Lawing, Allison (2nd Grade)

Welcome to Ms. Lawing's Classroom

Allison Lawing
allison.lawing@bcsemail.org
As a Buncombe County native, I am excited to do what I love here in Western North Carolina. I attended T.C. Roberson High School and then studied at UNC-Chapel Hill. I enjoy serving the community, reading, gardening, drinking coffee, and being outside.  

What professional training and educational background have you had?
I completed my Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish at UNC-Chapel Hill. My teaching career began in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, where I was trained to implement a balanced literacy framework (Fountas & Pinnell's Reading and Writing Workshop). After a few years in the classroom, I found that I was hungry to know more, specifically about students' literacy development. While continuing my practice in the classroom, I obtained a Master's degree in K-12 Literacy at UNC-Chapel Hill. To help students develop skills that will help them become responsible and effective global citizens, I participated in Global Gateway training through VIF International Education.   

How would you describe your classroom?
Together, my students and I work to create a classroom where respect, academic risk-taking, and problem solving are daily norms. Third grade is a year of significant academic, social, and emotional growth. I love watching as my students set goals, work hard to reach them, and celebrate their successes. Each year, it is my goal to create a warm and safe classroom environment, coupled with high expectations for all students, that will challenge and encourage them to meet their potential.
 
What authors or books inspire you as a teacher?
My classroom management style has been shaped by Ruth Charney, author of Teaching Children to Care. In her book, she details classroom management strategies that create consistent routines, expectations, and an environment that "teaches children to care." Peter H. Johnston's book, Choice Words, has influenced how I choose words to communicate with children. He shares strategies for giving specific praise that helps students know exactly what strengths are recognized in their work, making them more likely to continue positive learning behaviors. Carol Dweck's work around the idea of Fixed vs. Growth Mindset has greatly changed the way I think about a variety of educational issues including giftedness, academic grit, and problem solving. Dweck proposes that a growth mindset (one that is flexible, okay with making mistakes, and determined) will help students become successful and tenacious problem solvers.  
 
For which classroom projects/events are you known?
Fairview third graders develop their research, speaking, and presentation skills through our wax museum project. In the spring, students select a person a person of interest to research. The project culminates in a museum where students share their findings with museum guests! 
 
How does Fairview create 21st century learners who collaborate with others and have a true passion for learning?
At Fairview, 21st century learning is visible when you walk into the classroom. Instead of isolating students at single desks, teachers often group students to facilitate collaboration with partners or groups as students work to solve problems and discuss their thinking. Additionally, students are learning how to conduct research using a variety of print and internet resources. The research process allows students to think critically as they evaluate sources, identify key information, cite sources, and present their findings in a variety of mediums (glogs, online posters, iPad apps, VoiceThread, etc.).
 
In what ways can parents take an active role in your classroom and in their child's learning?
As a Fairview parent, there are many ways to participate in making your student's classroom a great environment for learning. Parents are welcomed and encouraged to take part by volunteering their time in the classroom, through the PTA, or on field trips. Your encouragement at home is also invaluable. Specifically, third graders should be reading at least 20 minutes everyday, and practicing math facts (addition and subtraction through 20 and multiplication later in the year). I believe that parents are experts on their children and that our home-school partnership will help students get the most out of their third grade year!  

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