for better student grades at Albany Middle

New methods make for better student grades at Albany Middle

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Teachers say some unorthodox methods are helping students improve their grades.

A typical afternoon in Sarah Holloway's social studies class is anything but typical at Albany Middle School.

"I just put the instrumental version to social studies content and they learn it and know it by heart, and when they get a test, they are able to sing the songs in their head and able to do very very well," she explained.

It's one of the many different methods teachers have implemented to help students learn the material.

Holloway trained at Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, which uses similar teaching methods. She was blown away by what she saw.

"I had one of my students tell me they heard a song on the radio and they say I forgot the real lyrics to the song, I was singing social studies lyrics, and I said, 'Oh that's exactly what I want,'" she said.

Assistant Principal Dr. Jacqueline Thomas said the school has improved a lot since when she first worked there.

In 2006, teachers were working to learn the new Georgia Performance Standards and learning was not student driven like it is now.

"So any time you can have the students in control, then you have buy-in," said Thomas. "They are more app to complete it, because it's like I did it I own it."

Now students teach the classes, and every room, and every hallway there's a different theme.

They have other fun activities like jazz performances during the kids lunch hour.

"The goal with that is to expose them to different types of music, things that they may be familiar with but other genres that they might not," said music instructor Shekya Davis.

And along with the atmosphere improving, so has her student's grades.

"If they learn that way, and they get success from it, than I'll be successful," Holloway added.

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