Light Bulb Moment

My students were working on a project to create a trap to catch a leprechaun.  They had to work in groups/learning teams.  They each had a job in their project and their job had to be completed in order for the trap to be “successful.”  One student was slacking on their part and the group realized their trap would not work if he did not finish.  The light bulb turned on for this little boy and motivated him to complete his part in the group project.  It was definitely a moment to celebrate.

That moment definitely grew from my experience as a Kenan Fellow.  I saw first hand the importance of a team pulling together to complete a project. It makes me proud to see my students see the importance as well.

Describe ways your fellowship has changed you. Consider how you collaborate with peers, discover new talents and learn about STEM careers.

My fellowship has definitely changed me as a teacher.  I have been a leader at my school, but now have taken more of a leadership role in the county.  I’m part of a K-8 math team and we have a common goal to improve math scores in our county.  There is frequent collaboration of math vocabulary, math strategies, and pros/cons of our math curriculum.

I am also more aware of what is going on in my classroom.  I’ve been more intentional at planning more group work and using higher order questions.  I learned how important problem solving was and is throughout my fellowship.

Kenan Fellow/Mentor Partnership

My partnership with my mentor is what has made this experience so great.  We wanted to both learn from each other.  I feel as though I gained a great contact and a friend.

I worked with my mentor and other professionals at Keihin.  It was very important and beneficial for me to see how they all tied together.

My “ah-ha” moment was being able to witness problem solving in a meeting.  They were behind on production on one of their lines, and all departments were working together to come up with a solution.  It made me realize the importance of group work and communication.  I knew then I had to incorporate more group work and problem solving activities in my classroom.

I was able to work side-by-side with my mentor and on my own.  I think the alone time was very important because it gave me time to reflect and write down all my ideas.

I know I can always call on David for anything I need.  He is willing to help me and give back to his community and surrounding communities.  It is apparent that he cares about education and knows the importance of a great education.

We do plan to work together once my fellowship ends.  I will have him come talk to my class yearly to get them excited about different professions they have at their fingertips.

PRL Plan

I chose to learn more about project based approaches/learning and how to use it in the classroom.  I have watched webinars from Intel and they have been very informative.  It has given me great starting points for incorporating it in my classroom.  I have also learned why it is so important.

The Kenan Fellows Program Professional Learning program has been so beneficial and interesting to me.  I have been able to chose what I want to learn more about and incorporate it in my classroom.  It was not a waste of my time, as some professional learning programs can be.  We are more apt to use it in the classroom, if it is something we want to learn more about.

New Strategy!

I learned how important SOP’s are in the work force.  Procedures are so important in the classroom, so I made them a little more official.  We have SOP’s in the classroom for sharpened pencils, bathroom, walking in a line, morning routine, afternoon routine, etc.  They are posted in the classroom and the pictures make it easy for the students to refer to.

These has made a positive impact in my classroom.  The SOP’s have been taught and posted, so it holds my students accountable for their actions.  The classroom runs more efficiently when procedures are taught, followed and posted!

Thanks to Keihin for showing me the importance of SOP’s!

How will I change the way I teach…

I learned a lot from my fellowship, but teamwork and problem solving are the two biggest things I’m taking back to the classroom.  My experience at Keihin opened my eyes to the importance of being a team player and being able to problem solve.

The possibilities are endless with being a team player and problem solver.  I am going include some STEM projects throughout the year.  These will help my students grow so much in these two important life skills.

I’m going to make sure my lessons have areas of teamwork and problem solving.  I also want to make my students at least try to solve a problem.  It is so easy to just give them the answer since they are so young, but problem solving is a life-long skill they need.

I’m looking forward to implementing my new style of teaching!

Summer Internship and Classroom Curriculum Connections

I definitely experienced connections between my internship and classroom curriculum.  It was awesome to see those skills play out in the work force.  

One connection was the math skills taught.  I teach kindergarten math, so the magnitude of math is different, but the important of foundational math skills was evident.  We work on reading graphs and I saw different types of graphs all through my internship. 

Another connection was the technology skills.  We use technology to teach everyday in the classroom.  I feel as though our students are pretty strong in this skill.

Communication and being a team player takes place in my classroom and curriculum everyday.  In order for Keihin to be successful, these skills were extremely important.  Even though these skills are taught and reinforced daily in the classroom, I plan to do more to strengthen them in my students.  

It was refreshing to see these skills play out with adults and knowing that we are the ones who have been chosen to teach these skills to our future generations of working adults! 

My internship experience…


I had a wonderful internship experience.  Everyone was so kind and really took the time to teach me about their department and the role it plays into the big picture of Keihin.

My most interesting moment was when I was actually out on the floor.  I was amazed at the technology of the machines.  The floor is very organized, but very fast paced.  Everyone was working hard to meet production numbers.  I was very surprised to see “offices” on the production floor.  I’ve learned that communication and problem solving is made easier that way.  

My biggest challenge was relating my internship experience to my classroom.  I teach kindergarten, so I had the task of “watering” it down for my students.  I wanted to make it applicable to my students, while keeping the experience authentic.  

I was fortunate to see all departments of Keihin.  Everyone was so knowledgeable at what they did and really opened my eyes to the world of manufacturing.  You don’t realize the amount of responsibilities a department is responsible for until you sit in with them.  It didn’t take me long to see the importance of each department communicating with each other and how they tie in together.  

My biggest take away from my internship is the importance of communication, teamwork, and being a problem solver.  The employees at Keihin have to be all of these in order for the business to be successful.  I’m ready to go back to my classroom and instill all of these important skills.

My Product- The challenges and successes

I have really seen the important skills my students need to be successful in their career.  I’m trying to incorporate all those important skills in an engaging lesson for my kindergarteners!  It is quite the task!  

There are challenges I feel like I am facing due to teaching kindergarten.  I want to make it real world, but it does have to be on their level.  How do I get them to understand cultural differences, the importance of math, communication, and how to be problem solvers?  There are tons of ideas for the upper grades, but fewer for the lower grades.  I’m trying to find the balance to write a lesson that challenges them, but do not leave them feeling defeated.  I want to make it as real world as I can for them.

There are also successes as I plan this product.  I’m already teaching skills they need for the real world and their career.  I just need to incorporate real world situations into my teaching and challenge them more.  My goal for this year is to make my kindergarteners problem solvers and this experience has confirmed the importance of that skill!

How do you see your internship experience benefitting your mentor’s organization?

My mentor’s organization will benefit from my internship experience in the future.  I am able to see first hand the skills my students need to succeed in today’s work environment.  I can take the skills I find most important and teach them in my classroom.  If I can set the foundation of communication, technology skills, and problem solving in kindergarten, future organizations will have less to “teach.”  Their future employees will come in prepared and ready to work.