Teacher Appreciation Week Giveaway Winners

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Thank you so much to everyone who submitted nominations to our Teacher Appreciation Week Giveaway! We’ll be updating this post throughout the week with our daily winners so check back to see if we pick your nominee!

Friday, May 10th winners

Tami Tucker

Grade: K – 6th Art
School: Conner Creek Academy East
Location: Roseville, MI
Nominated because:

Tami is constantly finding fun new ways to incorporate technology into her art lessons. She loves her students and brings a great passion for art to them all. She was my ‘mentee’ and colleague and is in need of some much deserved recognition.

Lorin Haas

Grade: 3rd
School: Meadowbrook Elementary
Location: Novi, MI
Nominated because:

She truly cares about her students and wants each of them to live up to their full potential.


Thursday, May 9th winners

Amanda Salmon

Grade: 1st
School: Delta Center Elementary
Location: Grand Ledge, MI
Nominated because:

Mrs. Salmon goes above and beyond in her teaching – she genuinely cares about her students and is always looking out for their best interest.

Robert Richards

Grade: 9th – 12th
School: Stockbridge High
Location: Stockbridge, MI
Nominated for:

The Stockbridge Advanced Underwater Robotics Team/Class and their Expeditions to Palau with the BentProp Project searching for missing airmen from World War II.


Wednesday, May 8th winners

Melissa Talbot

Grade: 7th
School: Maysville Middle
Location: Zanesville, OH
Nominated because:

She puts her students first every day. She is motivational and caring. Mrs. Talbot has even taken in two students who needed help.

Meg Archer

Grade: 5th
School: Petrova Elementary
Location: Saranac Lake, NY
Nominated because:

Meg gets to know each of her students as individuals.  She sees WAY beyond standardized tests and sees the whole child.  Meg is creative and always looking for ways to “mix it up” ~ that’s why I know she’d LOVE this prize.  Besides, she’s the best 5th grade teacher EVER!!!


Tuesday, May 7th winners

Tracey Morris

Grade: 10th
School: Byron Center High
Location: Byron Center, MI
Nominated for being an:

Awesome new teacher ready and willing to change the way she teaches and incorporating technology into it.

Linda Martin-Seng

Grade: 6th
School: Geisler Middle
Location: Commerce Township, MI
Nominated for:

Poetry Slam type project!  Students wrote free style poetry and performed for our classes!  They were amazing!  The quality of poetry was outstanding.  They took the project very seriously and wrote about some very deep topics!  This was above and beyond their regular curriculum of learning about non-fiction text features, yet they all completed the work, and illlustrated their poetry, and they all presented for us!  We will perform for parents in a few weeks, with a poetry reading evening!


Monday, May 6th winners

Tom Hopper

Grade: 7/8
School: Chippewa Middle
Location: Okemos, MI
Nominated for:

Learning new software and doing his best to share.

Jerry Goar

Grade: 7th
School: Auburndale Intermediate
Location: Corona, CA
Nominated because:

He’s really nice and I like how he teaches :)


Winners of the drawings will receive

  • $50 Amazon.com gift card
  • Snagit & Camtasia software (PC or Mac)
  • USB headset microphone
  • TechSmith swag

Don’t miss out on all of the education tips and tricks TechSmith has in store for you!

  • Toby Bessant

    successful lesson framework consists of starting a student’s education as early
    as possible. Meaning from birth a child brain is a dry sponge that is wanting and
    waiting for stimuli to saturate their young brains being that baby’s sole
    purpose is to intake knowledge. The concerns regarding the learning process
    associated with the importance of differentiation stems from “designing and
    implementing curriculum, teaching strategies, and assessments to meet the
    needs, interests, and abilities of all students.” (Kirchner) The way that the
    framework may vary between the different content is that the most important
    effective differentiation is to provide educationally adequate curriculum that
    structured by ridiculous assessments that evaluates all of my students’
    strengths and weakness. Kirchner states, “in order for differentiation to be
    effective, assessment must be an ongoing part of teaching and learning. The
    reason why it is important to consider the background of students when forming
    possible assessments when designing a lesson is to structure assessments
    guidelines because students are not tested until they reach third grade and I
    believe that is entirely too late to begin assessing students. My theory is
    that students should start being tested in pre-school. By conducting
    assessments, starting at the age of three will enhance the educational level of
    the nation’s students. I know recently in my school district that Pre K. has
    been introduces into the schools this to me will ensure that students will
    enter kindergarten at least knowing their colors, numbers, how to spell and
    write their names. The way that designing lessons that is conscious of the
    students background will enhance student achievement begins with pre K. kids be
    able to read small books on their own and not based upon remembering what
    someone else has read to them on a daily bases. Meaning they were reading
    random books on up to a first grade reading level by themselves. This goes to
    show me that toddlers could learn how to read, write, and do math at an early
    age if the information is provided for the students in a desireable manner that
    will keep the young child’s attention.

