Degrees and Certifications:
Welcome to Room 309!
I am excited to meet our new students and welcome returning students to Third Grade!
At Meridian Park, our highly capable magnet program is designed to challenge and stretch your child academically and socially. Students work cooperatively throughout much of the day, even in Zoom. Students discuss and evaluate different strategies to solve problems together. These conversations are an important part of our program and enrich not only our math and literacy curriculum but are part of our classroom culture. We are not just working one year above in math and literacy. Our program provides an opportunity for students to work at a faster pace, master concepts quickly and then dive deeper into subjects. We have the luxury of spending an afternoon discussing the deeper aspects of concepts, like whether or not a caterpillar is an insect. (Is it? I thought insects had 6 legs and an exoskeleton.) We routinely connect art and social studies to our math and literacy curriculum. We might spend a few days creating a new animal, researching and building appropriate habitats for our animal and writing origin stories. These experiences are unique to our program. These experiences are possible in a vitural classroom as well.
Is this educational experience the same as what will be provided at my child's homeschool if they opt out of the highly capable magnet program? No. There is no way to replicate the culture of a classroom that is designed to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of highly capable students. Walking to math, or working a grade level above in a general education classroom for an hour will not be the same learning experience. The peer to peer conversations, the pace and rigor will be different.
Students in our program are encouraged to grow socially and emotionally. We work on social AND academic skills and learn to navigate the tricky world of people together. It is OK to make mistakes. We provide our students with a safe learning environment to explore, grow and take risks. We fail sometimes and that's just fine. We praise hard work and effort to cultivate a positive growth mindset. Mistakes are proof that you are trying!
In the highly capable program most teachers go beyond the curriculum to provide additional learning experiences for students in most subject areas throughout the day. We adapt to our students' passions and interests and create learning opportunities that challenge and inspire. We have so much fun together.
Although we are beginning the year virtually, I will be doing my best to provide a rigorous academic experience for your child. We will start the year getting to know each other, establishing routines and norms and learning how to navigate and succeed in our virtual classroom. Students who opt out of our district for other programs like WAVA will be missing out on opportunities to work with their peers, learn our curriculum and bond with their classmates. We will be establishing a community this fall and working hard to get to know each other. We will be ready to come back to the classroom as soon as our county is given the green light. If your child is not already enrolled with us, your child will have some catching up to do.
If you have additional questions about our program, our expectations or changes to the highly capable program including what to expect if you stay at your homeschool, or change your mind and want to join the fun here at MP, please feel free to email me. I have taught both highly capable and general education classes and can discuss the differences with you and the best fit for your child.
A little about me:
This my 18th year of teaching and my 15th year teaching highly capable students. I grew up in Richland, WA, graduated from University of Washington (Go Dawgs!) and SPU. I am married and have two children at Shorewood. My son is a senior and is in the drumline. My daughter is a freshman and is a dancer. I can be found running and sometimes walking my very rotund bulldog in Richmond Beach. When there is something to cheer for again I will be in the stands and in the audience cheering on my children, SW T-Birds and the Huskies!
As a parent, I understand the anxiety we are all feeling right now. We want what is best for our children and worry they will fall behind. Know that the fall virtual learning experience will be different than the spring. I am confident that with your support I can provide a challenging, positive learning experience for your student.
I am hopeful we will be back together in room 309 at some point this year with my students, our families and teacher friends. If you are a student who is joining us, I can't wait to meet you! If you are a returnig student- welcome back! See you all soon!