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How to be an award-winning teacher

E-School News – Alison Alowonle, Anthony Johnson, and Jamie Reese

“My homeroom is 4th- and 5th-graders: 21 gifted students, a mix of boys and girls. It’s nice because the 5th-graders are really the mentors, and next year the 4th-graders get to take on that role. It’s a really great chance for them to grow in leadership. Looping also lets us hit the ground running. I know half my students already at the start of the year. They know the rules and they can help teach the new kids. We get a lot more instructional time that way. It’s a lot of project-based learning in here. For instance, for chemistry we’ll work on teaching them the properties of atoms and bonds and we’ll go through the whole chemistry unit, but then it’s peppered throughout with different labs they can do. At the end of a unit, they do an individual project where they can ask themselves, “What do I want to do with this?” They can do some experimenting at home, or in the classroom. The only criteria I have is to incorporate something from the unit and then go deep with it.”(more)

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