Sept. 6, 2011
-- We all know that teachers are underpaid, but how often do you find an underpaid English teacher using new mediums to keep students engaged. For this very reason the Christensen Law Firm is pleased to announce that Mr. Ryan Miller, a 10th grade English teacher at Park City High School in Park City, Utah, is the newest recipient of the Golden Apple Award through the Christensen Law Firm School Supplies Gift Program.
Mr. Miller is revolutionizing the way high school students learn English in an attempt to help them understand how the principles they are learning in class can cross over into the real world. Park city is a culture rich with film heritage. Mr. Miller is using this to his advantage in his class room by having his students work on create a documentary about their classroom neighbor. The students write the scripts and the screen plays, which are submitted in drafts for grading and revision. They then film and edit the 2 min. documentary in class. Upon completion the student’s films are shown in class. This documentary activity not only teaches teenagers how English can be applied to mediums they are familiar with, like documentary film, but it also helps them get to know one another as they view the films as a class, subsequently creating a strong learning community. Mr. Miller would love to be able to purchase some additional equipment and editing software to more easily facilitate this learning activity.
Another way that Mr. Miller is applying English to the real world is by having his students create professional writing portfolios that they can use to help with college admissions and/or job interviews in the future. “This is a great way for students to showcase their work and to begin to understand how important the principles they are learning in school will be in their lives,” says Miller. It makes them aware and accountable to a world outside the classroom and the teacher. Unfortunately, a lot of the kids complain that other students are getting into their assignments and reading their projects and Mr. Miller does not have the materials to keep graded materials confidential. He would love to use some of the funds from the Golden Apple Award to remedy this problem and to purchase additional supplies for these writing portfolios.
In Mr. Miller’s class there are several students who are learning English as a second language (ESL). Because they are still trying to master the language, it is extremely difficult for them to write essays about the literary works they are reading in class. So Mr. Miller has them create captioned storyboards instead to gauge what they understood, where there is confusion, and keep them from being so intimidated about writing an essay that they shut off. Story boards are a great way for ESL students to creatively engage and absorb what they are learning without getting bogged down and frustrated by their inability to express themselves entirely in written English. Mr. Miller recognizes that not all of these students have the needed resources to create a storyboard, things like crayons, colored pencils, markers, etc. and would like to be able to provide these supplies to those who need them.
The Christensen Law Firm recently started the Christensen Law Firm School Supplies Gift Program to help public school teachers get extra classroom supplies without having to spend their own money. Each week the program gives the Golden Apple Award, which is a $100 gift card each week to a deserving Utah Public school teacher and his/her class. Anyone can nominate a teacher for this program: teachers, students, parents and administrators. To learn more about the program and get information on the winners visit: http://www.utahpersonalinjurylawfirm.com/christensen-law-...
About the Christensen Law Firm
Ken Christensen and Russ Hymas, owners of the Christensen Law Firm, are Utah natives. They have individually authored several books covering topics from car accidents to wrongful death law and bicycle accidents. They have been recognized by local media (including KSL, ABC, Fox and KUTV) as legal experts and are frequently asked to offer opinions on news stories and events. They are also sponsors of the Hit-and-Run Rewards Program, which rewards honorable citizens for providing information leading to the arrest and felony conviction of Hit-and-Run Drivers. For more information contact: schoolsuppliesgiftprogram@