Saturday, February 2, 2013

*STAR* Teacher--- Heidi Mellema

Norman Elementary's *STAR* Teacher for this week is...

Heidi Mellema

*How many years have you been teaching?
 This is my 7th year teaching, all 7 have been in Kindergarten J

*What is your best memory?
My best memory is having my grown “Kindergartners” come back and read to my current class.  I love seeing their progress; it puts a smile on my face.

*What is your funniest memory?
The funniest memory was when one of my students decided to use a pretend kitchen pot to go “potty” in instead of the bathroom.  He just placed it on the floor in the kitchen area and took care of business.  I honestly could share many more, if you ever need a good laugh come and ask.

*Do you have a reading strategy that you'd like to share?
   The single most important activity for building knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.  Reading aloud with kindergartners is encouraged for at least fifteen minutes everyday.  Reading to children promotes oral language and concept development, adds to the child's mind of information about the world, and helps children develop a sense of story.  Storybook reading develops children's concept of print. 

*Do you have a math strategy that you'd like to share?
With our math series being new to us this year, I still find myself loving and using manipulatives for most every skill I teach.  That is the one strategy that works in Kindergarten.

*Do you have some advice that you'd like to share with new teachers just coming into the field?
Advice I have for teachers just entering the field would be to look to your colleagues for questions and support.  My mentor was a huge help to me when I first began.  Don’t be afraid to seek help and ask teachers in different grades.  Take advantage of observing others, conferences, & PD to better your knowledge.

Pictures from Heidi's Classroom...

Tacky Penguin Art Project

Student at Literacy Stations

Student helping during Calendar Time

Student working at Literacy Stations

Students at Listening Station

Heidi working with student during RTI Push-In

Heidi's students during Whole Group time.

I had the opportunity to share some good times with Heidi when I was teaching kindergarten as well as sharing a few classes at Ferris State University. Thanks for the interview and great pictures Heidi and Congratulations on your new baby that will arrive in the Spring.


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