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A new approach to language arts

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By Macayla Jones and Samantha Gaines

Walking into English 9 is a whole different approach with teacher Kevin Sandorf, who puts the art in language arts.

Sandorf’s goal is for someone to enter his class and simply say “wow”, and when students walk into his room, that’s just what they say.

Sandorf has a unique classroom setting that gets the students excited, involved and engaged.

“He really relates to us and breaks things down to the students’ understanding unlike any of my other classes,” Deanthony Patterson said.

Sandorf has three flat screens in the front of his class that act as the traditional whiteboard most classrooms have. He has given his student a chance to earn more than just Tech Tenders. Students are given tickets when they participate and answer questions from their lesson that day. Students also have an opportunity to earn a dollar or two.

“Going to auctions at schools such as Hamilton Southeastern schools, Wayne Township, and even IPS school auctions have offered great deals, but sometimes it’s simply Visa,” Sandorf said.

Scholastic New York, Spring Board/College Board in Chicago, and Indy Metro Church are organizations that help in Sanford’s classroom.

“There is a great line quoted by James Farmer Jr. in the movie, ‘The Great Debaters’: ‘We do what we have to do in order to do what we want to do.’ People have frequently said, ‘you can’t do that’ or ‘they won’t let you’,” Sandorf said. “But after asking ‘who are they?’ there has been little or no response.”

Because the Tech administration has supported a classroom extreme makeover, the response from students has been great, according to Sandorf. The biggest project yet may be on the horizon expanding this look to the entire Titan Academy, he added.

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A new approach to language arts