Teacher Quality is the Key Factor to Student Success. Students, especially those struggling in math and reading, need a teacher with the experience and intervention skills that can only be developed over years of working successfully with students. A native Maricopan, Cindy Koontz has been a teacher for over 22 years, and has taught at Mobile Elementary for seven years. Mrs. Koontz has taught the kindergarten through second grade level for several years and has taught all levels of the elementary curriculum. Over the years, Mrs. Koontz has developed an expertise and style that has made her a master teacher, an expert in her field, both highly qualified and highly effective, and fueled academic success for countless students over the years.
Mrs. Koontz’s K-2 Classroom Sets Up Students for Success. A Master Teacher knows just the right way to set up a classroom to maximize learning and foster student achievement. When you walk into Mrs. Koontz’s classroom, you immediately feel that you have entered a safe, creative, and inclusive environment. Students at all levels are actively engaged in learning activities. Her classroom is set up with a whole child focus to create multiple learning opportunities that incorporate visual learning, tactile learning, auditory learning, and learning through movement and play. The focus of her classroom is her small group table, where students receive rigorous standards-based lessons in reading and math.
“I design daily lessons to meet the Arizona Department of Education academic standards at the highest level.” Remarks Mrs. Koontz. Students in her classroom receive ample opportunities to learn through direct instruction and “they are also offered multiple opportunities to learn by independent practice and as a part of a small group, or with a partner through cooperative learning.” Mrs. Koontz ‘s classroom is also outfitted with the latest educational technology, student computers, and areas for free play and exploration. “I am also passionate about social-emotional development and promote Growth Mindset and kindness, and provide time during the day for dramatic free-play and art projects,” Mrs. Koontz said.
Mrs. Koontz’s focus on the whole child, rigorous academic expectations, and effective teaching methodology results in tremendous academic growth for her students. Ms. Dominguez, the school administrator, agrees. “Mrs. Koontz has an extensive skill set for teaching. She knows exactly how to look at student work, see the skills that need to be built, and design effective personalized interventions and instruction for that student.”
Small Class Sizes are fundamental. Small class sizes make a big difference for developing readers. Reading is one of the fundamental skills all young children learn in school.
In her small class size multi-age classroom, Mrs. Koontz works closely with developing new readers and provides highly personalized intervention and one-on-one instruction to struggling students. This makes a huge positive difference her students’ achievement in reading comprehension and reading fluency, resulting in higher test scores and better overall readers.
The small class size also allows her to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of advanced learners who need to learn by discovery and problem-solving techniques and foster social/emotional learning. The multi-age classroom also offers her students unique learning opportunities.
Mrs. Koontz pointed out that, “Multi-age classrooms offer students exposure to education and curriculum at multiple levels. It is a wonderful and unique opportunity for children to be both mentor and mentee as they work and socially blossom…I am so privileged to teach in such a classroom and I invite all parents to stop by and visit us and see what your child has been missing!”
This sponsored content was first published in the December edition of InMaricopa magazine.