We are proud to introduce our twenty-second Sunday Spotlight, featuring Janet Kelly who is a 5th Grade Math Teacher in Connecticut. Janet became a math teacher 20 years ago because she loves math and enjoys helping others experience lightbulb moments. Step into her classroom and you may find her snacking on blueberries while using Edulastic or helping students learn through standards mastery and developing growth mindset. We hope you enjoy the interview with Janet!
5th Grade Math Teacher
Nathan Hale Ray Middle School
East Haddam, CT
20 years working in education
” I became a math teacher because I love math. I wan’t always the best at it, and I was the kid who cried because I felt frustrated, but when I got it – I really got it! I love that eureka moment when it just makes sense. I wanted to be able to help others to experience those light bulb moments!”
Get to know Janet Kelly
What do you love about working in education? What motivates you?
I love everything about teaching! My favorite part is that moment during instruction, after wait time, watching the gears shifting in a student’s brain, and then AHA, it all clicks into place and he or she gets it!
Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher because there were several teacher who impacted my life greatly because they believed in me, I wanted to be able to pay that forward for others. I became a math teacher because I love math. I wan’t always the best at it, and I was the kid who cried because I felt frustrated, but when I got it – I really got it! I love that eureka moment when it just makes sense. I wanted to be able to help others to experience those light bulb moments!
What is your “Edulastic story”?
I began using Edulastic last year when I was a seventh grade math teacher and continue to use it present day in my fifth grade math classroom. As I worked with Edulastic, I began to discover how amazing it is as a blended learning tool. It helps foster a growth mindset in my students as we work to try and try again to gain mastery. It helps with our team building and sense of classroom community as my students work together and offer each other support while completing Edulastic assignments. Edulastic also provides me with an awesome tool for formative assessment and implementing a reverse classroom.
Describe your favorite Edulastic “aha” moment.
My great Aha Edulastic moment, was when I decided to use it to reverse my classroom. Several of the standards for which I am responsible to teach don’t require intense or whole group instruction during class time and can be taught through blended learning opportunities. With Edulastic, I am able to select specific questions for specific standards and assign them for homework. Based on the results, I am able to provide reteaching and small group instruction as needed.
What are your teaching/learning goals this year?
My goals this year are to help my students work towards achieving mastery of the grade 5 mathematics standards and to develop a growth mindset that will serve them well in learning and growing.
Sum up your teaching philosophy in a few sentences!
I believe that all students can learn. I believe that through kindness, care, support and perseverance, all students will meet with success.
Favorite motivational quote:
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” Abraham Lincoln
Tips for new Edulastic users:
Stay with it! Trial and error is a great strategy! Explore one piece at a time and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s a great network of support on twitter and there is also super helpful support right on Edulastic.
Favorite Edulastic question type?
Drag and drop!
Favorite snack while using Edulastic
Spring or Fall?
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Best tactic for getting the class quiet?
A smile with a pirouette 🙂
Must- have classroom Decor:
Favorite time of the school year and why:
Fall. Fall is a time of new beginnings and hope for wonderful things to come.
Kindest compliment you have received from a student or teacher?
Thank you for believing in me and my classmates.
Greatest accomplishment in the classroom this past year:
Learning to keep up with a class of fifth grade students!
How do you like to spend your free time?
With my family.
How do I try to reach all of my students?
Perseverance and this guiding principle by Alexander Den Heijer: “When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”
- Learn more about Janet’s teaching strategies in her blog post, “It Doesn’t Matter Where We Start, What Matters is How We Grow“
- Sign up for Edulastic for free
- Discover other innovative educators featured in the Sunday Spotlight