"The students love it and they are more willing to participate," seventh-grade English teacher Jennifer Harbour said. "The puzzles play to all ability levels."
With the use of LCD projectors and the Internet, students are challenged to think "outside the box" and use logic to solve the crossword puzzles found on the USA Today website, which the students find to be exciting and fun. The games played in the classroom include word round up, up and down words, quick cross and don't quote me.
"I use it for a bell-ringer activity, the students study the clues and write down their answers while I take role," sixth-grade English teacher Paul Harbour said. "The students are required to be in their seats and working at the tardy bell or we do not do the puzzles it has worked great."
"Mr. Harbour always makes class fun," David Joslyn, 12, added. "But now the class is even more fun and I am still learning."
He is the son of Edward and Tracy Joslyn, Carbon.
"I'm learning a lot, and I'm not using paper," she said. "Everyone wins."
Mikayla Rowan, 11, daughter of Kenny and Amy Rowan, Brazil hopes to see more technology implemented in the classrooms.
"I have really enjoyed the puzzles," she said. "I'm learning but I'm having more fun, but it would be nice if all the classes could do this too."
With the advancements in technology, students are writing more than they have in the past several years and both teachers have noticed spelling problems.
Paul said students prefer the quick blip images of information instead of paper and pen methods of learning. By having this technology available both teachers are hoping to appeal to the technological side of the students.
The teachers have appealed to the competitiveness of the students, and different class periods compete with each other to see who can get the most correct answers in the shortest amount of time.
With the focus on word recognition and interpretation, the teachers are hoping the puzzles will help with Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) testing and Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress Plus exam (ISTEP+).
"This is a great exercise that exposes the students to technology and a very informative national media source with the USA Today," Principal Jeff Allen said. "We are anticipating an increase in vocabulary and spelling skills as well as a curiosity and appreciation for the written media."
Paul added the equipment has only been in use for about three weeks, but plans are in place to continue using it in at least his classes next year.