By Shayla Scallorn
Social Media Editor
For the third year, Mrs. Granger’s freshman English class is writing and sending letters to the Juliet Club in Verona, Italy.
Thousands of letters from around the globe are mailed in every year, addressed to the fictitious Juliet Capulet from Shakespeare’s renowned play “Romeo and Juliet.” The volunteers who run the club, known as “Juliet’s Secretaries,” take care to answer each one. The secretaries can read and write in several languages so anyone is able to write in.
“They get handwritten letters back on official Letterhead,” English teacher Ashley Granger said. “Most kids start getting them within a couple of months, the rest will get them back next school year.”
Expression. Coming up with just the right words to say something can be hard. Mr. Dave Hopkins wants to help students express themselves not with words, but instead with the tools of visual art.
Hopkins is an art teacher at Red Lion Area Senior High School and every day he works hard to teach kids to become a better artist.
“A lot of people have ideas in their head but they are too inexperienced to bring the idea out and then they get frustrated,” Hopkins said.
By Molly Merson
Tapping pencils and feet, questions gone unanswered, sweaty foreheads, and nervous glances. Test taking anxiety afflicts many of us daily. It is a dangerous enemy of any high school student, turning even the simplest of exams into an intense scene straight from teens’ worst nightmares.
As students embark on their high school career, stress is a major aspect. Things such as class work, extra curricular activities, and exams are major causes of stress in high school. Tests are typically weighted more in point value compared to other assignments. Some students struggle with test taking anxieties that can possibly impact their scores.
“I do believe it [test taking anxiety] is common in high school,” Red Lion Area Senior High School’s psychologist Mrs. Persing said. “But I don’t think many students reach out for help when dealing with it.”
Students with test taking anxieties have shown to perform at an average of 12 points lower than a student without test taking anxiety. Grades can drop as much as half a letter grade or more because of severe test taking anxiety, resulting in students performing much lower than their potential because of this fear of tests.
There is not a specific subject of need among all students. “It depends on the student’s strengths and weaknesses,” Mrs. Persing said. There are no current reports of test taking anxiety in the school. However, it’s very common in high school. Approximately 16-20% of students have a form of extreme test taking anxiety.
In addition, an average of 18% of students struggle with a moderately-high test taking anxiety. Some students suffer from this anxiety without even realizing it. In order to conquer test taking anxiety, help is needed. Whether it’s from outside help or within oneself, test taking anxiety can be defeated somehow.
By Helen Zeidman
Monsters are everywhere: closets, under beds, and in the Ms. McBrien’s art room. Kindergartners from Windsor Manor are bringing their monsters to life with the help of Ms. McBrien’s high school art students.
Ms. McBrien is partnering with her former student teacher, Mrs. Filiziani, an art teacher at Windsor Manor, to bring their students together with a collaboration project.
“We decided to do a project together when she got a position,” McBrien, the art teacher who helped coordinate the project, said. “No matter where she went, we were going to do something together.”
Kindergarten students from Windsor Manor learned about shapes by drawing monsters. Then, the high school students turned the two dimensional images into three dimensional sculptures of the kindergarteners’ drawings.
“Our mission is to bring two dimensional images into three dimensional product.” McBrien said.
The students were still able to use their creative license with the projects by interpreting what happens after the drawing.
“Not only is is fun to look at kindergarten art, but as artists, the students get to determine what happens after the drawing,” McBrien said.
Translating drawings into sculptures can be harder than it looks. Those stick figure legs that children draw on their monsters do not work well in clay.
“There are some adaptations that have to be made.” McBrien said.
Despite the challenges, the students are happy to be involved with the project.
“I liked taking the little kids’ creations and making them come to life.” Brittany Myers, a junior, said.
Over 70 projects are in the works, with most students making at least two models.
Art is just as important to the kindergartners as it is to the high school students.
“Art continues the creative process,” McBrien said. “The creative process is so important, it helps us find unique solutions to many problems.”
The students enjoy the challenge and fun that art class provides.
“I look forward to going to art class.” Keisha Martinez, a senior, said. “I can show someone my project and say ‘I made this!’”
For some students, art is more than just a class -- it is much needed break.
“Art calms me down.” Brittany Myers said. “It is relaxing for me.”
After the clay is set and the paint is dry, the high school students will present their kindergarten partners with their own monsters and make their nightmares come true. The ceremony will take place in early May.
By Kelly Heilman
Many students in Red Lion Senior High own a smartphone these days. Many of which use their device during class because many teachers now allow the use of personal technology in their classrooms.
A few students were surveyed to see if using their smartphone during class is beneficial to their learning experience.
When asked if smartphones were helpful in classes Senior, Gabby McCarty said, “Yes because it’s a faster way to look up information needed to complete our classwork versus taking the time to sign in and wait to get connected to the school’s computers.”
Senior Natalie Barrett was asked if she finds herself getting distracted by using her smartphone in class and said, “Yes, all the time because I am always listening to my music, and always finding something exciting because of how much phones can do these days.”
When asked how she thought using smartphones could be beneficial to her learning experience Senior, Sierra Donovan responded with, “If I ever need an accurate definition I can just look it up.”
All three seniors were asked if any of their teachers did not allow the use of smartphones during class, and all of them answered yes. Some Red Lion teachers still prefer the traditional, “no phones in the classroom,” way of teaching.
Mrs. Samantha Smith was asked if she thought that having smartphones in class was beneficial to students. She said, “Yes, this way students can function to a higher level and it will prepare them for future employment.”
When asked if she believed that smartphones are causing too many distractions, K-12 technology education coach Mrs. Samantha Smith answered, “It depends. There is a maturity level that comes with the technology. Kids should be taught what is and is not appropriate.”
There are many differing opinions on the use of technology in the classroom, but survey says the outcome is looking positive.
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