Welcome to our classroom!

Welcome to the kindergarten and first grade classroom! After fourteen years teaching here at Whiting Elementary School, I have often heard: How do you teach two grades? Perhaps in the beginning the task may have presented new challenges to a young teacher, but as a veteran teacher the day flows naturally. The challenges and diversity of students mirrors those of a larger, single grade classroom. Children enter school with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, strengths and weaknesses. As a teacher I create an environment that fosters differentiated instruction for students. This occurs with intentional questioning, which activates prior knowledge and carefully planned lessons to teach learning strategies which can be applied to social studies, history, science, writing, and reading.

I am currently a STAR teacher member, which is a grant funded  initiative to provide educators with knowledge about best teaching practices in science inquiry.  I have taken courses focusing on Science Notebook writing, questioning techniques and formative assessment.  I have also recently joined the  district math committee, representing the small school, multi-age teachers.

On a personal note, I love to read!  I am a member of the Orwell Library Friends and volunteered at the library during its Summer Library Hour. I also enjoy snow shoeing, gardening, kayaking and cross country skiing.
Inquiring Minds Want to Know
Students begin making connections in their learning and the world around them. They generate questions and develop predictions. Then they check their predictions and reevaluate these based on their learning, or findings. This whole process is meta-cognition, the ability to be aware of our own thinking. The teacher then becomes a facilitator of knowledge through active inquiry. Students are encouraged to instruct meaning and share their thinking with the classroom. The pictures presented in the K-1 presentation below demonstrate scientific inquiry. These same processes are used throughout the curriculum. These are also traits of life long learners