{p dir=”ltr”}{span id=”docs-internal-guid-05e77063-7fff-f642-1c3c-d1e23ebd0139”}Bullard Intermediate School students Thursday put on their thinking hats and engaged in learning activities inside a dark neon bus.

Last spring, Bullard ISD Superintendent Dr. Jack Lee envisioned a program that provided students and the community with engaging educational activities throughout summer and the school year. This vision included transforming a school bus into a mobile learning unit for students and teachers.

The Bullard ISD Mobile Learning Lab is a traveling interactive classroom that reinforces learning in a special fun way for students to continue succeeding.

For October, the lab has transformed into a neon glow-in-the-dark learning space for Bullard ISD teachers to use.

On Thursday, fifth grade English Language Arts teacher Lori McCurley used the bus as a mobile classroom and provided different neon-themed activities for the students to enjoy.

“We used today for spiral review for compound words, text features, reading comprehension and vocabulary,” McCurley said. “It’s a great way of engagement. It’s what we would do in the classroom but it’s put in a different arena.”

Students completed vocabulary tests using invisible ink pens inside the mobile unit where McCourley will have to grade with a blacklight pen.

McCurley said the students of her classroom had to meet a certain criteria to participate in the mobile learning bus. Their ticket for the mobile classroom was completing a reading log section and homework.

“It’s their little reward but I’m still getting what I need out of it,” she said.

Amy Bickerstaff, Bullard ISD elementary curriculum director, is one of the people in charge of transforming the bus and she enjoys creating fun atmospheres for teachers to use.

She said this is a combination of two visions: a mobile unit for students and transformations using teacher kits that create different environments for classrooms.

The mobile unit was previously transformed into a jungle and is set to turn into a winter wonderland for the holiday season.

Bickerstaff said there’s a variety of 50 different transformation kits that teachers can check out for their classrooms but can also be used for the bus. She said it has always been a dream of hers to have these kits especially with the lack of funds and time teachers get.

“It’s basically a kit where teachers can check out from us that they don’t have to pay for,” she said. “We had all these kits and then we got the bright idea of ‘Why don’t we also use the bus to transform it?”

The mobile unit is used by principals throughout the campuses of Bullard ISD. They must reserve the bus for certain times for their campus and teachers sign up through the principals to use the learning bus.

 
 

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Photographer and Video Editor but I also cover community outreach, events and features. Stephen F. Austin State University Alumna. Houstonian reporting in East Texas since January of 2021. Story ideas? email me at aconejo@tylerpaper.com