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Mrs. Keller

About Mrs. Keller

Hello, and welcome! My name is Barbie (Barbara) Keller and this is my class website. I am a 5th and 6th grade multi-age teacher, and I love my job! I also love and firmly believe in the multi-age philosophy, and have become a stronger supporter of it each year after seeing the positive effects it has had on my graduating students. For more info on my multi-age philosophy, see the FAQ section of this website (above), or download my parent handbook on the main home page. I am very passionate about working with and learning from my students and their families, and I'm happy to share my enthusiasm with every new person that I meet.

This fall marks my eighth year teaching at Pearl Creek! Since joining Pearl Creek, I've had the pleasure of substitute teaching K-6, as well as teaching 3rd through 6th grade students. I'm very excited to rejoin the great staff, students, and parents for the 2017-2018 school year!

I hope you find this website useful. My goal in building this site is to offer another form of communication and convenience to you, the parent, as well as to your child. If you have any suggestions on how I can make it more useful, I'd appreciate them.

Working with some amazing colleagues, as well as teaching in my own classroom has definitely impacted my teaching methods. My teaching philosophy is ever-evolving due to the dynamics of the students I work with and the influences of other teachers I learn about. The two tenets that I still grasp onto for what I do in the classroom still follow:

1. One-on-One Matters

My goal this year, as was with previous years, will be to hold one-on-one literacy/writing/reading conferences with my students. In addition to this one-on-one time, I will balance small group instruction in all areas, including math. I believe this is time well spent. 

This individualized work with students is extremely meaningful, as I can easily assess where each of my students are throughout the year. I can also say that I will know my kids as individuals.

2. The School Way Needs to be the Real Way

I feel it is important to ask myself the following questions:

- Would we do this in real-life?
- Could I imagine myself being given this assignment?
- Will this activity/lesson encourage my students to want to learn or explore more about the subject?
- Is there anything to back this up as being helpful for my students?

I believe in keeping real-life learning in our daily schedule as much as possible because research shows that it is the most effective way to keep students pursuant of knowledge after they've left school. This includes taking time to talk about what we are reading, writing, and learning; having the choice to select our own books; allowing time to try something out before being assessed; and allowing time to learn from each other and retry something.

Borrowing from the Montessori philosophy, I believe as well in:

- a deep respect for children as unique individuals
- teaching children to be kind and respectful
- creating a strong sense of community
- helping children assume leadership roles
- hands-on, concrete investigative learning
- developing student self-discipline
- fostering student motivation and sense of purpose
- collaboration among students, parents, and teachers
- consistent high quality work
- fostering independent learners

A little more about me:I hold a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from UAF, where I also received my B.A. in Elementary Education. I was born in Savannah, Georgia, but I've lived in Alaska almost my entire life and I love it here. I have two younger brothers, and one older sister with special needs. In my free time I enjoy weightlifting, photography/videography, and playing drums in a band with my husband. When we get time off we like to travel, go camping, and spend time with family and friends.