The New Hampshire Project Learning Tree Board is pleased to present Noelle Dearborn is a half time kindergarten teacher at Effingham Elementary School as Outstanding Educator of the Year. She is part of the team from the Governor Wentworth School District that are participating the Math Science Partnership with the New Hampshire Environment and Education Team making a three year commitment to help improve science education in the district.
Last summer she attended the week-long summer workshop affectionately know as “science camp”. The district was looking to move away from the packaged science kits that they were using. Two second grade teachers decided to improve a unit of instruction on life cycles. Noelle thought that she might be able to help her colleague who was assigned a multi-grade of second and third graders with the unit.
In the fall of 2012, Noelle was part of a small team at both Effingham Elementary School and at the district level who brought the use of science notebooks to those who were willing to use them. This was a result of the MSP training. Noelle helped with getting the use of science notebooks by all the Effingham Elementary teachers during this past year.
As the year progressed, Noelle experimented with a new field investigation approach to the kindergarten, second grade and third grade science curriculum. Each quarter she has taken on half of that multi-grade class to teach an integrated science program. In the spring, Noelle presented the Governor Wentworth Regional School District School Board on the progression of science instruction with her students.
She developed a vertical approach to a study of trees that spanned kindergarten through third Grade. She had successfully integrated science with literacy, art and math. Noelle continues to work closely with her NHEET Team partner, Brittany McGuire as they shared activities for integration with one another across the district. The two used many activities from Project Learning Tree.
Noelle’s enthusiasm for her work is infectious. She has approached the task of working to improve science instruction at Effingham Elementary School with vigor and creativity. Her principal and other colleagues are proud of her hard work.