DE PERE – The students in Sheila Kohl’s sixth grade science room at West De Pere Middle School say they don’t just learn about stars. They learn from one.
“She’ll pull in everybody and have them participate with everything and everybody loves her,” said student Keilani Nishimoto.
Kohl says she likes taking an active approach to learning. Her schedule is definitely active. She teaches both science and social studies in the same day.
“In my 16 years I have taught every subject, and it really changes,” said Kohl. “So being flexible is part of being a middle school teacher.”
To keep kids engaged, Kohl gets them up and moving. In one instance, they act out how stars become supernovas.
“One of the benefits of acting it out is we have to read it over and over and over, and so they’re also processing it and thinking of how they have to show it,” said Kohl.
Kohl’s students say her approach is paying off.
“I’m not that interested in science but now that Ms. Kohl has kind of engaged us in getting to like it, now I love this class it and just helps me understand science more visually,” said student Katie Meisner.
Even though she’s the one with the Golden Apple on the shelf, Kohl insists it’s her students who are the real stars.
“This is not me, this represents what you allow us to do,” said Kohl. “This is really your award, but I get to do the fun stuff that goes with it.”