User Spotlight: Cari Neal

At SiLAS, we know how talented and passionate our users are. That is why we are committed to showcasing these amazing educators and how they’re using SiLAS to improve student learning!

This post’s User Spotlight is Cari Neal. Cari is a Special Education teacher for students with emotional/behavioral challenges at Huntington County Community School Corporation (HCCSC) in Huntington, Indiana.

Here are 5 questions with Cari Neal:

1) What were your first thoughts after seeing SiLAS?

Upon first seeing SiLAS, I knew it was something that would engage my students and allow for a great deal of flexibility to meet our needs. 

2) How are you using SiLAS with students?

Students participate in weekly lessons utilizing the SiLAS curriculum. After completing the lesson, students enjoy making animations. Animations are shared with others in a variety of ways. We have SiLAS Skills Showcase posters hanging in the hall of the school with QR codes for students to scan and view. We have hosted a SiLAS Celebration in which district leaders were invited to preview student animations from a variety of topics. Animations are uploaded to YouTube and links are sent out for parents to enjoy.

3) What do your students and parents think about SiLAS?

Students LOVE SiLAS and enjoy being the star of the show when we preview them as a class. Parents enjoy receiving the animations and being able to discuss with students what they have been learning. Parent sheets are now being utilized to send home as well.

4) What has been your favorite SiLAS story or experience? 

I have enjoyed seeing the students’ excitement when they are working on their SiLAS lessons. It is amazing to see them work together to create a final project.

5) What do you think other teachers should know about SiLAS?

The possibilities are endless with SiLAS. Just take the first step and give it a try.

Thank you to Cari for sharing the amazing ways he is using SiLAS in the classroom!

SiLAS Animation Contest Winners

Last month we announced that we would be hosting our first ever social animation contest! This month we are happy to announce the winners!

We had so many outstanding submissions! Below are the Top 5 Winners for overall animations. 

Top 5 Social Animations

Carrie Neil’s Class, Huntington, IN.

Lauren Timmins Class, Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ

Emily Simmonds Class – Bright Beginnings Secondary, NJ.

Terese Manalansan Class – Center for Lifelong Learning, NJ

Ettie Luban – Bright Beginnings Primary, NJ

Real-life Application

At SiLAS we are always focused on carryover. We want the skills that students practice and learn in the game to transfer over to the real world. One submission had such amazing real-life application, we decided to make that animation a winner too. Here’s what the teacher, Heather Hipple, had to say about this video:

“My students have been talking about conflict resolution for several weeks. The individual who made this video has been struggling. One day a few weeks ago, I took a group of eighth-graders out into the community to perform community service. This individual went with me. There were some boys on that trip that were very mean and rude to my student. But, my student handled it like a champ! This was the first time in a long time that he acted appropriately in a difficult situation. I saw the whole thing. Later that week, we were working on SiLAS scripts for appropriate conflict resolution. He asked if he could reenact that day at the park when he handled the other  appropriately. (He even showed himself choosing to walk away and not engage in a fight in the video). Of course I thought that was an awesome idea! He was so proud of himself that day and gets to experience that pride again and again when he shows his classmates this video. It was awesome!”

Here’s the amazing video:

Heather Hipple Class – Huntington, IN.

Congrats to all those who submitted!