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Teacher Brings Her Creative Mind To The Classroom

May 10, 2013

This week was teacher appreciation week for Albemarle County Schools, where they honored teachers for their hard work and dedication to students.

Anne Straume isn't just any third grade teacher at Meriwether Lewis Elementary. She is also an innovator and brings her creative mind to the classroom.

“What we do now is we try to ingratiate as much as we possibly can through all subject areas,” says Straume. “Bringing in the arts, music, field trips, lots of play time, but play with a purpose, to get kids to design and to think and to work together as teams and become creative problem solvers.”

Straume has been a teacher for 34 years and has seen how education has progressed over time.

“We try to pull in things we have today, which is technology, to find out the latest and greatest” says Straume.

She emphasizes the Four C's, which are critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaborations among students. She even designed a Lego wall so kids could express their creativity.

“I thought it was sad that at the end of the day they had to break things apart and put them away in their bins because we needed the space for something else,” Straume explained. “So I thought, wouldn't it be great if we could create a space, a maker's space that would allow children to keep their designs up and that's what led to the development of the Lego wall.”

“In order to create new ideas, they have to learn how to tap into that imagination and this is the type of activity and space that allows them to do that” says Meriwether principal Kimberly Cousins.

Straume's colleges aren't the only ones noticing her creativity. Her students see it too and appreciate it.

“I feel quite special in Mrs. Straume's class, because we do things that other classes don't do, other third grade classes don't do, like this project” says third grader Hayden Sewell.

“I just like doing this because you get to create your own thing,” says third grader Lindsay King. “You use your imagination a lot.”

Straume uses things like the active board and the iPad in her classroom.

Straum explained, “We want to get our kids ready for that 21st century learning and they need to be prepared as best they can be for that environment.”

Straume is also the grant writer for the school and was able to bring in a program that helps children with bicycle safety. Meriwether Lewis was the first school with that program.

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