This month’s featured teacher is Ms. Alissa Nardone from Burgettstown!
Inventionland hosted a special workshop last month to pilot our brand new Innovation Course elementary curriculum. Ms. Nardone was one of the educators who graciously donated her time to participate and provide guidance. She did an awesome job and the kids were really engaged by the hands-on approach to learning.
Read on to hear more about Ms. Nardone’s approach to educating, and why courses like ours help shape and guide young learners.
Why is hands on, project based learning important for the K-5 group?
I believe that the absolute most valuable part of hands on, project based learning is the ownership that it provides for students. They become engaged as they create a product or presentation that answers a real life problem. They are proud to show off their work. More importantly, students learn that failure is not an option. Rather, they become little experts that navigate a path to success. They do this through following a process and a mindset that drives them to embrace challenges in their path and brainstorm a new route to success.
As the way we teach evolves, would you like to see this method of teaching become more integrated into the classroom?
There are many strategies in education. In my opinion, critical thinking, reasoning, analysis, creativity, perseverance, problem-solving, and collaboration are at the forefront of what I believe should be prevalent in a 21st-century classroom. The challenge is integrating these skills while maneuvering through rigorous learning standards and curriculum. Project-based learning provides an alternate way to address these skills. Students embrace meaningful projects. Parents have expressed that their children can’t wait to get to school when they know a project will be waiting to provide a good challenge.
What did you notice from the kids that you don’t see in a more traditional educational setting?
In a traditional educational setting, there are an array of learners. You will encounter students with many disabilities that will need extra support. In addition, primary learners will need boundaries set. They may need to be told instructions several times. It will be important to check the students’ understanding of the project’s goal. They will need to know how to use the tools/objects properly. Presentation is definitely a key factor in making this type of learning successful. Setting clear expectations and giving students a chance to explore and ask questions will be essential to the project running smoothly.
How long have you been a teacher for Burgettstown?
I have been a part of the Burgettstown Area School District for 14 years. I have taught 4th grade, kindergarten, and first grade.
Where did you graduate from? What was your major?
I am a proud graduate of West Liberty University. I have a degree in Elementary Education, K-6. I have also completed classes towards a degree in Administration.