When your teacher expects a lot, hopefully she makes the lesson fun.
At Grace Baptist Academy one special teacher makes sure everyone likes school and learns more than they realize.
Karen Smith is this week's Golden Apple winner...
Karen Smith asks, "What is the day that we celebrate Christmas? What is the date?"
And one adventurous 1st grader answers, "Umm... December the 25th?"
It's a lesson plan fit for the last week before Christmas break... But this one has a little something extra.
The group of children sitting on Ms. Smith's reading rug sing, "Noche de paz, noche de amor..."
It's about Christmas in Mexico.
In Smith's 1st grade class this is one more way of keeping her kids learning and focused, "I'm all about fun and they get so excited when we sing a song that goes with something or when we learn a dance that goes with something."
Ms. Smith's students love it...
1st Grader Claire Moore reads from her Golden Apple nomination letter, "I think she is very nice and smart. She is my favorite teacher."
Claire says the interactive lessons are great.
Thanks to Ms. Smith's intense but fun teaching style Claire's already reading on a 4th grade level.
Right now the class is writing stories about Christmas in Mexico and Claire says she likes learning how kids celebrate in another country, "Instead of stockings they use shoes... And they have pinatas, they have fireworks."
Ms. Smith says that innocence and eager to please, eager to learn attitude is part of what makes 1st graders her favorite, "They still think the teacher's wonderful and knows everything and that kind of stuff."
She tries to make it interesting enough no one gets bored and takes it step by step so no one is left behind.
Smith says sometimes the best way to do that it to make sure they have a little fun, "I want children to love learning. I want them to love to come to school and if they view it as fun and don't realize they're learning as much as they are, it makes it more exciting for them."