Classroom transformation enhances learning – Episode 1

Showing box of bugs
Marcy Simmerson shows box of edible bugs

Brown paper, plastic tablecloths, flying bats, headlamps and bugs made for an authentic classroom experience.

When we visited Marcy Simmerson’s fifth grade classroom at Killarney Elementary, we saw a teacher who loves what she gets to do every day: motivate, challenge and celebrate young minds.

As part of a cross curricular lesson, Simmerson transformed her classroom into a cave. Students conducted a close read to learn about their  surroundings.

Listen to this podcast to learn more about her morning song, confirmations and building a community, as well as how she blends the Whole Brain TeachingConscious DisciplineRon Clark Academy and Kagan strategies to best meet the needs of her students. 

Beginning day one, she teaches one expectation per day, for the first 11 days, along with the accompanying hand sign. Students spend the first month practicing the expectation and hand sign to learn what it looks like to be part of Room 208.

The 11 expectations:

  1. Show appreciation
  2. Show respect
  3. Show kindness
  4. Show courtesy
  5. Show humility
  6. Be a community
  7. Show integrity
  8. Be honest
  9. Be confident
  10. Accept feedback
  11. Slap fear in the face

Watch the morning song

Mix, Pair, Share

Check out Episode 2 (coming next week): Yum, let’s eat bugs – to see the students and Principal Kelly Steinke taste test edible bugs.

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Want to discuss this podcast with your staff and/or peers? Click the image to open the discussion guide.

ABOUT THE GUEST– Marcy Simmerson has a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Florida and returned to Orlando to teach in the district that helped raise her. She began teaching at Killarney ES, a Title 1 school, six years ago. A few books that helped Simmerson develop her teaching style are Teach like a championThe essential 55, and #KidsDeserveIt.

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