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Before STAAR testing several classes at Gentry Elementary took a hands-on approach to their grammar lessons by conducting “surgery” on sentences equipped with some medical gear provided by Dallas Regional Medical Center (DRMC).

Deanna Thomas, Instructional Specialist at Gentry, said the teachers wanted to do something creative to help their students review for the STAAR writing test that would get them engaged.

“A couple of our teachers had gone through some training where engagement has been shown to get the kids learning and more enthusiastic with their learning, and through that training they were able to bring some ideas to their classroom,” she said. “A few of our fourth-grade teachers turned their classrooms into an emergency room setting, and they were trying to do an engagement kit for reviewing STAAR writing. They were taking sentences that were ‘sick’ and fixing the sentences through their engagement kit.”

The students had patients (sentences) an intake nurse, a doctor to prescribe medicine (corrections), and after each rotation the students checked each other’s work to see if those sentences were correctly diagnosed and “healed.”

“We’re proud of our strong partnership with MISD. For years we have provided internships for MISD high school students who are training for careers in the healthcare field,” said DRMC CEO Glenda Matchett. “In order to obtain their degree, the students need to complete certain clinical requirements, and we’re happy to help them on their way to becoming the next generation of healthcare providers.”

She added that as a community hospital they’re always looking for ways to give back and jumped on the opportunity to help Gentry out when they were approached.

Dallas Regional Medical Center donated scrub tops, surgical masks, gloves and hair covers for this learning experience.

“Our children are our future, and anything we can do to make learning more fun and effective is well worth it,” Matchett said. “We’d also like to congratulate the educators at Gentry Elementary for thinking up this project. Hearing about how many students participated, and how much fun they had, makes all of us at Dallas Regional very happy.”