Many Mathematics lessons take place outside of the classroom under this innovative and creative Gold Coast teacher. Coomera Rivers State School (CRSS) Year 5 teacher Caitlyn King starts off the school year dedicating the first week to getting to know her students, to ensure she has a deep knowledge of their content knowledge, learning styles, strengths and weaknesses, and interests which are likely to engage them in the classroom. Her ability to build relationships with her students has seen a staggering drop in behavioural incidents reported for one student and an improvement class-wide in children’s academic outcomes.
Caitlin has implemented her profound knowledge of the Australian Curriculum to lead and collaborate with teachers to improve vertical curriculum alignment in Maths from Prep to Year 6. CRSS Coach and Curriculum Coordinator Philippa Walsh says Caitlyn aims to make learning valuable by grounding lessons in real-world situations and encouraging student choice and voice. “Many of her Maths lessons occur outside the four walls of the classroom, for example finding and measuring angles in the environment and fraction hunts,” Philippa says. “In her 1:1 iPad classroom, Caitlyn uses a variety of digital tools to allow her students to design, create and share their learning. Caitlyn has embedded the use of Seesaw into her classroom practices as a way to gather evidence, track learning digitally and share learning, news and notices with families,” she says. “She also uses Seesaw to promote timely feedback, student to student and teacher to student. As a result, Caitlyn has seen a positive growth in students’ learning opportunities and results.” Caitlyn works on building leadership skills in her students, with her Year 5 class working as ‘buddies’ to younger classes, including acting as Writing Wizards for Year 3 students and reading helpers for Year 1 students. The second-year teacher is praised for seeking many professional development opportunities to improve herself, including attending beginning teacher conferences and engaging in coaching cycles. Caitlyn has immersed herself in the community. She was part of the CRSS Kokoda Challenge team, in which she trained weekly alongside families and students, and coaches the CRSS Year 5 netball team. Congratulations Caitlyn on your nomination.