Nagel Middle School Students Take Learning Beyond Class and Into Their Community
Mary Moore was intrigued when a colleague from a neighboring school mentioned Membean, but she didn't look into a trial membership until hearing about it a second time at a conference. Mary wasn't sure what Membean could do for her students, but she knew how she felt about the current approach to vocabulary instruction. Something needed to change.
“We were floundering—vocabulary instruction was hit or miss. Students were given the same list of words pulled from a book we were reading. They were tested after completing activities with these words, but the words weren't seen as useful beyond the test.”
Mary's colleagues and Nagel's administration agreed that they wanted better methods and stronger results for students, so they were eager to try something new. After deciding to pilot Membean, Mary worked hard to help her students understand vocabulary's importance as a tool to enhance communication and comprehension. She reviewed Membean's introductory videos, helping students figure out how sections work in concert and establishing the value of encountering words in various ways. Students were very open to using Membean once they realized how it differed from their customary approach.
“After seeing the engagement, individualization, and effectiveness of Membean, the principal agreed that it was definitely worth it. We adopted Membean for use with all of our students!’
As students become accustomed to the tailored study experience Membean provides, they employ more complex vocabulary in their writing and have a more nuanced understanding of the words they use. Surprised to learn about additional meanings to words they thought they already knew, some students question information they encounter. With issues such as this, Mary notes that the ease with which students can connect to support staff helps teachers and students alike.
“‘Let's e-mail the support group at Membean together,’ I'll say. They receive replies with convincing, useful information about why these words are the ‘right ones’. It's important for them to hear explanations from someone besides me. This support has been invaluable.”
Years after piloting Membean, Mary remains committed to the idea that students need ownership in their learning. Membean provides this by allowing students to access a curriculum tailored to their readiness. The platform's engaging features and personalization continue to produce the differentiation students need, as well as the improved results faculty celebrate. Regardless of how often she's heard them, Mary still chuckles when she hears exclamations like this: “I was walking through the grocery store and I saw “antiquated' on a magazine cover—that's a Membean word!”