Life Science: Session 7
Melissa Minnick, Walkersville, MD
“I think that when we teach life science with a hands-on constructivist method, we will bring these children’s world to them. Then they start to make the connections that we want them to make. Then they start to do that investigative thinking and that scientific thinking, and make the connections from what they see in their world to what they’re doing in the classroom, and realize that science is all around them.”
School at a Glance:
Glade Elementary School
- Location: Walkersville, MD
- Enrollment: 588
- Students per teacher: 16.7
3% African American
- Percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch: 6% versus a state average of 37%
Melissa Minnick teaches fifth grade at Glade Elementary School in Walkersville, Maryland. Located 50 miles west of Baltimore, Walkersville is a small, middle-class community. The students at Glade Elementary regularly exceed the state average on state tests.
Melissa remembers how influenced she was by an early teaching experience: “When I was seven years old, I was at a babysitter’s, and I helped a child understand subtraction as backwards addition, and when the younger child understood it, I realized that that’s what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. So, all through high school, all through college, that’s what I worked on, becoming a teacher.” It’s not surprising then, that Melissa finds the moments when she gets to watch students “grasp a concept” the most rewarding.
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