Wendy Thompson creates her lesson plans keeping the END in mind, working backward. She starts with what she wants her students to know and then fills in all the steps to get there. This usually means a lot of hands-on learning and DOING in the 4th grade. She incorporates all learning styles and methods. In addition, she creates opportunities to work through errors, as true learning and problem solving cannot occur without mistakes and error analysis. This year her students made and cooked in solar ovens, learned exactly how lava lamps work and wrote a book that explained and illustrated weathering, erosion and deposition throughout the rock cycle.
Wendy modifies and accommodates her lessons for students at all learning levels and social skills; however, she “believes true learning occurs when students speak and hear each other’s ideas. They can collaborate and build something better with many ideas, allowing them all to become leaders and demonstrate their strengths, while also assisting them in strengthening weaker concepts.”