I have been teaching elementary school for 8 years, and taught 3-5 year-olds for 10 years before that. I have been researching and writing for 3 years to teach standards-based content in a way that I feel is very successful. I started writing the materials myself, due to a lack of materials in social studies with the right readability level. I have always loved to write, and now I've found a very useful outlet for myself as a teacher/writer, and hopefully other teachers and learners (aren't we all?) will enjoy my materials!
Cross-curricular, balance of student-driven and teacher-guided, with hands-on and enrichment opportunities. I incorporate the content areas into our math word problems, our writing, and now our leveled reading, so I'm able to do quick-checks on standards-based skills at least 3-5 times more than when teaching core subjects in read-alouds instead of leveled readers. Using my books projected, I can not only do my 5-a-day to practice ELA skills and test-taking skills, but I can use standards-based content rather than random complex text! I missed the 2nd day of the Stanford 10 testing this year due to a sick daughter, and when I came back the next day and asked my students how things went, they said, "Ms. Sundermann, there wasn't anything on there that you haven't taught us, like a hundred times!" More importantly for me, is that the students are truly understanding the people, places, and times that we study, and they're going home and having enlightened conversations with their families about it! Enough said!
Yavapai County Education's Teacher of the Year nominee 2011-2012.
B.S. in Community Nutrition from Ohio University, Athens, OH M.A. in Human Development, spec. Early Childhood Education, from Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena, CA Teaching Certificate from Rio Salado College, Tempe, AZ In the process of earning Master Teacher Certification
I started writing these books, partly because I love to write, and partly because I needed the materials for my own classroom. I found the current standards-based information either too shallow or too high in readability for young children. I guess I am also writing because honestly, I despised social studies when I was in school! When I saw how fun it would be to teach it, I can't help but let the kids take ownership of the information and read it themselves! I also love to write books for my own children, who are now 4 and 15! They inspire me to be the best that I can be, and I hope to inspire them to develop a lifelong love for learning.