This April we will be spotlighting three unique clubs offered for students at Jenison! We hope you will join us each week this month to be surprised and inspired by the talents and interests of our kids.
Jon Scholma, STEM teacher at Pinewood and Bursley Elementary Schools has been teaching for nine years and this is his first with JPS. While taking a “Digital Video and the Classroom” grad school class he was challenged to rethink his teaching techniques and ever since that time he has been pleasantly surprised by his students’ enthusiasm.
This excitement led Jon and his fellow teachers, Lori Barr and Michelle U’Ren to start a Broadcasting Club for 5th and 6th graders at Pinewood. Each week for twelve weeks, thirteen students have been meeting for an hour to create and produce a video from start to finish.
“They are learning the whole process and we aren’t skipping any steps. The first few weeks all we did was brainstorm ideas and meet with each other to figure out who had the same ideas and passions as us. The students are learning that it’s not just lights, camera, action. It’s shifting through ideas, figuring out the details such as props, characters, location, it’s writing a script, storyboarding, practicing, and then after filming it’s editing and producing.”
It is the teachers’ hope that the students will be able to leave the club knowing how to produce videos on their own. “Videos that they can use for school projects, skills that they can use when they enter into their careers, or projects for their own entertainment.”
With the omnipresence of digital video the skills these students learn in the Broadcasting Club could prove to be very beneficial for students in the future. “It also provides them with a skill that they can use in middle school and high school to complete projects in a unique way.”
And while it may seem early for some students to be thinking about careers, it is never too early to cultivate interests and passions and let students test their capabilities. “It is good to provide these students with a window for them to look through and see what’s out there. Most students don’t realize all the different opportunities they have. If they find something they are truly passionate about it can transform their learning experience. It gives them a goal, something to work towards, even if they end up choosing another direction.”