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Thomas Paine Elementary School

Fifth Grade Teacher
Thomas Paine Elementary School

Member, Unit 116
Thomas Paine Elementary School

Urbana High School

Quick Start

Web References (5 Total References)

Phyllis Peete ...

www.usd116.org [cached]

Phyllis Peete

The News-Gazette Online

www.newsgazette.com [cached]

Phyllis Peete's incoming fourth-graders, including Kaleb, asked a lot of questions about Serr Shamis' diet.

"We're learning that people didn't always have as much information about what happened at the Olympics as we do today," said Peete, who usually teaches at Thomas Paine School but has taught at Quick Start each August since it started 10 years ago.Peete, who helped her eight students complete a difficult crossword puzzle with terms used for the Games, said she's weaving communications history into her lessons."The first broadcast was in 1936, and people had to visualize what was happening," she told the class.
In the classroom, Peete led her youngsters through a wide-ranging discussion that started with crossword answers like boycott, a word linked to the famous U.S. boycott in 1980.
"It's a protest, a way people protest," Peete said.
"These puzzles improve their vocabulary," said Peete after the youngsters struggled with one answer, females, referring to the fact that women weren't allowed to participate until relatively recent Olympic history."I enjoy Quick Start," Peete said.

Urbana School District Monthly

www.usd116.org [cached]

Phyllis Peete, Thomas Paine 5th Grade Teacher, coordinates the science fair every year, as she has for over 30 years. "What you're seeing here is the students putting the scientific method into practice by becoming young scientists, coming up with a problem, hypothesis, doing an expiriment to get data, using that data to come up with a conclusion," Peete explains.

Peete says the students did a great job this year and she was impressed with the projects.
How important is this science fair? Peete comments, "We don't know who we might have here. We might have the next Einstein; the next person to make a great discovery. Peete adds that this exercise is important for the students to look for an answer to a problem and coming up with an answer to a problem.
Kids need this and they need to understand that science is interesting - it's a lot of reading, it's a lot of research, but it's interesting," Peete says.

Currently Funded SPLASH Grants

cuschoolsfoundation.org [cached]

Phyllis Peete, Thomas Paine Elementary School, Unit 116

The News-Gazette Online

www.newsgazette.com [cached]

Teacher Phyllis Peete attributes the increase to what she calls the four-square method.It gives students a diagram depicting the structure of an essay that they fill in with their main ideas and details."I was trying to find something to help kids organize their writing," she said."Last year, we started digging in.I've seen their writing and confidence improve."Each day from October to the test, students spend an hour working on essays.So far, they've written 13 expository and persuasive essays, Peete said.After the break, they will start learning about narratives.On a recent day, they were working on persuasive essays and were given a topic.By the end of the hour, some of the more advanced writers already had their outlines and much of their essays written, as they'll have to on the test this spring.

Students are also learning how to critique each other's work and learn from each other, Peete said.Once students get to middle school, they start working on more advanced techniques and real-world applications.Sixth-graders get a book with a section on business writing with examples of how the tone and style of e-mails are different from letters, which in turn are different from project proposals.The teaching style also changes.

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