IN THE NEWS
posted: Wed, Jan 20th, 2016
On track to read 25 books!
Mountain View recently recognized the students who are on pace to reach the school-wide goal of reading 25 books each by the end of the year. The students who have read nine or more books decorated palm-sized wolves labeled with their names, which were then posted on a bulletin board in the main hallway.
Two students from every homeroom were randomly chosen to receive $5 certificates from the Flanders PTA to use at the school’s book fair. Pictured here are two of the recipients of the Scholastic Dollars: Jaden Koeng, a first-grader in Britt Henricksen's class, and Addison Feeney, a second-grader in Corinne Sylvester's class.
Jaden has already read 16 books, including several in the Magic School Bus series which is his favorite. Addison, a fan of non-fiction, has read 22 books. She used her $5 to buy a book about sharks and a book featuring the Minions.
Teacher Of The Year: Melissa Marvin
Melissa Marvin, Mountain View’s library media specialist, has a holiday card at home given to her just a couple months ago by a student. It reads:
“Mrs. Marvin, you are the best librarian I have ever known."
Yup, that’s a keeper. It’s a sincere, heartfelt compliment. But the card really says so much more. It says that Mrs. Marvin has made an impact, that she’s has made an important personal connection. And for anyone in the business of helping shape young minds, that’s what it’s all about.
The story of Mountain View’s Teacher of the Year is inspirational. When her youngest child began preschool, Mrs. Marvin began volunteering one or two days per week in the school library. From there, her life took a transformational turn.
“I loved the whole atmosphere of the library,” she said. “Seeing the students’ excitement as they were being read to or when they found the right book, I was hooked.”
She eventually became the library clerical aide and then made the bold decision of going back to school at the age of 47 to get her bachelor’s degree. When Becky Mason – the former and beloved Mountain View librarian – decided to retire, Mrs. Marvin was ready. She’s been the librarian here since 2009.
“Melissa is so resourceful, creative, and knowledgeable,” said music teacher Laura Rutan, who works with Mrs. Marvin every year on an interdisciplinary project for fourth-graders. “She fosters the students’ love of learning and reading through her own enthusiasm. She’s a fun, wonderful teacher who gives her all to her students, and they love her.”
The Teacher of the Year learned of her award from Dr. Frank Fischel, school principal, moments before he went on the p.a. system and announced it to the entire school. Shock, disbelief, and tears quickly followed.
“I am very flattered to have been nominated and chosen to be Teacher of the Year,” Mrs. Marvin said. “I am truly honored and overwhelmed. My colleagues here at Mountain View are wonderful educators and their support means the world to me.”
Mrs. Marvin holds an associate’s degree in art from Morris County College, a bachelor’s in business from Centenary College, and her school librarian certificate from Rutgers. She and her husband, Mike, live in Flanders and have six children – all Mountain View and Mount Olive High School alumni. (In May, Mr. and Mrs. Marvin will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary.)
Mrs. Marvin enjoys spending her free moments with family and friends as well as reading, especially to 19-month-old granddaughter. Little Lucy couldn’t have found a better person to “play books” with.
|Mikhayla Casey uses a hand gesture to review the expression "being all thumbs" with her learning partner
The power of Power Teaching
Class, class, class,” said third-grade teacher Emily Cali with a tone that rises in pitch with every word.
“Yes, yes, yes,” her students repeated, mimicking the rising pitch of their teacher’s voice.
That’s one of the word-response techniques in Power Teaching, a classroom strategy Ms. Cali has begun using in her classroom, along with Christine Rogoff who co-teaches science and language arts.
Power Teaching, also known as Whole Brain Teaching, is a classroom management/instructional approach that completely engages students and encourages regular bursts of interactivity. The strategy incorporates seeing, hearing, speaking, and moving into even the smallest nugget of knowledge. (Those are the key components responsible for learning and impact different areas of the brain.) The result is an action-packed classroom with students highly engaged, attentive, and having fun.
“I see a huge difference in the level of learning that is happening in the classroom,” Ms. Cali said. “The students are able to articulate and remember more information. They really do love it because there is never a moment of boredom. They are constantly moving, talking, and doing.”
The components of Power Teaching are numerous. Here’s a peek at some of the key elements:
One of the most powerful and often used instructional techniques involves repetition and student-to-student instruction. After important concepts are taught or reviewed, students are often asked to turn to their learning partners and repeat the information or discuss what was presented. By saying "Teach," a teacher signals the class to engage in the activity, which could last anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple minutes.
Having students explain what they are learning helps them internalize the information and students can help each other if there is any confusion. In addition, since they can be asked to “teach” their partners at any moment, the students are listening attentively at all times. You don’t want to “teach” and have nothing to say.
Processes and ideas are also often taught with associated gestures that help students to understand and remember. During a recent math lesson in Ms. Cali’s class, for example, students repeated hand gestures to help them remember the separate components of division. Wrists crossed meant multiply and similar motions were used for divide, subtract, and bring down.
As classroom management, students are taught certain responses to words or phrases. The "Class, class, class" example used above brings the class to immediate attention. “Hands and eyes” tells students to direct all their attention to the teacher because something important is about to happen or be said.
If one of the five classroom rules is broken, a simple mention of the rule number leads to the entire class reciting the complete rule in unison.
“It’s proven to be a very beneficial tool,” Ms. Rogoff said of Power Teaching. “The students know what they need to do to be good learners and that makes for an effective classroom environment. It doesn’t matter what learning style a student has or what strengths or weaknesses, Power Teaching helps the learner to shine.”
(Like many things that are visual or experiential, Power Teaching is best understood by being seen. Check out this YouTube video for more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJw9mzCtWbk.)
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