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Meet Mrs. Martinus' Young Fives class

Krystle Wagner • Oct 6, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Each Friday on the pages of the Tribune and online, the Tribune will highlight a Classroom of the Week.

This feature sheds light on the work students and teachers are doing, and it lets the community know what makes each class special.

Here’s more about this week’s featured classroom:

Teacher: Mrs. Martinus

Grade: Young Fives

School: Lake Hills Elementary School

What makes your classroom special? Lake Hills' Young Fives class is special because we focus on building relationships and harboring a love for learning in a friendly, fun, and energetic environment. We use movement and hands on learning. We believe that young children learn best by singing, dancing, and creating.

In addition to the curriculum, what are some things you teach your students? I teach my students social and emotional skills. We use yoga to practice calming down, building "growth mindset," a mindset of resilience, flexibility, and positivity. I teach my students to not say "I can't.” Instead they can say, "I can't yet, but I will try my best." These are life skills that they are building in their formative years that will use when life gets tough and things are difficult. Not only does this teach students to always to their best, but it also teaches kids to encourage others and support their classmates. In a nutshell, it teaches theme to be good humans!

What special project is your classroom working on now? The first six weeks of school we focus on learning social emotional skills, how to know our own feelings, and read the feelings of others. We have been working on journal writing about practicing managing emotions both at school and at home. Then students take their writings, upload it to an iPad app called Seesaw, where they can digitally share and record themselves reading their writings. Students also share their work with each other via the app, where they can "like" and comment on each other’s work. We are about three weeks into our journaling and will begin uploading the writings within the next few weeks. Their work is also shared instantly with their parents via the app!

How is your classroom involved with the community? We have a unit of study dedicated to community workers. Students use dramatic play, stories, and writing to explore jobs and volunteers in our communities. In terms of interacting with the community, we work on building social skills and role-play how to behave and treat others.

How do you hope what your students are learning now will affect their future? I hope my students are learning to be life long learners, to constantly grow and ask questions, and to never give up.

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