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: Mary VandenBosch
School: Holmes Elementary School
What makes your classroom special? Our classroom is special because it is made up of 27 hard working, curious, kind and fun students. We are always ready for a challenge!
In addition to the curriculum, what are some things you teach your students? I try to teach my students to have a growth mindset. We try to have grit, and we are learning from our mistakes. We talk about the power of the word, yet. We don't say, "I don't know." We say, "I don't know...YET."
We also talk about choosing to be kinder than necessary. I talk to my students about how kindness and being nice to others is so important. We discuss what kindness looks like every day. There are reminders on the walls in the classroom and in the halls. We celebrate kind actions shown to others.
What special project is your classroom working on now? Right now we are learning how to build an interpretation in the books we read, being alert to places in our books that seem important and connecting those ideas we have had. We just finished studying the moon and enjoyed a field trip to the planetarium at White Pines Intermediate school in Grand Haven. In math time we are learning how to multiply large digit numbers. We are also bloggers. Each student has a part of our classroom blog site and writes about the learning he or she did that week. Our special word for the month at school is courage. We are looking for ways our class shows courage throughout the day in different forms.
How is your classroom involved with the community? Later this year we will be learning some economic concepts and making our own products to sell to the other students in the school. Our profits will go to a local charity. Last year's 4th graders gave the money to the Save the Catwalk fund. Other years we have given to Harbor Humane Society and Make A Wish of Michigan.
How do you hope what your students are learning now will affect their future? I hope that I am creating life-long lovers of learning who see the benefit of being a kind community member. I also hope they see the rewards of achieving their goals. In elementary we lay the groundwork with essential personal attitudes and academic skills that they will carry with them throughout their life.