School: Wasuma Elementary School

Location: Ahwahnee, CA

English Language Arts + Science Teacher: Larissa B.

Grade Levels: 6 - 8

Like most teachers, English Language Arts and Science teacher, Larissa B., was always searching for lessons that challenged her grades 6 - 8 students to “think outside of themselves.” But that can be easier said than done, especially when it comes to aligning those lessons to the core curriculum, while also providing engaging enrichment activities. It was when Larissa came across Tract - and the structure and support it provides middle and high school students to create their own classes for peers - that all of that changed.

“Tract provides a better option for students because they get to learn as they’re challenged with thinking ‘what do I want to teach others?’ They have to really pay attention and think critically to discover what it is that they want to share with the world.”
- Larissa B., Teacher at Wasuma Elementary School

Of course, like any new program, Tract took a bit of guidance from Larissa to really take off in the classroom. “Because Tract is student-driven, students have to think differently about how they’re learning,” said Larissa. To overcome this mindset shift from a teacher-driven lecture to student-directed, peer-to-peer learning, Larissa had her students start using Tract in groups, selecting a learning path to complete together.

After feeding off one another’s excitement, students naturally started branching off to work on their own, then reporting back to one another on what they’d learned and created. Students from previous semesters even continued signing in to Tract to continue working on learning paths outside of class time!  

A Whole New Way of Teaching

Before implementing Tract, Larissa was used to a typical teacher-directed classroom, which included giving lectures and assigning work. With Tract, Wasuma Elementary School students sign in daily for the opportunity to teach one another, while Larissa sits back and observes how they learn, think, and then progress in the best learning style for them.

“Now, I get to observe and watch as the students learn,” said Larissa. “You miss out on that when you’re teaching.”  

Building a Sense of Purpose

Along with enhancements to her teaching style, Tract also brought students at Wasuma Elementary School a newfound sense of purpose. By creating their own lessons on Tract for their peers, students who previously believed they had nothing to teach others began viewing themselves in a more confident way as they shared their interests and passions with others - something especially difficult to achieve amongst junior high students.

When asked if she would recommend Tract to other teachers, Larissa responded with “absolutely.”

“Tract is the perfect fit for teachers with groups of students that need a change of mindset to stay engaged…It gives them ownership over their learning, which is a completely new concept for many students.”
- Larissa B., Teacher at Wasuma Elementary School

Empower your middle school students to build a sense of purpose by teaching their peers on Tract - FREE as part of your classroom membership when you sign up today.