SNN: Kenowa Hills Connect Class

Oct 14, 2019

Kenowa Hills Connect Class
Credit School News Network

Kenowa Hills Middle School has created a new, daily class called Connect this fall to enrich learning and bond students and teachers.

Connect Class, which meets daily for 18 minutes, focuses on the learning process, goal setting, life skills and group discussions.

Eighth grade social studies teacher and Connect planning team member Susan Trotter said the number one goal is to connect with the students for 18 minutes a day and slow down and have a relationship with them. She likes the idea of remaining with the same group of students from sixth through eighth grade.

Erica Kochaney, a middle school instructional coach and Connect class planning team member, said the reasoning behind its creation is threefold:

• To build deeper relationships between students and teachers, and between students and other students

• to teach life and learning skills using Habits of Mind, which consists of 16 learning dispositions

• and to positively impact the learning culture of the school and improve the overall school climate.

Kochaney said many teachers already report feeling more connected with all of the students they interact with, and student discipline referrals were lower at the beginning of the year than what they have been.

Middle school Principal Abby Wiseman said Connect class originated from discussions around designing a new schedule. Staff members were realizing that social and emotional learning are the building blocks students need to be successful in the district’s competency-based learning system.

For School News Network, I’m Cris Greer