Students become excellent readers, writers, thinkers and problem-solvers in first-grade teacher Meredith Andrews' classroom at Desert Willow Elementary School in Cave Creek. She provides differentiated, theme-based instruction that includes small- and large-group lessons, individual exploration, lesson center activities, manipulatives, play productions, music, poetry and cooking. Mrs. Andrews organized the school's new Reading Club, a room painted with trees, clouds and rainbows that includes a balanced literacy library and aides for children who need help with reading. She motivates students to read by rewarding them for meeting monthly reading goals with a visit to the principal, who reads them a story. She also establishes expectations for conduct by writing rules with the students at the beginning of the year and having them sign a contract. Mrs. Andrews is a National Board Certified teacher and a district trainer in the Kagan Cooperative Learning program.
1995 Pittsburg State University, B.S.