Nov 16, 2010 3:05 PM by Andy Koen

Teaching lessons through everyday life

Learning works best when you enjoy the lesson being taught. At Goodnight Elementary in Pueblo, first grade teacher Regina Cacciatore finds ways to incorporate her lessons into everyday life.

For example, learning the date becomes a math lesson. Students count the number of days in the month by twos.

Spelling becomes a physical activity involving clapping and sounding out each of the words.

Cacciatore says part of the challenge of teaching this age group is turning former kindergartners into full-fledged students.

"Kindergarten is more of a play-type setting; learning shapes, colors," Cacciatore said. "Here they're reading."

One way she motivates her kiddos to become better readers is by helping them learn site words. Those are words that are instantly recognizable.  The more words her students learn, the more they can move a stuffed animal down a clothesline hanging across the room. When the student reaches 500 words and can take the animal home as a prize.

"It's a visual for them and it's good for some kids cause because they need to see it and have a goal for themselves."

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