A Peek Inside the Classroom: Mrs. Reidt
The room is quiet for a few minutes, then, with a gush of air, the classroom door is yanked open and 25 giggling, talkative students rush inside. Their cheeks are rosy with the freshness of being outside in the brisk February morning. Within a matter of minutes, students are seated in various spots throughout the room: some at clusters of desks, others sitting cross-legged on the carpet and a few are shoulder to shoulder on a comfy couch with their notebooks on their laps ready for a team activity.
It’s clear the students know the routine after returning from recess. Student groups of two or three are tasked with designing a poster, a game, or they can come up with their own concept for the purpose of teaching a younger student fraction skills. Mrs. Reidt describes why the lesson looks different than one might expect, “A lot of the kids were saying that this unit was repetitive and it was too easy, and I noticed that they weren't being challenged. I wanted to give them something to challenge them while also using what we’re learning.”
Students work diligently and use the materials found in the classroom for inspiration. Mrs. Reidt moves from group to group, sitting with them, answering questions, offering ideas, and pointing out their creativity. Students wait patiently knowing they will get their turn for their teacher’s undivided attention. When asked about the fractions project, student Allie Grant enthusiastically says, “Mrs. Reidt is a very fun teacher and we are excited because it has a little bit of math and it is a real world activity and it’s fun for us to explore and be creative.”
After about 30 minutes of productive work, Mrs. Reidt gives the class a two minute warning instructing them to clean up their supplies. When the time is up, Mrs. Reidt quickly gains the attention of all of the students, explains that lunch is next, and prepares the class for the post-lunch activity ensuring they are prepared for a successful afternoon.