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About the program:
We offer a full day program focusing on preparing students for an exciting life long journey of learning. To this end, we aim to provide a strong foundation in reading, writing, and math and to have fun doing it! Of course, we learn social skills, problem solving skills, and thinking skills, too. We invite you to join us on our wikispace for all the latest happenings.
Beth Heidemann, Kindergarten Teacher
Tell us about yourself:
I am a 1991 graduate of College of the Atlantic at Bar Harbor, ME and hold a B.A. in Human Ecology in addition to my K-8 elementary certification. I moved to Cushing right after college. I’ve been teaching Kindergarten at Cushing Community School since 1992. In 2000, Ed. Tech, Kristi Niedermann, and I were awarded an Innovative Educator award for our work in technology. The prize money helped fund innovative technology projects for quite a few years at our school. More recently I achieved National Board Certification. The certification process requires teachers to meet rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment, and peer review.
Why do you like to teach kindergarten:
I love teaching kindergarten because it is so much fun! I strive to provide a loving and safe atmosphere in my classroom, allowing children to put down sturdy roots, grow and then blossom at a natural and individual pace. Some of my favorite things about teaching in Cushing Community School include the small class sizes, family-like atmosphere, the opportunity collaborate with terrific co-workers, and of course, the fabulous volunteers. I enjoy integrating technology into my teaching whenever I can.
What are your favorite student units?
The students in my class focus on building basic skills during the first half of the year and then apply and expand those skills through special projects tailored to student interests and community resources in the second half of the year. Recent projects include an interactive on-line time line, an alphabet book about our nature trail complete with our own photos and poetry, and a collaborative visiting artists project. My favorite project is usually the one I am working on at the moment!
What is your parent contact plan:
Parent involvement is vital to student success. I begin building relationships with families before school ever starts by conducting home visits. Parents are informed of classroom events with a weekly newsletter and on our web site. All students have a home to school folder that is checked by the parents and me daily. Conferences are scheduled twice a year. Other events such as Open House and Family Literacy Night also help keep families informed. I welcomes notes, phone calls, text messages, or emails from all parents and am happy to set up additional meetings as needed.
What are your homework guidelines:
I expect that all children will show parents or guardians their home to school folder daily. Most of all, I encourage all families to read together daily and to play board games regularly!