Here’s more about this week’s featured classroom:
Teacher: Aaron Klanderman
School: Peach Plains Elementary School
What makes your classroom special? Our classroom is special because we have so many different personalities united toward one goal in this room. So cool to see kids compromise and listen to each other. I truly feel like this is a group that likes working together. That's pretty special!
In addition to the curriculum, what are some things you teach your students? In terms of extra things I like to teach in the room are leadership skills. Fourth-graders are the big kids in the building and have a lot of extra responsibilities. They are Safety Patrollers, and they work with several other younger grade levels. Each Tuesday afternoon we go and read to our young friends in the Great Start Readiness Program. We're also going to head to Pottawatomie Park on Fridays to play Capture the Flag with each other.
What special project is your classroom working on now? Several...We just had two groups selected by the Michigan Design Council to work with production companies to create prototypes of products we designed to help people enjoy Michigan Parks more. We also are creating iMovies right now as we study the West Region of the United States. We're going to develop our own Travel Agencies and create a 10-day trip to one of the 11 states we're studying. We'll them present them to our classmates.
How is your classroom involved with the community? Our involvement in the community has happened in a couple of different ways. We have one key friend, Mr. John Riefel, a retired GVSU professor, who spends time with us during our math lesson each Monday morning. Great to have friends come in and lend extra hands. We've also had more parents in our room this year than ever before. We're trying to have our doors as open as possible. We welcome any community member who'd like to see what we're learning.
How do you hope what your students are learning now will affect their future? The biggest way we hope to affect the future is by constantly talking about the impact we currently have...and that we need to have as we grow. We send our students off each day with a chant. I shout, “Go and be a world changer!"...the class shouts back, "Go and change the world!" We also study three individuals per month who had an impact on the world. We learn about who they are and that unique impact. We just had Florence Nightingale, Anne Frank and Mother Theresa.”