David Hoy Elementary School teacher Marilyn Gammon was recognized this year for her work by researchers at Stanford University.

Making connections

Local teacher goes above and beyond to broaden her students’ horizons

“The level doesn’t define you,” said Marilyn Gammon.

Gammon is a Grade 4/5 teacher at David Hoy Elementary, but she isn’t necessarily just any teacher.

Gammon was recently recognized for her work by a research group out of Stanford University who have developed strategies to help improve learning mindsets.

Their strategies work on directing the learner’s mindset towards a growth-oriented attitude.

While a fixed mindset would react to poor results on a test with the attitude the results show them to be a failure and subsequently give up, a growth mindset approach would be to take a poor result and try to figure out how to improve on it.

By utilizing different language, teachers can encourage a more growth-oriented approach instead of a strictly results-oriented approach, allowing students to make mistakes to learn, and showing them hard work pays off.

Gammon had written to the Brainology group, as the researchers are called, about what she was doing with her students at the end of last year.

Gammon had worked on goal-setting for the students before the summer break, and took the class to get library cards, so they would be able to continue learning through the summer.

This helped the students to plan for the long break, and have strategies to keep busy and growing.

“It’s really simple, and it’s really positive,” said Gammon.

The Brainology group then recognized Gammon’s approach by making her the Growth Mindset Educator for July.

But Gammon is innovative in more than just her approach to learning by encouraging a growth mindset, she is also embracing new technology.

The teacher has started a blog which both parents and students can use to keep on top of what is happening, and comment on it as well.

She started the blog to make learning more transparent for the families, and it gives access to what they are doing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so parents can check in and have a look anytime.

There are links to some of the topics or areas of study, and there are even photos of some of the activities students are doing.

The blog has been a tool Gammon has used successfully for a few years, and now she has also added a Twitter account to her tool bag of social media for education.

The mini-blogging site has allowed the class to make connections around the world and they now have contacted a class in Ireland they are doing a swap-box with.

The class puts relevant items of Canadian culture in the box and then mails it to the class in Ireland, which then sends it back with items of Irish culture in it.

They have also made connections with other classes around the world, they are learning from a Mandarin language class in Hawaii and have started following a blog from a class in New Zealand.

Her class last year, during the winter deep-freeze, took snow depth measurements in the field and tweeted them to the Cryosphere Research Project, a “citizen scientist” research activity which gets the public involved in gathering information for research.

“My mission is kind of to remove the classroom walls,” said Gammon. “To bring more and more into the classroom for them.”

The class is also Skyping, and have done three different author visits now and the students have gotten to speak to actual authors who discuss their books and tell them about writing and the kids then can ask questions directly of the authors.

They have also had a Skype discussion from actors who were on the television show on Nickelodeon called the Naked Brothers Band about bullying for this month’s anti-bullying theme.

“It’s really nice because there’s a lot of people who want to share their knowledge,” explained Gammon.


Gammon’s classroom blog can be found at: http://4dragons.wordpress.com and the class’ Twitter ID is @room3MrsG.



Just Posted

College of New Caledonia offers new automotive glass technician program

The program is offered mainly online, allowing more students to take part from across the north

Decision on Burns Lake’s workforce camp “pending very soon”: Coastal GasLink

Meetings to discuss new camp location postponed due to wildfire situation

B.C. parents leery of HPV cervical cancer vaccine

Provincial registration uptake among lowest in Canada

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Northern Health set to take pulse of region’s heart health in new consultations

Fort St. James’ consultation will take place Oct. 11

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Most Read