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Top Teaching Blogger

Andrea Maurer

Hi everyone, I’m Andrea Maurer and I am thrilled to be back blogging for Scholastic. For those of you who have followed my blog in the past on kindergarten classroom ideas, English Language Development strategies, and first and second grade literacy, I have the privilege to share new ideas geared toward our early elementary learners. I can’t wait to give you a glimpse of what I do now with my class. I look forward to collaborating, troubleshooting, and sharing the joys of our wonderful profession.

Throughout my 24 years of teaching, I have taught in three supportive districts, mentored my peers, instructed ELD classes at the university level, facilitated content area work-shops, presented kindergarten readiness at preschools, and I have experienced the joy of teaching students ranging from 4 to 60 years old. I have to say, still my most favorites are those 5- and 6-year-olds! They never cease to amaze me!

I teach kindergarten at Mariposa Elementary School in the Brea Olinda Unified School District in Orange County, California. The city of Brea has a small town charm amidst its urban surroundings. The community is beautifully multi-cultural and socioeconomically diverse. I’m lucky to teach in a district that recognizes the value of the integration of a fine arts curriculum, emphasizes the importance of goal setting, and the commitment to helping each student reach their highest potential.

Kindergarten has changed so much since I first starting teaching, especially in the last five years. I find the changes exciting and challenging at the same time. I am always looking for new ways to perfect my craft. It keeps me motivated to do the best I can for all my students. I want my students to be lifelong learners; they shouldn’t expect any-thing less than their teacher to be a lifelong learner too.

My educational philosophy reflects the ancient Chinese proverb: I hear… I forget, I see… I remember, I do… I understand. With this in mind, I embrace the challenge of creating lessons that are hands-on, fun, Common Core based, and meaningful. In my class I emphasize celebrating uniqueness, expanding imaginations, creating independent learners, and encouraging critical thinkers. If you could take a peek into my class on any given day you may find students who are engaged in role-playing their favorite nursery rhyme character, investigating their hypothesis by leading a science experiment, diligently measuring ingredients for a recipe, creatively writing and illustrating their own stories, or even just plopped on a pillow reading a book with a classmate. Above all, as my students move on to the next grade I want them to be confident, empathetic toward their classmates, and empowered by their learning so in return someday they will have the chance to make our world a better place.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite poems, “INVITATION,” by Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer, come in

If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,

A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…

If you’re a pretender, come sit by the fire

For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.

Come in!

Come in!

I hope you know, you’re all invited!

Grades

PreK–K

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
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