Teacher Spotlight: Hannah Parish at Dove Academy of Detroit

Hannah Parish is a 5th Grade Teacher at Dove Academy of Detroit.

What keeps your students aiming for success in the classroom?
In our classroom, we have short-term and long-term goals, which encompass both group and individual goals. The students can earn points for reaching each goal. Once they reach a certain amount of class points, we have a celebration. It’s very important to our students to celebrate not only individual goals, but classroom goals. It encourages the students to stay focused, self aware, and work as a team.

My students love achieving goals. Once they have achieved one, they are eager to create a new goal!

How do you remind your students of the expectations you have?
We have created visuals of our expectations, a social contract and hand signals that help keep our classroom focused and on task. I love to highlight positive behavior as often as possible. Students enjoy being recognized for doing the right thing! We have classroom discussions about our expectations and goals prior to each activity. The students love reaching academic and social goals together!

In what ways are your students active in their learning?
Students set individual goals each month. Their goals keep the students motivated and focused on their progress. My students love using Tenmarks, Reading Eggs, and Read Theory. These websites allow the students to work on their specific level and grow at the pace set for them. Edify has been a great source for us this year as well. My students love to complete the assignments and watch their progress. Overall, engaging my students in the process of goal setting and tracking their progress has helped them be active and attentive to their learning.

How do you integrate technology into your daily lessons?
My students enjoy completing assignments on Edify. Edify allows students to explore the material independently and at their desired pace. They have created interactive food webs, infographics using the website piktochart.com, and research projects on influential people. The Chromebooks also allow our class to be creative while exploring subjects.

My students take pride in sharing their knowledge and understanding on the Promethean board. During each activity, I always have students come and share what they know!

In what ways do you motivate students?
Our classroom is set up like a mini-society. The students’ jobs are to be active learners and good citizens. Students earn jewels for accomplishing goals, completing homework, doing their daily job, and making great choices.  The students use the jewels like money to buy pencils, erasers, and bid on items in our auctions. Students bid on one item for themselves and the other items for someone else. With this classroom setup, it motivates my students to focus on doing the right thing. It also encourages them to think of others and to be accountable and responsible for their actions.

Students track their academic progress. We share and celebrate our accomplishments weekly. Each Friday we end our week with a Fun Friday activity. This activity is a class building activity. It encourages students to work hard on their goals during the week, so that we can celebrate on Friday afternoons.

What’s your secret ingredient?
My secret ingredient is having a positive attitude. I love witnessing the uplifting spirit that a positive attitude brings into our classroom every day.

How do you keep your students interested in learning?
I try to find active, fun, and engaging ways to teach my students. They love technology, games, and presenting what they learned. I love providing them opportunities to shine and show the class what they know. My students enjoy using the Promethium board to share their thinking.

How are creativity and innovative thinking used on a daily basis in your classroom?
My students enjoy having the freedom to be creative. The Chromebooks allow us to create charts, maps, poster, etc to showcase our work. My students love writing and we have a new-found love for emoji writing. I give my students a set of ten different emojis and the only requirement is to incorporate each emoji. This has definitely sparked the creative bug in our room!