Joann Flint in the Teacher Spotlight

Joann Flint
Joann Flint

The new school year has commenced and Joann Flint, entering her 35th year of teaching, is in the “Teacher Spotlight”.

Flint was hired in 1977 at Minetto Elementary to teach first grade. During her tenure in Oswego she has taught first and second grade; looping with her students some of those years. The remainder of her years has been spent teaching Kindergarten. She also participates in Professional Development workshops and classes on a regular basis and is a member of the Web-Development Team that maintains the StudyZone on through the Learning Technology Grant.

Born and raised in Hannibal, she holds an Associate’s Degree from Cayuga Community College and a Bachelors Degree from SUNY Oswego. She went on to earn a Master’s Degree from SUNY Oswego in Curriculum and Instruction. She has also taken over 200 hours of Professional Development through the Oswego City School District In – Service offerings.

A visit at the end of the ’08- 09 school year to her classroom finds actively engaged Kindergarten students who were participating in a Language Arts lesson. Ms. Flint uses her SMART Board and a pre-made SMART notebook during her lesson to demonstrate the correct way to read, pronounce, identify, classify, and spell words. The children use words from the classroom ‘Word Wall’ to work together on making words with the SMART Board. They had to discover from the clues given which word from the word wall would be used to begin the activity. The children quickly discovered the mystery starting word and built that word using “fridge magnets” on the SMART Board. They were instructed to choose a new beginning sound to make a new word that would rhyme with the first. Beginning consonant sounds continued to be substituted and the rhyming word list continued with children reading the words made by their classmates. The children were excited to go up to the SMART Board to manipulate the “fridge magnets”. ‘Fridge magnets’ are a popular tool used to engage primary students while using the SMART Board. Pictoral representations of the day’s vocabulary words are included in the lesson to assist students who need help identifying the word. Ms. Flint’s students were excited about going to the board and clearly enjoyed the use of the interactive and multimedia materials that were being used in their classroom.

In addition to being hands-on and engaging, Ms. Flint’s lesson is also a vocabulary – rich example that models good and appropriate uses of building new words while rhyming, making consonant substitution and substituting vowels. As words were created, they were read, including the nonsense words. Children were then asked to name the vowels, and to continue making and reading words with different vowels. Ms. Flint easily differentiated her instruction to reach all of her learners through the use of varied Wait Time, small and large group activities and Interactive/Multimedia SMART Board use.

Along with the SMART Board that is used in a variety of ways throughout the day Ms. Flint also uses computers in her classroom on a regular basis to support learning. Students in her class use programs such as the OCSD StudyZone, Starfall, Math Playground, Fun Brain, the Everyday Math Resource Pages and Compass Learning (for both ELA and Math) independently while various other interactive educational sites and SMART Notebooks are used for large group instruction with the SMART Board. Ms. Flint adds “I use a combination of pre-made SMART Notebooks that are available on the SMART Technologies website to fit every grade level and curriculum area as well as notebooks I develop myself to support classroom curriculum themes.”

Ms. Flint continues “My children LOVE the SMART Board! They are so excited when we use it to introduce, supplement or reinforce concepts. I have their undivided attention with all eagerly awaiting their turn to interact with the content . . . Holding children’s attention to teach curriculum is vital. Using technology is one of the best ways to do that! When using computers and the SMART Board children are directly interacting with their learning.”

Ms. Flint clearly loves what she does and is a wonderful role model for her peers. She uses humor in her lessons and often shares with her students stories from her own school days. She treats her students with respect and includes regular discussions about good character in her lessons. When asked what the favorite part of her job is she says “ . . .seeing their excitement when they know they have met a goal. Whether it is knowing all their Kindergarten sight words, tying their shoes, counting aloud to 100, reading a book, and/or being chosen as a Kid with Character! There is so much to celebrate in Kindergarten. This age group is so enthusiastic about learning; they are little sponges waiting to soak up all education has to offer.”

When not consumed with school work Ms. Flint enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her hobbies include walking, biking, reading and working outside in her gardens.

For all that she has done to integrate technology into her classroom and to educate, engage and excite the students at Minetto Elementary School she is being recognized by being in the “September Teacher Spotlight.”