Leigh Davis doesn't want to just teach her students. She aims to create meaningful lessons they'll remember for years to come. "Its more so than just hearing about it, that's good. It's more so than just doing it, you'll kind of remember. But if its meaningful it will have more of an impact on your life and that's what I'm hoping to do with my students."
Davis tailors her classroom to multiple learning styles. During her lessons, she uses a smart board, marker and paper, and asks students questions.
After working with the whole class, students break into groups and work on different assignments reflecting the subject being learned. During this lesson on fractions, some get blocks, some get word problems, and some get a real world task, like following a recipe. Student Kelcey Adams says she's working on "Valentine's Day Breakfast Surprise." What does that have to do with math? "Its about measuring cups and fractions."
Davis says "the more things that I can apply in my lesson that are different and catch a young persons attention, or my students attention, I feel like the better job I'm going to have and the response to my lesson."
After her class heads home, Davis reflects on the school day to review what worked. "I have to live with the decisions I make at the end of the day and when I plan lessons and teach students, I need to know that I did the best job that I can to reach that child."
That commitment pays off. Just ask her students what's special about their teacher. Instead of comment like she's nice or she's fun, Ryan Kilcoyne says "sshe knows how to give instructions really good."
High praise from a 4th grader.
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