CONGRATULATIONS to the Champion Central Elementary School Kindergarten team - Brittany Cornelius, Kayleigh Gabriel, Erin Jordan, and Samantha Miller - the winners of the 2019 Jennings Team Teaching Award through the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation. This is one of the highest awards the Foundation bestows on an educator. Deep Learning must be the objective of the clearly defined team. Our team will be recognized at the annual Jennings Educators Retreat dinner on Thursday, July 25, 2019 and are also invited to attend a two-day retreat to assist organization leaders, college deans, and Ohio superintendents with current issues. The grant awarded is $7500.00.
Here is a short piece from the grant they presented:
Our team’s philosophy is that students learn best when content and pro-social skills are integrated into rigorous instruction. By integrating content and social skills through a common theme and rich learning experiences, students are excited to learn. Deep learning happens when students understand connections between content areas, interpersonal relationships, and their environment. Our project adheres to this philosophy by integrating these aspects. This shared philosophy binds our team and keeps us focused on quality teaching and outcomes. In the shift to full day kindergarten, our principal began a rigorous selection process to establish our team. We were selected based on our ability to collaborate using our individual strengths and create a balanced teaching team. We have evolved into a strong, professional learning team. Our team is powerful because we work together on initiatives and programs that are listed below. While we each have areas that we lead, each member is an active participant in all activities. Sharing the weight of these responsibilities allows us to thrive in our classrooms while serving students.
An unparalleled aspect of our team is excellent teaching through rigorous activities that promote deep learning. Our goal for “Coding Kindness” is teach students social skills by connecting dramatic play and coding. Each teacher develops social skills, but not through artificial intelligence (AI). Social skills are timeless, but coding skills are the future. Technology is a collaborative resource, not a parallel activity. It is an effective way to develop cognitive skills, number sense, and language skills (Bers, Sullivan, 2015). These skills can transfer to algebraic thinking performance, number sense, and positional words. We are in communication with MIT to pilot their program for an AI curriculum and will do professional growth through Code.org. We can expand our understanding of social skills through the Choose Love Program, building onto our current training of the PAX Good Behavior game: strategies to help learn self-management skills.
We are so fortunate to have these ladies on our staff at Champion Central Elementary School.