North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

January 24, 2013

Students become teachers: Fultondale class does a turnabout

By Melanie Patterson
North Jefferson News

FULTONDALE — One day last week, the students were the teachers in one north Jefferson classroom.

Thursday was Innovation Day for Julie Ramsay’s fifth-grade students at Fultondale Elementary School.

Each student chose a topic to research, then he or she prepared a project to present to the rest of the class.

Subjects ranged from history — in the form of World War I, World War II and American Girls dolls — to art, animals, sound waves, how cars work and more.

“So many things interest the students that are not in the curriculum,” Ramsay said. “On a day like this, everyone can be successful.”

Like most classrooms, hers displays wide ranges of learning abilities and diversity.

But she said the beauty of a project like Innovation Day is that students can learn in their own learning style. They choose whether to use technology like an iPad or a computer, or they can check out a book at the library and build a model by hand.

“They’re highly motivated because they’re in charge of teaching,” she said.