Elementary Teacher Contact Email

If families need to contact Michelle, Elizabeth, Lindsey, or Brigid and Tiffany please use the following email.

31 August 2010

Writer's Notebooks

"A writer's notebook gives you a place to live like a writer, not just in school during writing time, but wherever you are, at any time of day." - Ralph Fletcher

Today, the older students received their own writer's notebooks. After reading the first chapter from "A Writer's Notebook" by Ralph Fletcher, student were excited to pick out their very notebook.

Students will use these notebooks to get ideas for their writing projects. We discussed how getting ideas is the beginning of the entire writing process.

Students are able to take their writer's notebooks with them wherever they go: the playground, home, to sports practice, in the car, on vacation, etc. A writer's notebook is a place to sketch, keep lists of ideas, collect pictures or artifacts, brainstorm, collect quotes, or anything else that is a seed for a writing idea.

We are excited to see our writer's notebooks help us develop our writing and live like writers, inside and outside of school.

Singing Together

Here is our brand new music teacher, Violet Vonder Haar, and our kindergarten music group singing together!

29 August 2010

Learning at Lunchtime

The elementary teachers and Stephens dining service, Aramark, would like to introduce you and your family to our new 2010-2011 lunch menu. We collaborated with Aramark to help us create a healthier menu and establish an educational experience for students to learn about local food options and sustainability. (This includes our own garden too!)

The lunch choices contain fewer fried and processed foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and meals that require using utensils. We are also only offering white milk this year (no sugary chocolate milk!). Aramark is also supporting us by sending smaller portions, reusable plates and silverware. We feel it is important for students to practice using utensils along with table manners. Through these changes in our menu we feel we are helping to educate our students on the importance of sustainability and ways of bringing it into their daily lives.

Take a look at this video to learn more about the importance of teaching our children about food.

How does this affect us in the classroom? Students will help to set the table with silverware and napkins. The smaller portion size will lead to less waste, any food waste will be scraped into our class compost bin. The plates and silverware will be sent back to campus dining where they will be washed and reused the next day.

If you have any feedback, menu ideas, or suggestions we are willing to take all into consideration. We would love to hear from you!

27 August 2010

Our Class Pets - by Aubrielle (age 10)

This year, we have class pets...rats! Two cute, little rats. Our class named them Ju-Ju Bee and Jezebel, from the Skippyjon Jones books. The rats live on a shelf by the white tables in the art area. They are a wonderful addition to our class! Here are a few quotes from kids in our class about our new pets.

"I think the rats are really funny." - Natalie, age 6

"At first when I saw the rats,I thought they were a little gross, but now they're like amazing. It's like they can walk through rings of fire they are so cool!" - Nicole, age 9

"I like them!" - Robin, age 5

"I love them! They're cute, aren't they?" - Rachel G., age 6

"I like their names." - Maggie, age 5

26 August 2010

The Faces of our Class

Take a look at this short video to see the many faces of the elementary class this year. The words in the video are taken from the poem "The Hundred Languages of Children" by Loris Malaguzzi.

A Great First Week

We are off to an amazing start here in the elementary classroom. Everyone is having fun, learning a lot, and making new friends. The older students have been amazing role models for a new and younger students. We have been reading a lot of picture books during meetings and each teacher has taken a day to share a few things about themselves with the students.

The students have already been reading and writing so much! Each student has their own draft book where they compose the first draft of their writings. The teachers have also been helping the kids find interesting and challenging books to read.

In math, we are focusing on geometry - all the shapes around us in the world.

The afternoons have entailed art projects to bring our classroom together as community. We have worked on self portraits, heart maps, and alphabet/number charts to display around the classroom. Please come in and take a look!

