In the Spotlight

By Victoria Cobb, Creative Learning Coordinator

A.J. Ferrell Middle School, Tampa, FL

A.J. Ferrell Middle School

This school invested in a Varitronics Poster Printer two years ago, and later purchased the remaining items in the VariQuest product line. They have nothing but wonderful things to say about the value of these products. As I walked around the school with Lisa Cobb, Lead Teacher for Curriculum Integration, we saw how they use the VariQuest products to educate, motivate and communicate with the A.J. Ferrell Middle School community.

We stopped in Mrs. Reed-Oliver’s classroom to discuss a new etymology lesson plan. Each day, she places a new word on her word wall. The students work in groups to research the origin, definitions, history and take note of any roots, prefixes or suffixes hidden in the word. Her goal is to help the students understand the complexity of the English language. To kick-start her lesson plan, she holds a mini scavenger hunt for some words to get them familiar with the skills. As the lessons progress, her wall fills with words and the students’ related discoveries.

A.J. Ferrell Middle School

Mr. Simon, a technology teacher, has just started creating a motivational wall for his students. Using the Cutout Maker he created the title “Mr. Simon’s Stars,” and based on student’s work, he’ll be selecting his star students. Their photos will be placed inside a star frame that will also be created on the Cutout Maker.

Ms. Cobb has used the Awards Maker to create plaques. A.J. Ferrell Middle School recently had a breakfast for the students who received the Principal’s Honor Roll. Each student received a certificate and plaque for their accomplishments.

Ms. Cobb also created plaques as a way to show her appreciation for the school’s international partners. On a trip abroad, she hand delivered a plaque to Beijing 101 Middle School! A.J. Ferrell Middle School often creates a plaque for special guests of the school too. It is a quick and easy way to show their appreciation.

On my way out, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Sykes, the new principal. To herald his arrival to the A.J. Ferrell Middle School community, the staff created banners and posters to welcome him to the school.