SD’s Fourth Grade Teacher, Ann Marie Errickson, was selected to present at the prestigious 2019 National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Conference. The theme this year was “Tearing Down Walls, Building Capacity, and Designing our Future”.
Ms. Errickson’s presentation, on “Innovative Ways to Bring Joy into an Inclusive Classroom Environment” started with her asking the audience, “What is a favorite classroom memory of yours from elementary school?” She went on to explain that that concept is her teaching mindset - how to spark joy in the classroom.
“I like to create experiences that engage students in meaningful ways, while reaching diverse learners,” says Ms. Errickson. To do that, she shared several lesson plans involving transforming the classroom into imaginative spaces: a campground, complete with themed stations such as “vocabulary fishing” and reading inside of tents with fake fires, all in the spirit of literacy. Or the grammar Emergency Room, when each student was given scrubs and “doctor’s” badges, and the classroom became an ER, involving “pediatric punctuation” and “suturing sentence structure” stations. Or, a restaurant-themed classroom, with red-and-white checkered tablecloths, and fine silver serving trays, and children visited each table to do a “tasting” of the first chapter of a selection of books.
Our SD students are fortunate to experience Ms. Errickson’s creativity every day. At the Conference, she received a standing ovation from the engaged audience, and left everyone in the room feeling inspired to turn ordinary lessons into memorable and inspiring experiences.