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 Digital Wish has awarded the Elementary Zone Grant - 05/2010 grant to Marcy Prager Jun 24, 2010

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Here is the technology that Marcy Prager has acquired through Digital Wish:
Here is the grant that I have won through Digital Wish: Elementary Zone Grant - 05/2010
Mrs. Marcy Prager
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Michael Driscoll Elem School
Hometown:
Brookline, Massachusetts
Class Information:
Room Number: 203
Students per Class: 24
Class Description:
I teach an inclusive second grade classroom this year. I taught the same children in first grade! Having the same students for two years has united us as a family. We waste no time getting to know each other. The expectations are high and the children reach as high as they are able! Everyone works really hard!
Position:
teacher
Needs:
I believe that the use of technology in a classroom is of utmost importance. The more "visuals" that are used, the more the children are willing to give their all. Children "connect" to visuals, especially when those visuals relate to their world. Their own personal experiences in film will help my students SHOW, NOT TELL when writing their "Small Moment" stories.
My Philosophy:
Primary grade children are highly capable and able students. High expectations for all students should be anticipated. Geographyis the beginning of all cultural studies. Maps tell so many “stories” about countries and cultures. Studentsare able to build upon their own knowledge and life experiences. SocialStudies is a curriculum area where diverse students should be included, respected, and esteemed. Technology,(pictures, slideshows, i-movies), are the “grabbers,” the “hooks” and the “introductions” which build a “visual bridge” for all learners. Textbookssupport the visuals. Legendsand stories include the “beliefs” and “aspects” of culture that students should read, hear, and learn about. Hands-on activities help students synthesize information. Learningabout different cultures around the world, comparing and contrasting them, helps students not only better understand their own cultures, but develops an understanding and acceptance of others. The cultural curriculum of Social Studies develops respect, cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and compassion for others, the goals of the Responsive Classroom. Socialstudies is easily integrated with other “academic” and “social” curriculum areas, (reading, writing, science, art, math, games, learning a world language, the “greeting,” “sharing,” and “movement” portion of the Responsive Classroom, etc.) Developingan understanding of others at a young age promotes peace for the future.
Personal Information:
About Me:
I have been teaching for over thirty years! Working with children does not feel like work to me. For many years, I have felt like a volunteer because my job has been so enjoyable. My husband and I also adopted two children, one boy and one girl, and we have had a rich life bringing up both of them! My daughter has just received her Master's Degree in Women's Health/Public Health and is living home until she finds a job. My son is studying to be an architect. Since my children have been independent, I have pursued a plethora of Professional Development opportunities. I have gone to China twice, once to teach constructive education to Primary School teachers, and once to teach strategies for teaching the English Language to high school teachers. I am presently studying how to be a trainer for teaching teachers the Responsive Classroom to use in their classes. I will also be training to be a Geography trainer for primary teachers. I am proud to announce that I was just named the Elementary Social Studies Teacher of the Year by the National Council of Social Studies. I will be accepting my award in Atlanta, GA in November, 2009 as well as presenting my strategies for teaching Social Studies with visuals as the core.
College and Degrees:
I graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1973 with a BA degree in Elementary Education. I have been taking many courses since then every year without credit, and just finished my Master's Degree at Simmons College in Boston. I learned a great deal about technology and how to best apply some wonderful programs in my class.
Activities:
I read a lot, both fiction and non-fiction. I have traveled all over the world, thanks to the generosity of the Brookline Foundation. Recently, I have traveled to Ghana, China, Tibet, and Japan in order to create "visual videos" which depict the cultures of these countries. I take the students in my class on "virtual tours" almost every day during Social Studies. Then my students will read more and partake in hands-on activities that become meaninful to them.
Favorite Books:
My favorite books are Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and The Kite Runner. I enjoy reading books about places that I have been to and places I hope to go in the future.
Favorite Quotes:
"I could not at any age be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on." "The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." by Eleanor Roosevelt
Interests:
One of my interests is collecting art work from all over the world. Many people come to my home and "tour" my art collections. I love building my collection every year. I want to have an interesting legacy to leave to my children. I also love to travel, collecting artifacts and visual experiences for the children in my classroom. I want to be "new" and "enthusiastic" every year I teach.
Employment History:
I have taught in the Town of Brookline for over thirty years. I have taught first, second, third and fourth grades! My favorite grades are the second and third grades. They are independent enough to partake in special projects that further their learning.
Why Do I Teach?:
I teach because I stay young and energetic. I enjoy helping my students grow both academically and socially. My students teach me as well! Each and every day brings a new level of development in a child's life. One day, a child might solve a challenge he/she has been working on for a while, a child may make a connection that if 6+4=10, then 6+5 must equal 11, one more. I love the way a child beams as he/she reads a "Small Moment" for the class, painting detailed pictures in their minds. To make a difference in at least one or two ways in every students life each and every day is rewarding for me, for the child, and for the child's family. Teaching is a Win-Win situation.
Percent of Students are:
     At-risk: 1 %
     Average: 89 %
     High-achiever: 6 %
     Special Needs: 4 %
Percent of Students are:
     White/Caucasian : 95 %
     African American: 3 %
     Asian: 2 %
Free/Reduced Lunch Program Enrollment:: 2 %
Average number of students in class:: 20 students
Number of students I teach:: 20 students