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Recognizing Teacher Appreciation Week – Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Amanda SimmesPhoto of students and staff



What do you do to engage your students? What makes your classroom unique?

To engage students, I try to incorporate learning, structure, challenges, and fun into each lesson. As for a unique classroom? Well, I guess, just the great rapport I have with each of my students as unique individuals. I think that's what makes a great learning environment for kids and in return, they want to do well and are engaged in the learning!

Why do you think it's important to teach the way you do?

I think it's important to teach the way I do because kids learn differently, so in order to reach every student I have to try new things and think "outside the box". A few examples of this include: allowing students to decide how they want to complete an assignment using any of the available tools we have in our classroom; read-alouds with different activities attached to them, may include partner or group work to complete a project; we take "brain breaks" and do Go activities at different times during our day; students will create Google Slides to give information about a variety of topics including: ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies; students will type spelling words on a Google Doc instead of writing them out with pencil and paper.

photo of staff and students

What do you feel is the most exciting thing about teaching?

The most exciting thing about teaching is that every day is about learning something new, and every year there is new research, new technology, and great opportunities to bring into the classroom.

What singular lesson plan, activity, assignment or experiment do you return to year after year because of its "spark" factor with you and/or your students?

Year after year, I incorporate more and more technology into our day. There is always something new to explore, research, and learn...and technology makes it fun. Kids today are digital thinkers...they teach me new things! Technology is the spark!

Tell us a little more about yourself.

I graduated from Hadley-Luzerne Central School and have been teaching for 21 years – sixteen of them here at Glens Falls City Schools. My favorite unit to teach, I would have to say is non-fiction reading and writing...although I do love teaching math just as much! Also the Brazil Unit...Brazil Night at Big Cross is so much fun!!