Super Bowl and Final Four science showdown – Episode 20

Dressed as a referee, Justin MacDonald explains the sports theme Science Competition to student observers.
Dressed as a referee, Justin MacDonald explains the sports theme Science Competition.

“Try anything and everything to make lessons fun and engaging” is Justin MacDonald’s and Desiree Siegel’s motto.

As a sports fanatic, Justin developed Flash Card Football to learn science vocabulary words and Big Idea Basketball to evaluate the students’ working knowledge of the science standards. They use their scientific expertise to compete in a fall Super Bowl and spring Final Four.

These competitions contributed to Shingle Creek, a Title 1 school, increasing its science scores by more than 25 percentage points, proving Science + Fun = Success. Watch this News 13 story to learn more.

In addition to educational games, Shingle Creek is using Project-Based Learning to teach grade-level standards. The projects are rigorous, fun, engaging and academic.

Listen to this episode to learn more about the competitions, PBL and relationships with colleagues.

ABOUT THE GUESTS – (This episode was recorded Dec. 11, 2019)

Justin MacDonald headshot

Justin MacDonald is an Instructional Development Program Specialist. He was Shingle Creek ES’ instructional coach and lead mentor when we recorded this episode. Previously he served as a second, third and fifth-grade teacher, a School Transformation Office coach at Cypress Park ES and was an OCPS Teacher of the Year 2020 District Finalist. He’s also a personal trainer and fitness instructor at local gyms and is a proud graduate of the University of Central Florida for his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.

Desiree Seigel headshot

Desiree Siegel is a fifth-grade teacher at Shingle Creek ES and its current Teacher of the Year. Looping with her students from third to fourth to fifth grade has been a rewarding experience for Desiree, especially with building on the students’ prior knowledge and seeing their academic and personal growth. In this episode, she shares some tips on how to make the process successful.

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