The March 2012 teacher of the month is Kristin Brainard, a third grade teacher at Tate’s School of Discovery. Ms. Brainard was nominated by Audrey Kvamme on behalf of Elli Kvamme.
The Kvammes offered these six reasons Ms. Brainard was nominated:
1. She is a great motivator….She makes math fun and exciting by using a pirate-theme that she calls “pirate math”. We have a special song that we sing every time we have pirate math. We work our way up from swabber level to deck-matey, then to second captain and next first captain, and finally can become a “salty pirate,” where we choose our very own pirate name. No one can know your rank because, as we sing, “a pirate never brags…” You can only move up a level by making five one hundreds on math assignments, so we all try really hard in math! Then we earn pirate treasures to fill our treasure chests with. At the end of the year we hope to all be salty pirates so that we can set sail out on our pirate voyage. I think we might use our class row boat for that, but we have to wait and see.
2. She is hard working. She puts her all into a Christmas play with her students every year. She has the students try out for their three top parts at auditions and selects parts based on several auditions. She finds something unique about each student and incorporates that in to their characters. She has several shows for the entire school and third grade parents right there in her room. Everyone looks forward to seeing her Christmas play. We did “A Cinderella Christmas” this year. Last year they did “T’was the Night Before Christmas”. When my brother and sister were there they did “A Snow White Christmas”. We made backgrounds and had props and costumes that we got to decide on ourselves! It was amazing!
3. She is magical. She put an actual row boat inside of our classroom! Each week a different student is chosen to be special by getting to be the student in the boat. That person can do everything in the boat. All of their schoolwork, reading, and even test taking. It is really fun.
4. She is creative with learning. She had us make our own class restaurant, where our class came up with a restaurant name, and we filled out applications to work there. She actually interviewed us and asked us questions about why we wanted a certain job and why we thought we would be good at them. We actually cooked breakfast for our buddies in transitional kindergarten. They each brought a dollar to pay for their bill, so they got to practice math skills too. Every third grade student got to make a menu for our restaurant, which we called the “Brainard’s Breakfast Bistro”. We could even dress up if we wanted to. I was the hostess, so I wore a black outfit for the day.
5. She is fun. For language she makes up contests that are fun. For example, she has been reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to us in class. So, she held a Willy Wonka writing contest where we wrote a story about what we would do if we had gotten the sixth golden ticket in the story and what we would do with it. We read our stories to our classmates and two students were selected as winners of the imaginary sixth golden ticket. The winners got a special Scrumdiddlyumptious Willy Wonka chocolate bar and a card from Mr. Wonka himself! I was so excited and wanted to win so badly that I stayed up really late to write my story detailing how I found the sixth ticket. It was five pages long!
6. She is amazing!! She even makes learning social studies fun by assigning jobs to each of us. For example, we have a mayor, and a president. They can make up laws for the class and if someone breaks a law then they go before the court and answer questions about what they did wrong. Punishments are discussed and decided upon by the class, the mayor, and the president. Judgements are handed down to whoever breaks the laws, for instance they may have to stack chairs, clean tables, vacuum the floor, etc. We will all get a chance to be each community job. We eventually will have judges and policemen too.
Every kid that goes to Tate’s school cannot wait to have Mrs. Brainard. She is awesome!!! I wish I could be in third grade forever!!