2017 Teacher Winner
SCHOOL: Drew Charter School, Atlanta Public Schools
EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHER
Jennifer Button is a 2011 Teach for America alumna who taught Pre-K in Atlanta. She then worked as an instructional coach with Teach For America, supporting numerous classrooms in the K-5 setting all around Metro Atlanta. After her time as an instructional coach, she went back into the classroom where she now teaches Kindergarten at Drew Charter School. Jennifer has been teaching at Drew Charter School for three years and is currently the Kindergarten Grade Level Chair and Academic Integration Specialist. Jennifer enjoys coaching her fellow peers, creating project-based learning curriculum and collaborating with her team. Jennifer received her Bachelor of Arts and Master’s of Education at the University of Georgia in Social Studies education.
PROJECT: A Pack of Fun
In today’s digital world, students must develop a basic literacy in computational thinking skills in order to compete. My project, “Coding in Kindergarten and Beyond”, is pivotal to learning such crucial skills at an early age. Teaching the foundations of coding must be hands-on to be effective. In kindergarten, it is self-exploration through games and experiments. Last year, we did not have the resources to give students complete autonomy. Therefore, with “Coding in Kindergarten and Beyond” I am creating a “coding cart” stocked with numerous games, books, computer/IPad apps, and a codeable robot, to foster these skills. I will be able to create authentic learning lessons and develop the needed curriculum to ensure the foundational skills are easy to navigate. With this coding cart, students will engage in hands-on learning and activities during math/science centers.Their true understanding of the basics of coding will flourish. Next year, my goal is that students will be able to write their own algorithms on the coding program, Scratch Jr.