Stephanie Davis' first grade classroom truly stands out. "The more that I saw it I was like, it is such a happy color. I'm really organized, so I thought, you know what, I'll just make my entire room purple."
Chairs, carpet, bean bags, message boards and even the classroom fridge all sport the royal color. Student Xander Key says "our teacher bought this whole stuff. Do you know how much dollars it costs? Probably a lot. $5,000."
But that's not what makes Davis an exceptional teacher. Davis uses the whole brain method of teaching. She finding ways to actively engage her students in what they're learning. "We'll use gestures and songs and things like that so that it gets the whole brain working and the children are able to remember things easier."
Davis describes her class as all about fun and games. During a lesson on adjectives, students ate "Pop Rocks" and wrote down descriptive words for the candy's chemical reaction.
They also play "Angry Birds" math to learn how to count. Each block features a number, which students must add up to determine a winner.
Davis' class also plays beat the clock when passing out papers. "In years past I'd pass papers out and it would take forever but know we get it done in like 35 seconds and we're finished and can move onto the next thing since there's so many things that they have to learn."
The songs and sayings also cut down on behavioral issues, as students work to be perfectly purple. 1st Grader Kenzie Watkins says "if the whole class is being good we get a smiley point. But if somebody messes the whole class up, we get a frowny point. And when you get a smiley point, what do you say? Oh yeah!"
Those points translate into prizes. "Oh yeah," says Davis' class.
We still have three teachers to spotlight this Golden Apple School Year. But the nomination process is now closed. Stay tuned to see if your teacher makes the list of finalists for our Golden Apple Teacher of the Year.