In the ever-evolving world of education, innovative teaching methods and creating the right learning environment are vital for nurturing young minds. Two remarkable educators from Oakland Elementary School, Mrs. Aldrich and Mrs. Williams-Foley, recently received a helping hand through their Donors Choose projects, and the results are nothing short of inspiring.
Mrs. Aldrich’s Thinking Classroom
In her first grade classroom, Mrs. Aldrich has a vision of a “thinking classroom” where young students are actively engaged in their learning process. Her project sought to create this dynamic space by introducing vertical, non-permanent surfaces that encourage students to collaborate, break down social and academic barriers, and foster creative thinking.
The concept is simple but profoundly effective – students stand at whiteboards to work in groups, solving math problems and actively participating in their learning journey. With these whiteboards, Mrs. Aldrich is not just providing a tool; she is creating an environment where students become active participants in their education. As she stated, her goal is to make her students fall in love with learning, and these whiteboards are an essential element in achieving that goal.
Mrs. Williams-Foley’s Flexible Student Seating
Mrs. Williams-Foley, a second grade teacher, recognized the diversity in her students’ learning styles and sought to cater to their individual needs. Her Donors Choose project focused on providing flexible student seating, allowing second graders to choose where they want to learn.
By offering options such as wiggle stools and floor desks, Mrs. Williams-Foley is acknowledging that one size does not fit all when it comes to student comfort and concentration. This approach provides a solution for those students who find it challenging to remain seated at traditional desks. It empowers students to select what works best for them and helps them focus on their lessons more effectively.
The Generous Supporters: Horace Mann and The Sonic Foundation
Both of these inspiring projects received a significant boost from generous sponsors, Horace Mann and The Sonic Foundation. Their support not only transformed the educational experience for these students but also gave the dedicated teachers the tools they needed to make a lasting impact on young minds.
Horace Mann representative Mike Buchenauer surprised both teachers on the first day of school with a check, a gesture that undoubtedly created an unforgettable and emotional start to the academic year. The act of kindness from these organizations has not only enriched the lives of Mrs. Aldrich and Mrs. Williams-Foley, but has also contributed to the betterment of our entire school community.
In honoring these two remarkable teachers and their projects, we acknowledge the pivotal role that community partnerships play in elevating our education system. The dedication and innovation demonstrated by Mrs. Aldrich and Mrs. Williams-Foley, along with the support of organizations like Horace Mann and The Sonic Foundation, remind us that the future of education is bright and full of promise. With committed educators and supportive communities, our students have every opportunity to thrive and succeed.