Year: 2017 – Province: Alberta
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
River Heights Elementary School
301 6th Avenue S.W.
Medicine Hat, Alberta T1A 5A8
Principal: Natosha Mastel
School telephone: 403-527-3730
School email: N/A
School website: www.riverheightsschool.ca
Subjects and grades taught: Kindergarten
Laura Gale is a kindergarten teacher who sits behind the wheel of students’ abilities and knowledge and lets their interests and curiosities drive the journey, as together they visit fascinating places.
Gale strikes a fine balance between student-led and teacher-led curriculum through a collaborative classroom approach. She believes that the classroom should be a space for experimentation and exploration, and incorporates open-ended challenges that promote problem solving and growth.
- Gale takes her students on regular field trips to learn about the world outside the classroom. They visit the local farm, learn about local clay at the historical site, study artifacts at the museum, and chat with artists at the gallery.
- Students get to connect with their peers in classrooms around the world using a variety of multimedia tools, learning about how other children live and study.
- Co-creates curriculum with her students, building on their interests and using Edward DeBono's Six Thinking Hats to evaluate and build on their research. Each project culminates in presentations to the larger school community.
- Gale promotes inclusive education and coordinates activities and services for students with physical and occupational challenges, as well as those coming from disadvantaged homes.
"[Gale] is able to see work, see interactions, see experiences through the eyes of a child even prior to planning the work. This ability to take a phenomenological stance allows her to create experiences for children that lead to daily ‘a-ha’ moments."
"The thinking and learning that is evident when you spend time oserving and listening to her students is truly fascinating! [Gale] facilitates learning in a way that is thought-provoking for all of her students and her colleagues"