Teachers and School
Zachary Robbins, 5th Grade ELA Teacher
McKinley School, Newark, NJ
Timothy Nellegar, Instructional Technology
Newark Public Schools
To centralize and enhance collaboration through technology to empower students to become independent learners.
A centers-based classroom approach that provided integral time to focus on small group instruction, ultimately improving student academic achievement.
Located in the North Ward of Newark, NJ, McKinley School has a diverse population of 850 pre-kindergarten to 8th grade students. The school’s mission is ensure that each child meets and exceeds their social, emotional and academic potential, by providing them with enriching experiences and innovative instructional practices.
In order to move from a focused lesson to guided instruction, and ultimately to a more collaborative and student-centered classroom learning environment, Zachary Robbins knew he needed a technology tool that would allow him to gradually release the responsibility of learning to his students. He chose to use SMART amp in his classroom because it aligned with key Newark Public School’s (NPS) district-wide ELA “big investments,” and provided him with a technology solution that could:
Zachary’s goal with SMART amp was to create a learning environment that would engage his students through enhanced collaboration. He wanted to use SMART amp to augment and modify existing pedagogy and content in a centers-based rotation to:
Using SMART amp as the backbone for a centers-based approach to learning, Zachary was able to create a classroom flow that allowed him to increase student time-on-task and collaboration. It allowed him to seamlessly transition between student-centered instruction and direct instruction. It became a hub for his rotations and promoted student independence.
Zachary was able to enhance his instructional approach with SMART amp, and empower his students to collaborate and become self-directed learners. Using SMART amp, he found that his students were able to easily reference and effectively critique one another’s work, as well as push their levels of understanding and content creation. Zachary was able to: