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     I believe in hands-on learning and finding the way that my students learn best.  This has meant that my teaching has changed significantly every year as I have had vast differences in needs.  My students know that I believe that fair and equal are NOT the same, and we spend a great deal of time discussing this and revisiting it throughout the year.  I will work my hardest to ensure that every student gets what he or she needs.  I believe in always asking questions and encouraging students to try their best.  I don't expect perfection, but I do expect them to give their best effort. When a child presents me with something that will work better for him or her as an individual, I will work to integrate that into my routine. If I am presented with a challenge that hasn't yet been solved for a child, I will work to find a solution that will help the child find greater success in school.
    I believe we are on a journey together, learning from each other every single day, and I consider myself to be a life-long learner.
    In my own classroom, I place the most emphasis on English Language Arts (ELA- reading, writing, spelling) and Math.  I believe that these are the foundation to all learning.  Many of my students are able to express themselves best with hands-on activities and particularly enjoy Science and Social Studies, so I try to incorporate those as much as is possible. I have been working with a half-year focus on Social Studies and a half-year focus on Science for the past few years and that seems to work well for me.
    I use the Leveled Literacy Instruction program to help students progress through reading levels as described and designed by Fountas and Pinnell. This is a research-based system that focuses on the guided reading model and encourages students to progress quickly through focus on very specific skills.  I also use Words Their Way, which is  spelling program based on learning patterns to spelling words. In Math this year, I am exploring the use of Modules combined with Focus Math, TouchMath, and the Math Intervention piece of our Pearson series to help differentiate instruction for my students.
    Homework is something that I believe helps teach responsibility. Therefore, I will send home math and spelling homework each night. Please understand that the homework I am sending is meant to primarily be completed by your child. If he or she is struggling, you are welcome to step in and give some assistance. If the homework seems too easy, please also understand that I am trying to solidify skills and want the students to be successful, not frustrated, when working on their homework.