As my duties as IPS Teacher of the Year draw to a close, I have
decided to utilize my final blog submissions to reflect on the many examples of
teaching excellence within my school, Center for Inquiry (CFI) 2. Being in a K–8 building,
I was able to see the wide range of topics and instructional techniques our
teachers are utilizing. After connecting with my peers, this is what I found:


Sullivan: Kindergarten

This class just finished writing “How To” books during
Writer’s Workshop and had their publishing celebration last week. The students
were also preparing for the upcoming Responsibilities unit, during which they
discovered different jobs and occupations. This served as a lead-in for Career
Day. Another upcoming lesson for the class will be Observation Walks in
partnership with Art With a Heart. As students walk through the neighborhood,
they will discover different businesses and learn what types of jobs each
employee holds. They will also study 2-D and 3-D shapes on these walks, looking
at the architecture of the buildings and noticing the shapes they see. 


Bullock: First Grade

The first-graders are starting a new unit on Chronology. Mrs.
Bullock said each student will be looking at changes in transportation over
time, using timelines to compare and contrast planes, automobiles and trains.
She is especially excited to incorporate the 100th anniversary of
the Indy 500 into her lessons. Students will look at winning cars from each
year and identify how they have changed, noting changes in the tires and body
styles, which will lead to further inquiries. As part of this unit, students
will also learn about telling time and reading a clock during their math


Todd Agee: Second

Second-graders are wrapping up the Rights unit, which explores
the rights of children outlined by the United Nations. They are planning a
field trip to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum as part of a culminating event
to this unit. Students will spend a majority of their visit in the “Power of
Children” exhibit at the museum learning about the powerful stories of Ruby
Bridges, Anne Frank and Ryan White. After watching a performance about Ruby
Bridges, students will then spend time working collaboratively on centers
developed by CFI teachers around the exhibit. As a summative project, students
are writing letters home to their families. They will discuss the rights they
have as children and talk about some of the rights around the world that other children
don’t have. 


Damin: Third Grade

The third-graders in our building are working on a unit
called Boundaries, focusing on geography. They are looking at the different regions
around the United States, discovering the physical features, climate, major
cities, weather hazards and crops grown within each state. Once they’ve
completed their research, they will present to the class and will choose two
regions to compare and contrast as a summative assessment.

look forward to continuing my journey of discovery, uncovering the many
educational methods and strategies used by my peers. My final two blog entries
will continue this discussion, highlighting Grades 4–8.