Golden Apple Award: Linda Cagle

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Updated: 8/13/2012 4:45 pm
In Linda Cagle's 4th grade class, every student is responsible for the way they are learning.

It's a free form classroom where students decide how they achieve learning goals.

"I feel it's huge to give them a say in the type of work they'll be doing, because they know what they need."

Cagle's been teaching most of her life and says empowering her students helps them grow.

Her students agree.

4th grader Briley Blair says each student helps set their own lesson plans.

She says the responsibility means everyone tries harder because they don't want to disappoint.

"I'm not very good at math. Like, that's my weakness and she takes your weaknesses and she strengthens them up so you have no weaknesses and I've gotten a lot better at math since I've been in Ms. Cagle's class."

That sense of ownership is what Ms. Cagle had in mind. She says students set higher goals for themselves than she would have dreamed and watching them achieve is its own reward.

"There's nothing like the pride you see in their face when they finally do complete that. They're so proud of themselves. They will never forget what they learned doing it."
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