Gonzales Middle School, Louisiana provides secondary education for students in grades 6-8.
Below is a first-hand description of the exciting benefits of ClassVR and how Gonzales Middle School have already seen improvements in their students’ work by embedding ClassVR into their lessons
ENTHUSIASM FOR NEW TECHNOLOGY
Sixth graders at Gonzales Middle school have had the privilege of being able to try out a set of ClassVR virtual reality headsets from Avantis Education, during the middle of the second semester of the school year. This is the time of year where students and teachers alike are exhausted. This is also a critical time in the year because state testing is around the corner.
From the minute the headsets arrived, the students began begging me to use them as soon as possible. I knew that I wanted to tap into this enthusiasm and motivation to recharge my students’ interests in learning, so I began planning lessons immediately. Although I had only just received the headsets, the software made it super easy for me to navigate and prepare the headsets for the lesson.
NEW STUDENT EXPERIENCES
The students learned all about narrative writing in the first nine weeks, literary analysis writing during the second nine weeks, and research-based writing in the third nine weeks. I found the shark encounter experience through the ClassVR portal and the perfect opportunity to review narrative writing was born.
The students were given a text written in the first person about a marine biologist student going on a field experience dive in the Pacific Ocean. The story was left with a large shadow approaching the main character. The students had to complete the story, with the only requirement being to complete the story using believable narrative elements while staying true to the point of view the original story was written in.
Considering our school population is high poverty, many of my students have never even been to a beach before, and because of this, imagining what the main character would experience in the ocean was going to be a daunting task. Being that the narrative was written in the first person, the students would have to share the thoughts and feelings of the character as he was having an encounter with a mysterious underwater creature.