16 August 2010

Meet the Teachers

The elementary teaching team is looking forward to a great year. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Lindsey Riley Clifton

For those of you who may not know, I was married this past Memorial Day to my husband, Ryan. We live in Columbia with our Maltese, Cody. We have enjoyed the summer by settling into our new life. In my free time I enjoy reading, journaling, boating, and running. I was born and raised in Columbia. My parents still live here, however, my two brothers live out of the state in Georgia and Colorado. My two step brothers live in the surrounding area. I received my B.S in elementary education from Stephens. I returned the following year to continue my education. The spring of 2008 after working as a Graduate Assistant in the elementary classroom at SCCS, I received my Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction. I love working at SCCS and am really looking forward to this school year! Our space is so different which will lead to a whole year of new experiences for everyone.

Rachel Johnson

Originally from Colorado Springs, CO, I moved to Columbia, MO 10 years ago to get my degree in elementary education from Stephens College. I graduated in 2004 and worked at SCCS in the elementary classroom for several years. I also worked for 2 years as the Director of Crossing Kids at The Crossing. Last year I returned to Stephens to teach and work on my Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Teaching is my passion and working at SCCS is truly a dream job. I have a wonderful husband, Scott, and a cat we rescued 3 years ago named Zoe. When I am not at school, I love to spend time cooking, reading, running on the Katy Trail, and watching movies with Scott.

Beth Watson

I have been a teacher in the elementary classroom for the past 7 years. I traveled from Minnesota to Columbia in 1999 to do my undergraduate work at Stephens College. After graduation, I began teaching in the classroom and began working on my Masters degree at the University of Missouri with a degree in Curriculum and Instruction. During the past 7 years, I have married my husband, Mark, and welcomed our little girl Avery.
We are expecting our second baby at the end of the month! I look forward to rejoining the classroom after my maternity leave.

Sarah Parks

I'm so pumped to start my first year teaching at SCCS! I did my student teaching here last year and I know I will see lots of familiar faces this fall. For those of you who don't know me yet, here is a little about me...

I was born and raised here in Columbia with my parents and two brothers. I graduated from Hickman High School in 2002 and Mizzou in 2006 with a degree in Sociology. After college I interned at Rainbow House's Child Advocacy Center and then took a job in a preschool working mainly with 2 year olds. I knew I wanted to work with kids so I went back to school for my teaching certificate and a second Bachelor's degree at Stephens in Education in 2008. Now, I am working on my Master's in Curriculum and Instruction here at Stephens! I have the best family ever and I'm really close to them. My twin brother unfortunately lives in Arizona, but my older brother lives here in Columbia and is the executive chef at Bleu. When I'm not teaching or doing schoolwork, I love to hang out with my boyfriend and our three cats, Olive, Tugger, and Ezmerelda. I also love going to concerts, playing Wii, and traveling. I love experiencing new cultures and trying exotic foods (thanks to my brother, the chef)! I also love to read. I'm reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and How to Train Your Dragon.

Katelyn Howle

I am thrilled to begin my first year of teaching here in the SCCS Elementary Classroom! Originally from St. Augustine, Florida, I moved to Columbia in 2006 to attend Stephens College where I graduated with a BS in Early Childhood and Elementary Education last May. Currently I am working towards my M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. I LOVE art and all sorts of crafts and look forward to integrating my passion for the arts into the classroom. Back home in Florida I enjoy spending time with my family which includes my Mom, Dad, 16-year-old brother Jonathan, my cat Panda, and my dog Ollie. I enjoy traveling and visit my boyfriend, Trevor, in New England several times throughout the year. Upon graduation next June, I plan to move to the New England area and continue teaching. However, I believe no school or job will compare to my incredible experience here at SCCS! I look forward to a fabulous year!

Brigid Flynn

I'm excited to be doing my student teaching in the Elementary Classroom here at SCCS! I am orignally from Lockport, IL, where I live with my mom, dad, and 17 year old brother, Daniel. I have a large pet family at home as well, but I am lucky enough t0 bring my cat, Chinny, and horse, Johnny, to Columbia with me during the school year. I enjoy reading and am currently reading The Book Thief. I love vacationing and two of my favorite places are Ocean City, Maryland and Pentwater, Michigan. I look forward to a fabulous time in the Elementary Classroom!