Amy McConkey's class features a lot of positive reinforcement. Miss Amy, as her students call her, rewards students who answer questions with treats. "I want them to learn from their mistakes and feel comfortable that if I get the wrong answer, its ok, I'm going to get it the next day or next time. I don't want them to be afraid to volunteer."
And while students can earn a small goodie for individual accomplishment, Miss Amy preaches teamwork, letting the class earn things, like pizza parties, as a group. "They do table points, where they work as a team to get table points and the team with the most points gets prize at the end so they're constantly working together. It's not one person trying to outdo another."
Students also enjoy Miss Amy's creating center. After reading a story, like this one about quilts, students make something based on the writing. This week, they're designing quilt patches. Student Dennis Goodine says "I did three things on the quilt story and two on things that have been passed down to me." Student Isaiah Starkes says "I put like a book, because it got passed down to me. So, and I put like a little house on it. And I put in a quilt."
Miss Amy hopes over the course of the school year, her students learn if they want something, it wont be given to them. They need to do the work to earn it. "I say be the best you can be a lot in here, I don't care if its cleaning out your desk... do it the best you can.
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