Here’s more about this week’s featured classroom:
Name: Mrs. Trisha Larsen
School: West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics
What makes your classroom special? The love of learning is in the air… my students’ enthusiasm in learning is so exciting. They learn from the curriculum I teach, the things I model, and most importantly from their peers. And I learn from them as well. We are a community of learners, a kindergarten family that is respectful and work together nicely five days a week.
In addition to the curriculum, what are some things you teach your students? I try to instill that school is a welcoming, safe, and a fun learning place for all. My goal is to build independent, kind, hardworking individuals. Recently I saw on Facebook, “I want to be that teacher that when my children look back on their education they feel love in their hearts, have a smile on their face and can truly say they knew that I cared!!” I wish all students would feel that way about their teachers and educational experience, especial mine.
What special project is your classroom working on now? As Thanksgiving is approaching my students are learning the five food groups during science time. As a closure to the unit, we had a food group feast Tuesday that incorporated all of the food groups and of course the use of their table manners. Volunteers (parents, teachers, grandparents) set the tables while they were out for recess. As my students came in for their lunch, their classroom was transformed into a feast of food, conversation, family, and fun. All the volunteers served the children one food group at a time, encouraging them all to take kindergarten bites and try new healthy foods. In social studies, we discussed what we are thankful for and difference between needs and wants. Then we finished our needs and wants chart that my students created and our pattern writing books “I Am Thankful For,” closing out our science and social studies units.
How is your classroom involved with the community? My classroom has a lot of volunteers from the community throughout the year. But I would like to share that our field trips to the Spring Lake Public Library a couple times a year is one of the ways we are involved in our community. My students get to see the good practices of reading out in the real world. Our new reading curriculum started with “We Read The World” and “We Are All Readers.” They love their first experience to riding a bus (since we don’t have bussing) and the tour of the library, story and craft time that the library prepares for us.
How do you hope what your students are learning now will affect their future? In kindergarten, I hope I am setting the foundation of what a student is, not just a student, but what kind of a person they will become (independent, responsible, proud, kind and thoughtful).