Wendy Thorn was nominated by her principal, Tammy Villarreal-Crabb.
Ms. Thorn is an active member on her school Leadership Team, driving instruction and learning on campus. She conducts training for fellow teachers for reading and math, and assists others by sharing the creative and innovative activities she implements within her classroom. She puts in extra hours in the evenings and on weekends analyzing data, reflecting on student progress, and determining strategies to help her diverse class master standards and apply their learning. She collaborates with her team and with her colleagues to help her students as they grow and advance. Vocabulary alignment, effective teaching practices, strategies for engagement, and application of skills, are all vertically aligned to assist students with a continuum of learning across the grade levels.
Ms. Thorn is an excellent educator and gets to know each of her third grade students and their unique learning styles. She works tirelessly to connect learning for all of her students and to make learning meaningful and engaging. Even her most challenging students learn to explore, grow, and love learning through her endless enthusiasm and creative teaching.
She loves to use hands on tools to help her students learn important concepts. Her students learn area and perimeter through the creation of models of backyards and animal domains. She turned her classroom into a zoo cage to help her students understand captivity when researching and determining a stance on captivity or the wild for animals. Ms. Thorn engages her students in actively learning through engineering projects, turning books into their own plays, and letting students determine how they want to demonstrate their mastery of important concepts.
Ms. Thorn's classroom allows her students to make mistakes and then learn from them. She is patient and determined as she motivates her class and helps them learn to think critically and to apply skills across the curriculum. Each student expresses feeling "smart" and successful under her direction. "This year every one of her students met or exceeded expectations on state math assessments," Villareal-Crabb said. "Her impact on our Title 1 students and their families is worth celebrating."