Madill teacher gets grant for science education

By: Robin Beal Email
By: Robin Beal Email

MADILL, Okla. - Remember when you were in school? How about the first paper-mache volcano you ever set off? It was probably hands-on learning that you got a lot out of and one Madill teacher knows all too well how effective getting your hands dirty can be.

And thanks to Toyota, she'll have more money to make learning fun.

Terri Cloyde knows what it takes to get a fifth-grade mind to dig deeper. She is a teacher at Madill Elementary and has a special interest in science, and history. Put the two together and you get, "archaeology." something that a lot of kids only learn from Indiana Jones.

"We had a teacher who took the initiative," the initiative to apply for -- and win -- a $10,000 grant from the National Science Teachers' Association and Toyota.

And it gets better, "It's true. She's the only one who received this award in the state."

One of only 50 teachers nationwide, Cloyde will use the money to buy the latest hands-on teaching materials and by next year, her kids will be digging through the dirt finding dinosaur bones.

"We'll start off with just some tiny little projects just to get them involved -- like going to the cafeteria and picking up the trash. And having things that you've found around the school and showing it to them. Where do you think this came from? What do you think this means? What do you think the significance of this is? Once they kind of get the idea and we get into it, we'll make up a mock site for them. We will plant stuff. There aren't actually dinosaurs here at the school, so we'll mock it up so that they'll get it done, and they'll research other places."

And Cloyde says that research is what gets young minds thinking about their bright futures. "You'd be amazed at the kids even from Madill that can travel all over the world to do different things. They can do anything if they want to."

She’s a teacher with a lot of respect for her students and an equal amount of respect from her colleagues.

"Very, very proud of Mrs. Cloyde and we look forward to what the project brings for the students here."

Who knows what they might unearth.

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  • by Anonymous on Apr 3, 2008 at 08:29 AM
    Response to Laura from Van Alstyne: Mrs. Cloyde's students will form a teaching museum after their archeology unit that the entire elementary school will be invited to go through and when they leave each student will be given their own kit to excavate and their teachers will all be given lesson plans, molds and plaster to create and continue a 'dig' of their own :)
  • by Laura Location: Van Alstyne on Apr 2, 2008 at 08:58 PM
    That is great for her students. But what about the rest of the students in that school? When great teachers are rare as hens' teeth, 95% of students are the losers in this current system.
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