Hello, thanks for looking at my products and checking into who I am. I've been a teacher for about 24 years now. It's been a great time. I started as a k-12 PE and Spanish teacher in West Yellowstone, Mt. and now work as a 4/5th bilingual teacher. Talk about going from general to specific. In my years as a teacher, I've had great mentors, coaches, and program models to learn from. I've learned that, regardless of age, when students are engaged, they learn. When they are emotionally involved, they are highly motivated. Therefore, as the years have gone by, I've made a few of the less exciting parts of learning into games to guarantee students learn and remember. These games also free me up to teach in small groups, and allow holes in spelling to be fixed with little attention from me. There are many things that students need teachers to model, to practice with them, and to monitor when students begin to do it independently. Practicing reading and spelling high frequency words are not things a teacher needs to be involved in after the initial familiarity with the words. I hope these games are as useful for you as they are in my classroom. I use high frequency game boards as a quick reading practice at the end of small group to ensure correct spelling, then students play with little supervision at a station. The kids especially love the spelling games, once they've mastered the reading game boards. I was a bicycle racer and runner in my youth. I now play table tennis fairly seriously, (it sounds like I'm joking, but I'm not). Please feel free to email me if you want more details about my life. Ha, ha.
I have a constructivist approach to teaching. We start with explicit instruction to clear objectives. We ensure students connect new learning to prior knowledge, building background knowledge before teaching as needed, and bring their understanding of a concept to a higher and higher level of thinking as we go: from recall to evaluation. I try to maintain a 20% teacher presentation to 80% student activities balance in my classroom. I follow the I do, we do, you do approach to learning. First modeled, then shared, finally a gradual release of responsibility to the student. I believe all children are individuals and our goal is to use their strengths to fill their areas of need, we need to recognize their specific intelligences, and help them accept making mistakes as part of learning. Although learning a core of information is important, and all students should have strong reading, writing, math, and science skills, a child who exceeds all standardized tests will not necessarily be a successful adult. Life's real tests can not be standardized. It is a combination of many different skills, many of which we do not even assess. That's the exciting, never ending, never boring challenge of teaching.
Oregon State Mile record, 1979 (had to throw that in) Nominated teacher of the Year, Colorado-1992 Chosen as TOSA- (district teaching coach) Adam's 1, Colorado- 1995 NSF grant recipient (co-author)- 1996 ($250,000 grant)- project title "GLACIER" Best All Around Rider- Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado 1992, 93, 94 Colorado State Down Hill Champion- 1996, 1997. Nominated Who's Who of Teachers- 1996 Selected to be trained as ESL/Bilingual consultant for State of Oregon- 2004
BA- Spanish BA- psychology Secondary Certification, Spanish Elementary Certification, ESOL/Bilingual, Early Childhood Education University of Colorado, Boulder Masters of Arts: Education, Curriculum and Assessment
A twitter-worthy version: My life is full of change and challenge, just the way I like it. I enjoy traveling, playing table tennis, riding my bike, walking with the dogs and my husband, and developing activities and materials to use in my classroom. For 25 years I have taught in 3 different states, 6 different schools, and 9 different grade levels, k-12. I was blessed with a mother who is a natural teacher and counselor, (although she worked as a custodian in my school), a father who was an extremely strict and structured WWII marine,and 5 fun and very loving big brothers and sisters. We grew up on a farm in S. Oregon, 8 miles outside of a town of 200 people. I am a constantly trying to improve, as I think we all are.