Year: 2015 – Province: Alberta
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Prince of Wales School
253 Parkland Way S.E.
Calgary, Alberta T2J 3Y9
Subjects and grades taught: Grades 1-6, All Subjects
Fun projects and activities make even the most challenging subjects easy for elementary students. Mrs. Leah Smith creates interactive lesson plans to make the material come alive, whether it is mailing "Flat Stanley" across Canada to learn about geography or using literacy stations to develop a love of the written word.
- Integrated different subjects and presented them in an innovative and creative way to young students (e.g., teaching the concept of liquid viscosity by blending art and science together—mixing corn syrup with water to paint landscapes);
- Implemented individualized word program for students to build on their vocabulary each week; as a result, many students exceeding Grade 2 reading and writing expectations;
- Worked with a committee of teachers and volunteers to organize events and fundraising for the Terry Fox Run, culminating in over $12,000 donated to the charity and inspiring the students to run throughout the month of September.
Leah Smith is always looking to connect learning in the classroom to the real world. As part of her exploration of Canada, Leah invited special guests to have them share their experiences of growing up in local communities throughout Canada. I was invited into the classroom to share experiences of growing up in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Leah did a masterful job of working with the class to come up with questions that allowed the class to be naturally inquisitive and learn about our respective home.
My daughter has been recently diagnosed as gifted learning disabled and for a variety of reasons, school has never been her favourite thing. That was, until she met Mrs. Smith. From the first day of Grade 2, Mrs. Smith went out of her way to forge a special relationship with my daughter and draw out her introverted personality. Through this warm and trusting relationship, Mrs. Smith has encouraged my daughter to take risks and persist in those activities that are so difficult for her. As a result, my daughter's confidence has grown tremendously.
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