From Colorado, Mrs. Shepherd's students tackled water problems in a small village in Africa. They raised $20,000 to dig water wells in that village. The clean water probably saved lives and they won an award for their efforts, but more importantly learned a lot of life's lessons.
That was last year. This year the 4th grade projects class is working on a new problem: colony collapse disorder. They will try to find out why honey bees are disappearing, and why that's so important. The students plan to sell beeswax candles, to raise $1200 which they will use to adopt an organic bee hive.
In the process the students will learn math skills, principals of business like supply and demand, and many geography and science lessons. The lessons will all be wrapped around their study of bees. It's called integrated curriculum, many subjects all rolled into one lesson. "Nowhere in the world do we wear our math hat, then we live in our english hat", Mrs. Shepherd says. "We put it all together to live and have a job, so that's the way I teach".
Empowerment is a word you hear a lot around Donna Shepherd's classroom. Her students care about helping others, and she empowers them to do it. It's a lesson that's not lost on the kids, that should serve them well as adults.
Congratulations to Donna Shepherd, our February "9Teachers Who Care" winner.
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