Taking a Creative Approach to The Outsiders
For nearly three generations, S.E. Hinton’s book, The Outsiders has reached middle and high school students with its story of fitting in. Much in the same way that the book deals with feelings of belonging, Hanover Central Middle School, and indeed all schools in the Hanover community, look for opportunities that ensure every student belongs.
New this year, at Hanover Central Middle School, are academic focus classes, for students who are not in band or choir. “The purpose of academic focus is to offer students enrichment opportunities and/or to focus on areas in which students are struggling,” said 7th grade AF teacher, Cathy Dainton. The class sizes are small and students receive individualized attention. While 7th grade AF classes concentrate on language arts and reading, Ms. Dainton has added creativity and technology in her classroom so that learning is project based.
Recently, her 52 academic focus students read The Outsiders and then produced their own PSA’s (Public Service Announcements). The students, in groups of three or four chose from many of the topics from the storyline of the book or topics that are unique to being a middle school student today. Fifteen PSA’s were produced and some of the topics covered included; teen smoking, cyber bullying, environmental issues, hunger in America, texting and driving, drugs and time management. “This was my second year teaching The Outsiders,” said Ms. Dainton. “One of the reasons I taught it again is because I get such a good response. The students are able to connect to the characters because even though the setting is in the 1960’s, the students are still facing the same types of issues.”
The students took ownership of their work and produced amazing PSA’s. “I think the greatest impact on the students was taking an idea, making it into a video and watching their final project on the big screen,” indicated Ms. Dainton. Our students often become teachers themselves when creative teaching and project based learning allows them to shine. “The students really worked hard on these projects, and as they were working I learned that some of these issues affect these students each day, so it was really good to see them trying to bring the issue up and wanting a change for the better,” said their teacher.
As a school community we can be proud of our ability to offer students unique instructions and the best and brightest educators who challenge them and allow them to find their voices and flourish. GREAT JOB 7TH GRADE AF STUDENTS AND MS. DAINTON!
Getting To Know Principal Hiatt
“I really loved the classroom and teaching and I was drug kicking and screaming into administration,” Hiatt says. He credits ‘Project Lead The Way’ (PLTW) with helping direct him toward administration. PLTW is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative STEM education programs in middle and high schools across the country. “I knew I wanted to find a way to impact more students than I had in the classroom,” said Hiatt.
Moving from the small South Newton school district, where he was Assistant Principal, to take over the reins of the brand new Hanover Central Middle School in 2012 was an exciting challenge. “I have been blessed with a great staff,” says Hiatt. “When I came here as a newbie, there was support all around me.”
His message to students stresses respect as a key element in improving any school’s success. Students should; “Respect themselves first and foremost, respect their fellow students, respect adults and teachers and respect the taxpayers who have made educational opportunities available to them.”
8th Grade Parent/Student High School Information Night for 2016-2017 Freshman will be held
Wednesday, February 24th at 6:30 p.m. in the Hanover Central High School Auditorium.