Sara Fields is a Kindergarten Teacher at Bradford Academy.
What keeps your students aiming for success in the classroom?
I am always encouraging my students using positive reinforcement. I am constantly reminding them of how smart they are and the potential they have to grow into amazing learners.
How do you remind your students of the expectations you have?
I am constantly reminding students of our classroom expectations in and out of the classroom. We have created songs that we will sometimes break out into during the day, if I feel we need a reminder or just need to have a little bit of fun!
Your students seem to take an active part in the classroom. In what ways are they active in their learning?
I support Inquiry Based Learning, which is a hands-on approach in the classroom. My students learn through guided explorations, supported by interactive lesson plans. It is important that students are engaged in their learning so that they take accountability for their learning. They know know that it is their responsibility as students to take ownership of their learning.
With such independent students, how do you incorporate teamwork into your classroom?
Although independence is a goal we strive for in kindergarten, teamwork is an important aspect, too. At the beginning of the school year, it is important to build a strong classroom community. We practice how to work as a team through positive team building activities. My students learn that we are a team, every student has a part, and every student is included. A couple of examples on how I incorporate teamwork into my classroom is by implementing classroom jobs, table points, table captains, centers, partner work and learning games. Even when working independently, the students know that they have to work as a team to do so.
It is important to teach students how to be a team player, making my classroom motto, “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!”
In what ways do you build a family-like atmosphere in your classroom?
Positive conversations are an amazing building block for a family-like atmosphere. I want my students to know how much I love them, even during our “not-so-good” times. They need to know that no matter what, I will always be there to support them. I have an open-door policy for parents. I am always willing to help in whatever way possible.
What’s the secret ingredient?
POSITIVE ATTITUDE! I have realized that no matter how great times may be or how tough times may be you can ALWAYS get by with a positive attitude. Having that mindset is contagious for students and staff. This year has been AWESOME, and it is because I started off the year on the right foot; with a positive attitude and outlook on the school year ahead of me!
How do you keep your students interested in learning?
My students are interested in learning because I keep them engaged. We do projects, experiments, dances, songs, games… You name it, we do it! Anything that has to do with movement and rhythm keeps my students interested in learning and allows them to remember what we have learned. We also use a lot of technology, to play games, sing songs, and for different lessons in science and social studies. “The Magic School Bus” is a movie that my kids love because they can relate all of the lessons to real life experiences.