A kindergarten master science teacher known for her "take-charge" attitude, Whitney Stead leads an inquiry-centered, hands-on classroom at Barboursville Elementary School in Barboursville, West Virginia. This is partly credited to her implementation of the Science with Inquiry Modules and Problem-based Learning Experiences (SIMPLE) program, which provides kit-based modules for each grade level. The kindergarten modules cover trees; animals two by two; balls and ramps; and fabric.
In addition to SIMPLE, Stead uses SMART boards and journaling as she continually researches and applies new creative techniques to engage her students and help them achieve mastery. Open to collaboration and sharing beyond the classroom, she incorporates her peers' lessons and helps create a respectful learning environment for teachers and students alike. Stead is also the brainchild behind science nights, which play host to bustling crowds of 300.
Under Stead's tutelage, kindergartners show steady progress on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) and are well-prepared for first grade.
Stead is National Board Certified. A model educator in and out of the classroom, she is a Teacher Leadership Institute presenter, a member of West Virginia's SIMPLE committee, sits on the Innovation Zone planning group, and serves on the Kindergarten Report Card Revision Committee. Stead hosted training sessions for the Kindernauts—the only NASA-based kindergarten program in the country—so that her peers could implement it. She also works as the Parent Teacher Organization faculty representative and as a wellness coach.
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