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Fifth-grade science is all about electricity, magnets, and matter, teacher Susan Holtkamp says.
But her classroom has no tools for teaching those concepts—and no budget for those tools.
That’s why the 35-year teaching veteran, who recently changed schools and is starting her first year at the new school, is shopping for scales, magnets, batteries, and other science goodies for her budding young scientists. “Without the proper tools to teach these concepts, students struggle in their understanding,” she says.
As one of 10 grand-prize winners in the WGU Loves Teachers sweepstakes, Susan now has $300 to bulk up her science arsenal with supplies that will “help enrich students’ science learning. Having these tools will help the students discover science and how it is connected to the world around them.”
Through the WGU Loves Teachers sweepstakes, WGU and Scholastic are awarding 10 $300 grand prizes and 100 $25 first prizes to thank teachers for their hard work and help them build up their classroom libraries and supplies.
Susan also likes to get her students talking about ideas, not just learning concepts. She believes the best way teachers can make a difference in their students’ lives is by helping students “not only become better citizens but instilling in them a love for learning, being part of a positive, safe environment where all ideas can be shared without being ‘put down.’”
Part of her winnings will also go toward buying journals, in which her students can write about their science investigations and discoveries and the ideas that their exploration stirs in them.
Congratulations, Susan! Stay tuned to The Night Owl Blog for stories of more winners in the future.
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