After a career in the medical field, Patty Paxton decided to pursue the teaching profession. Now, as a looped fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at Krause Later Elementary School in Armada, MI, she examines the numbers and letters of her students with scientific precision. Her research-based, data-driven instruction has resulted in significant improvements in student achievement— the highest at the school, in fact. Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP) scores in math and English language arts showed a 46 percent improvement in 2009, and year after year, her students all reach benchmarks in reading and math skills.
Paxton’s effective formula mixes creative, project- based learning with practical skills, such as building toy cars to test scientific methods and illustrating books of poetry to discuss language use. She also created a homework club for students to learn and study together, forming strong bonds over their work. Paxton holds events during the summer for second- through fifth-grade students, providing them with summer assignments to make sure they practice the skills they have learned during the year. She holds workshops for parents to provide support and information to further the learning process at home. She serves on the district math committee and school improvement team, along with being a mentor to new staff members.
The Macomb Daily | Oct 20, 2010 | Macomb, MI