Innovation takes many forms in classroom

Published 2:44 pm Friday, March 29, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Charlotte County Public Schools puts an emphasis on being creative. And that includes more than just the students. Each quarter, the district recognizes innovative teachers, one from each school, and puts a spotlight on their work. Each teacher receives an appreciation token from Superintendent Dr. Robbie Mason.

Here’s a look at the teachers recognized for the first quarter of this school year, as well as some of the work they’re doing. 


Bacon District Elementary School


Katlyn Hudson

Bacon’s Innovative Teacher Award is Katlyn Hudson, who teaches 4th and 5th Grade math. Hudson uses multiple ways to teach math concepts. One of the Math lessons that stands out was entitled “Escape the Jungle.” The students were given a maze sheet, which had a starting point and an ending point. It also had “roads” that led them astray. The students had to make their way through the jungle by finding the least common denominator of the given set of fractions. The students’ answers would either lead them to or away from the correct exit out of the jungle. There are QR codes at the exits. If you are at the wrong exit, it would say, “Try again.” If you take the right exit it says, “Congratulations! You found your way out!” Along the way, there were survival supplies they could pick up.

Hudson uses activities like this to help students connect to math concepts. She adds technology, like using the QR code, to engage the students in learning. She insists on students reflecting on their thought processes, encouraging them to consider how they approach learning. 


Central Middle School


Corrine Haskins

Corrine Haskins sponsors several clubs at Central Middle School and works hard to make sure that the students have fun and learn new things when attending those clubs. She works hard to ensure students in her classroom are engaged and learning by searching for new and fun activities. For example, she used a hands-on clay activity to help the students understand and learn about the writing process. In addition, students participated in a snowball writing activity where they wrote a paragraph, crumpled the paper up, and threw it to the front of the class. Students then come and pick one of the “snowballs “and continue writing from that person’s story. Haskins has also learned about the pros and cons of AI (artificial Intelligence) in the classroom. She used her knowledge to plan and implement a professional development session for division staff.



Eureka Elementary School


Allison Sands

Allison Sands’ second graders made a ‘quilt’ for Black History Month, which was placed outside of her classroom door and is still there for everyone to see. Throughout the month of February, her students researched and learned about different famous African Americans. The class added little by little to the quilt as they completed their research. Sands also had her students wear a lanyard with a picture of the person they chose to research for the week. They wore the lanyard so other teachers and school staff could ask the students to share what they learned about the famous African Americans they researched. Each week they switched to a different person until the end of February. The quilt is now complete and remains on display outside of Sands’ classroom!



Phenix Elementary School


Meghan Rudder

Meghan Rudder, a 5th-grade science teacher at Phenix Elementary School, epitomizes innovation in education. With a keen eye for integrating technology into her lessons, Rudder utilizes the Promethean board to bring complex scientific concepts to life, engaging her students in interactive discussions and visual demonstrations. Additionally, she harnesses the power of computer applications like EdPuzzle to create customized learning experiences tailored to each student’s needs, allowing for differentiated instruction and real-time feedback. Beyond her mastery of technology, staff say what truly sets Rudder apart is her caring attitude toward the students she works with.

She fosters a supportive classroom environment where every student feels valued and encouraged to explore their curiosity. During a recent observation, her caring attitude was evident as she patiently explained the material in different ways until each student understood. This personalized approach not only helped struggling students but also created a supportive classroom atmosphere where every student felt valued and supported in their learning journey. 


Randolph-Henry High School


Shannon Hammock and Tara Toombs

Serving as co-teaching partners for Algebra I, Shannon Hammock and Tara Toombs exemplify collaboration in meeting the diverse needs of their students. Their teamwork is evident in their innovative instructional approach, making math an engaging and enjoyable experience. Integrating online math games, iPads, and interactive problem-solving on dry-erase board tables, they foster an environment where students actively participate and take ownership of their learning. Consistently observed with high levels of engagement, task focus, and a sense of responsibility, Hammock and Toombs set a standard of attainability while upholding high expectations in the classroom. These teachers not only display innovation in their mathematics instruction, but they serve as role models for co-teaching.