Educator Spotlight – Elaine Ionas

Elaine is in her 19th year in the classroom, currently teaching at the Lincoln Middle School in Illinois. She has been using TCI’s History Alive! programs in her middle school classroom and is impressed with the way TCI transforms her classroom into an interactive and meaningful learning experience for her students. In this Educator Spotlight interview, Elaine shares with us her experience using TCI and teaching tips she has for other educators using TCI

What drives you as an educator? 
I am driven by sharing knowledge with students and affording them opportunities to converse, debate, and inquire.

What’s your favorite TCI lesson?
The Excavating Cave Art activity in Ancient World, Unit 1, Lesson 1: Investigating the Past.

How do you integrate the TCI curriculum and tools into your classroom?
I use the online text, “sandbox” (Check for Understanding) activities, tests, and experiential exercises.  

Can you walk us through an impactful student experience involving TCI?
While visiting my former students in high school, I was approached by several students who recalled the day we performed the “Egypt Play.” Acting out their roles and experiencing the activity left a lasting impression of the lesson in their mind.

What specific results have you seen from implementing our solution? Did it help drive student test results/assessments, engagement?  
Students are more engaged and motivated with the activities thus performing better on their tests. It’s also easier to group them once I’ve figured out their intelligence from the Multiple Intelligence Testing. Students are more likely to enjoy the content when they can do something with it that they are good at.

What online tools in our platform do you find helpful?
I enjoy the online tests and how easy it is to add to them based on other TCI users sharing their own questions. I love the “sandbox” (Check for Understanding) activities where kids can take time to drag/drop or manipulate the content to comprehend it better.

What would you say to an educator that is new or just getting started with TCI?
To new educators I would say, enjoy the program’s opportunities to engage students. Don’t be afraid to try something as the experiential exercises often lend themselves to amazing learning opportunities.

Do you have a teaching tip that you would like to share with other teachers?
A teaching tip I’d like to share is to use TCI as a foundation to build student motivation but don’t neglect your own experiences, knowledge, and ability to tie everything in with supplemental media and literature. 

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