As an EdTech company one of our favorite things to hear about is when practitioners partner up to use SILAS. Cross curricular collaboration helps teachers brainstorm new ideas in the classroom and develops higher level thinking skills for students. So when Stacy Gray, the District Technology Coach and ELL Service Provider for East Greenwich School District, asked us how she could use SILAS to support her colleagues’ SEL efforts we knew great things would come from it. Stacy has partnered Mrs. Kristen Lombardo the School Counselor for the East Greenwich 3-6 building. We are excited to share their story below.
SILAS: How do you integrate SILAS into your schedule?
Mrs. Gray & Mrs. Lombardo: Our 5th and 6th grade classes have been working with Mrs. Lombardo ( our school counselor) on various conflict resolution scenarios and how to find positive resolutions. After working in groups on a selected topic, students created a script, rehearsed, and then used our new avatar video creation software (Silas) to create a short movie. Our students had a blast creating and producing by choosing characters and scenes and then bringing their scripts to life by acting it out on screen. I also used Silas to encourage confident speaking skills with my ELL students in preparation for ACCESS testing. They did an interview, comparable to a news interview about a book they read. They spoke with clarity, emotion, and confidence. I feel using Silas has helped them to feel more prepared and confident to speak in front of others. Our special education and social skills students used Silas during our summer program and it was a huge success. Finally, our LIFT Club is an afterschool activity that plan schoolwide and community outreach events. They had a fundraiser for local animal shelters and used Silas to create commercials promoting the collections they needed. The commercials were played during homeroom in every class. It was awesome!
SILAS: What brought you to use SILAS/What problems does SILAS help you solve?
Mrs. Gray & Mrs. Lombardo: Techspo/ It has been helpful for social skills, ELL, and SEL
SILAS: How do your students/clients feel about SILAS?
Mrs. Gray & Mrs. Lombardo: The students really enjoy using Silas.
SILAS: What component of the curriculum is your favorite?
Mrs. Gray & Mrs. Lombardo: The software!
SILAS: What has been your favorite SILAS story or experience?
Mrs. Gray & Mrs. Lombardo: We really enjoy watching our shyest students shine and come out of their shell when speaking through Silas.
SILAS: What advice might you share with a teacher considering using SILAS in their classroom or with clients?
Mrs. Gray & Mrs. Lombardo: I would tell them to think outside of the box! Silas can be used in so many ways with and without the SEL lessons. The students really love creating and acting. You will most likely see a whole other side of your students!