    three strategies that I have learned that about differentiated instruction are
    the pre-assessment evaluation structure, having a positive learning
    environment, and having a welling educational staff that is willing to work
    together. That is why “pre-assessment is especially critical to be able to
    determine the student’s level of readiness to proceed with the new unit of
    study.” (Kirchner) By learning your students strengths and weaknesses gives the
    educator grounds for planning group activities the goal here is to establish
    basics of what students that I should pair together based upon the strengths
    and weakness of my students. Meaning that John may be good at expressing
    himself when writing and Mary is good with definitions and spelling, therefore
    they would make a good pair of students for a group a writing assignment.

    next important effective differentiation is a positive learning environment
    because without a stimulating learning environment learning will become a moot
    point. “Essentially,
    teachers in differentiated classrooms accept, embrace, and plan for the fact
    that learners bring many commonalities to school, but that learners also bring
    the essential differences that make them individuals.” (Tomlinson) Meaning
    if students do not feel safe or food to fuel their minds learning will not
    occur because as we all know learning can only occur when students feel save and have the energy to be taught. “Teachers can allow for this reality in many ways to make
    classrooms a good fit for each individual. (Tomlinson) Therefore,
    if my students fear for their safety then they may stop attending school and
    without the proper nourishment, students will not be able to focus on learning
    when their stomachs are hurting because of lack of food. That is why it is
    critical for educators to pay attention the all of his or her students to point
    out trouble before situations become fatal or uncorrectable.

    third important effective differentiation is having an educational staff that
    is willing to work together for the betterment of all the students that attend
    the school. I believe that a school is a mini village that has to work together
    in educating, discipline, rewarding, and promoting positive actions by all of
    the school’s students. Mainly attempting to avoid playing favoritism that may
    be hard for some educators to do because as humans we are sometime drawn to
    certain people and are distanced from others. That is why I believe that
    educators must have an open mind approach when they start the school year
    placing every student on an equal level in which each student can control their
    own learning outcomes based upon what the students are willing to or not to do
    as far as their school work.

    comparing the three strategies I noticed that each strategy aids the next strategy
    in making the educational process of students a more fulfilling event. Meaning
    without having adequate pre-assessments will cause poor assessment test scores.
    Then without a positive learning environment students will not feel comfortable
    that will make learning almost impossible because have to ever tried to learn
    or read a book in a dark glooming place that you kind of fear being at. That is
    why without a positive learning environment learning may never occur. Ending
    with not having welling educators that are willing to work together for the
    betterment of the student body as a whole takes away from the learning process
    of the students and enables the school to become corrupt. Meaning that all
    students need to get off track of where they need and should be educationally
    is one year of stagnant learning and the students’ entire educational process
    may be unbalanced. Meaning all a great student needs to become a bad student is
    to develop the trait of laziness that is the foundation of doom in the motivational
    process of educating students.

    The way that I would
    combine the strategies concerning differentiated instructions is by starting
    the assessment of students beginning at pre-school. My student will be provides
    with a technology friendly positive learning environment. In my school, my
    staff shall work in a village like educational unit having the major
    understanding that in our village we are as strong as our weakest link and that
    our reason for being educators is to provide a safe, motivating, and stimulating
    learning environment for our students. The impact of combining the strategies
    of differentiated instructions when it comes to students’ achievement by
    creating brain-based curriculums that student will be able to use in passing
    assessments. The reason why is because the curriculum will be based upon the
    natural developmental level of a student’s brain instead general knowledge
    based curriculum. I believe that by applying Neuroscience to education will
    enhance learning by avoiding remembering spelling or math to correlating the
    lessons into learning step to preform spelling by sounding out words and math
    by methodological learning methods. “Scientific advances in understanding the
    material basis of cognitive processes are indeed likely to enhance education in
    the future, but in my opinion, these advances are unlikely to affect classrooms
    or classroom teaching substantially — except, perhaps, by providing children
    who are more ready and more capable of learning.” (Schrag p237)


    Kirchner, J. & Inman, T.. (2005)
    Differentiation tips for teachers: Practical strategies for the classroom. The
    Center for Gifted Studies.

    Schrag, F.. (April 2011). Does
    Neuroscience Matter For Education?. Department of Education Policy Studies.
    University of Wisconsin, Madison p. 221-237.

    Tomlinson, C. (1999) What Is a
    “Differentiated Classroom. Association for Supervision and Curriculum
    Development. http://school.familyeducation.com/teaching-methods/cognitive-development/38531.html#ixzz25QHxdLDr

    • https://twitter.com/#!/JessieLaHaie Jessie LaHaie

      Hi Toby,

      Thanks so much for the comment! We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. Are you an educator as well?