Sonora High Invests in Long-term Learning

Angie Kissire

Angie Kissire
English and Anatomy & Physiology Teacher

Sonora High School
Sonora, TX

Angie Kissire faced a common vocabulary struggle at Sonora High. She made her own tools and study guides, incorporating multiple strategies to help students maintain knowledge of word meaning. Regardless of the tools she employed, retention varied, particularly as students encountered different methods and priorities from year to year. Since she also teaches anatomy, Angie knows there are better ways for young minds to learn. That's why Membean's brain-based approach really drew her in.

“Before Membean, I made my own vocabulary tools and study guides, but Sonora needed something better. We wanted effective, differentiated vocabulary instruction to meet each student's needs.”

As teachers in a small, rural high school with financial constraints, Sonora's faculty is careful to invest in impactful programs with long-term potential. So it took time to convince administrators that Membean was the way to go. But once acquired and in use, keeping Membean has been easy to justify. Administrators witness its impact in those name-dropping moments when learners identify a “Membean word.” And by implementing a program to carry from one year to the next, Sonora gained a tool to ease the transition for new English teachers. Better still, they helped their students maintain knowledge applying to various disciplines.

Teachers meeting together

“Words are important. Students don't always like that they're accountable with this program. But digging into the data with kids, you see that lightbulb moment—‘Wow, I can do this!’ Giving them power over the educational process is a miracle.”

Angie says teachers know Membean works because kids carry it beyond English classes. They audibly label their learning when they hear one of their words. As one student recently noted, “I keep the closed-captioning on for the TV series I'm bingeing because one of the characters uses a lot of Membean words! When I don't know them, I pause and look them up.” Even students currently in college have contacted Angie to ask about acquiring a subscription. “A former student who is now in vet school said, ‘All this terminology is killing me. Can I still access my old account?’ She needed something beyond lecture notes to train her brain. So her graduation present was a subscription to Membean!” And while Angie's focus is clearly on student learning, she also reiterated its impact on teachers as well.

Anne Hartman

“Membean takes a huge burden from me, allowing me to be more creative where it matters. To differentiate, I just tweak a few settings. Membean does the work. This program focuses on one goal and meets it really well.”

As an advocate for students and teachers, Angie works to guarantee access to Membean year after year. She believes in this program because it affects not only what students know, but also how they learn.

Differentiated vocabulary for your students is just a click away.