Norman Elementary's Newest *STAR* Teacher is...
How many years have you been teaching?
What is your best memory?
When a high school senior I had as a kindergartener was named with top honors, she wrote that I was her most influential teacher because “Mrs. Rice taught me to love learning”. I kept that quote in my desk to remind me how important my job is.
What is the funniest memory?
A little boy that had a difficulty saying “l’s” raised his hand one day. He looked me in the eye and said “Mrs. Rice, we are yucky to have you!”
Can you share a reading strategy/best practice?
I believe in immersion. Everything we do in the classroom is related to letter names and sounds learning. Each moment is a teachable moment.
Can you share a math strategy/best practice?
When we learn a new skill or practice an old one, I have 3-4 students stand up and demonstrate. An example: everyday we count using one-to-one correspondence with our fingers up to ten. We cheer for everyone, even those who might struggle. This helps me progress monitor students as well as develop speaking skills.
What advice do you have for teachers just coming into the field?
Choose teaching because you love it. Teaching takes many hours outside the classroom. Teaching is not just a job – it is a vocation.
Anything else you would like to add?
Students rise to the bar you set for them; aim high and give support.
Pictures from Sue's classroom:
Penguin game is a Center. They spin the spinner and add the pieces to make the penguin. Increases visual perception and fine motor skills. I do a different one each month.
Snowman Art is using fine motor skills to stay in the lines.
Warming tray writing or coloring. The children place a paper on the warming tray and trace the picture or letter. At Christmas they traced trees and colored them in.
Matching number sets is in a Center each month for extra practice.
Letter Rings are nothing more than a fancy flash card. Students go into the hall with an adult volunteer or with me. If they can give the letter name, sound and Zoo Phonics character they get a sticker on the back of the card. We add a letter a week as we learn them. This is a good progress monitoring tool for me.
Game-two girls are spinning the wheel to make a penguin-good for cutting skills and visual discrimination.
Picture Dictionaries--students cut words and pictures to build a picture dictionary that we will use in our journal writing.
Letter Boards are student created for each letter. Later in the year we write from these letter boards.
Finding Letters--students use highlighter tape to find letters in the Chicken Soup with Rice Book.
Singing Zoo Phonics Song
Snowman Cans are made with Pringle cans and drywall compound. Great for fine motor skills.
Math Center game
Singing with puppets--all the puppets we make we keep in a box. Students use the puppets to sing the songs or say the poems we have learned. This one is about a Christmas tree.
Journal Writing shows how the students write step by step with me. We write using a sentence starter. I always have students go back and trace their pencil lines as an added small motor skill.
Thanks Sue for all the wonderful pictures, activity ideas and teaching insights.