You might call Hayley Cranford an education innovator
Instead of burying her students in text books, she brainstorms projects to get her class' creative juices flowing. "I feel like its my job really to get the kids interested and just to have fun at school."
On this day, she uses a story about a sickly girl with stripes to encourage her students to ask colorful questions. "Riley?" she asks. "I wonder what the strips felt like?" replies Riley. "What they felt like, that's a good question," she replies.
Cranford turns these curious queries into creative writing assignments. "Its really about just making them curious about things and making them thinking when they're reading and thinking about things in the classroom and outside of the classroom, it just, problem solving type things."
The result? A love of reading and writing. Student Kendall Berry says "I feel like she makes me think of stuff that I really wouldn't have thought of doing. And actually at home sometimes I take books that I've read and do the same thing that she does with us in here." While student Grace Williams says "I want to be an author when I grow up or artist so it kind of inspires me to keep on reading."
But Cranford doesn't stop there. She finds ways to reshape other subjects, like math. "And you can see over there we did marshmallows and toothpicks. We put them together as a square," says student Braxton Edwards.
Cranford gladly share her ideas with her peers, which they say makes her a quiet leader. "I don't see how you do it on your own, you just learn so much from each other. It's just a job that you really need to share everything you can." And that's a lesson passed down from those who taught her.
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