Meet an eMINTS Teacher
Holly Linneman, Multi-grade Intermediate (Grades 4-6)
Holly Linneman is in her fifth year of teaching at the Windsor Street Montessori School in Columbia, MO. She is currently teaching the multi-grade intermediate group (grades 2 through 4). Holly began her eMINTS4All professional development program in summer 2014.
Holly deliberately connects her students’ interests and talents to their learning by discussing the major topics and concepts that will be covered during the year with them. Her students play a significant role in determining how the units are presented and taught. Students discuss their interests as a group and as individuals. If some of their interests are not already contained in the major topics and concepts planned to the school year, Holly incorporates their interests into the curriculum. Holly uses weekly one-on-one conferences with her students to continue learning about their interests and talents so that she can continuously personalize their learning experiences.
Students in Holly’s classroom experience high levels of ownership in their learning. Holly believes that students become engaged in their learning by beginning with ownership in their classroom. Holly related how her students were somewhat distressed to learn that their Fall Open House was to be a “parents only” event. Her students wanted to be on hand to show their parents around their classroom and explain how they learned each day. At their request, Holly helped her students use an app called “Audio Boom” to ensure that their voices were part of the Open House. The Audio Boom app allowed students to create QR codes that were strategically placed around the classroom. When parents scanned the codes with their Smart Phones, the app played a short recording by a student describing that area of the classroom and how it contributed to student learning.
Holly also scaffolds her students’ sense of ownership in their learning as she and each of her student build rubrics for projects they are working on. Her students start with more structured experiences in grade 4 and gradually build to becoming more autonomous learners by grade 6.
Reaching out to peers and others is an essential element in Holly’s professional growth plan. She believes that the only way to get better at something is to have a sounding board composed of people you trust.