Peoria Teacher Earns One Class At A Time Grant

By Marc Strauss

November 17, 2011 Updated Nov 17, 2011 at 11:12 AM CDT

A Peoria grade school teacher is ahead of the curve when it comes to technology in the classroom. Marc Strauss has more in this week's edition of One Class At A Time.

Sandy Rahn teaches 4th grade at Hines Primary School in Peoria. Co-workers say Sandy gets her students fully engaged in learning with her innovative use of technology.

"Mrs. Rahn uses technology everyday in her classroom," said Hines Prinicpal Jamie Brown. "Every lesson she teaches she incorporates a smart-board, the ELMO, anything she can bring in for the students she does it on a daily basis."

Rahn wants to buy her class a subscription to an online educational tool called Discovery Learning. But its expensive and, until now, not something the school could afford.

However, as the recipient of a $1,000 One Class At A Time grant from HOI 19 News and CEFCU Rahn and Hines School will be able to purchase the subscription.

"The boys and girls are learning right now about rocks. I can go to that website and it will show videos on the rock cycle. Its just a supplement and it makes learning fun," said Rahn.

The subscription to Discovery Learning will be shared by all of the students at Hines School. Mrs. Rahn's kids says the technology she uses makes her class different than others.

"She gives us a turn to show everybody what we know instead of her just teaching us and giving us a test on it," said 4th grader Deven Pearson, who has been lucky enough to have Rahn as his teacher at three different grade levels.

And when students are engaged and learning they're focused on the right thing.

"She doesn't have to worry about discipline problems or behavior problems in her classroom," said Brown. "The students are so engaged in what they're doing that they're learning and they don't even realize they're learning."