I am excited to be entering my first year here at Caledonia Elementary School. I recently received my Bachelors of Science from Winona State University in K-6 Elementary Education as well as a minor licensure in Middle Level Social Studies 5-8. I did my student-teaching here with Nancy Mullins in 4th grade in the spring of 2018.

I grew up in Elgin, IL about 30 miles west of Chicago. My mom and dad are from Orono and Plymouth respectively. I started coaching hockey right out of high school and did so until 2016. In 2011 I had the opportunity to coach junior hockey as a profession and that led to 6 years off and on living in the Wisconsin Dells/Baraboo area. It was during the 2014 year that I moved to Vail, CO for an ice arena management position. While Vail was truly a heaven on Earth, something was missing from my life.

I realized in Vail that I wouldn't be happy with any occupation other than teaching. I moved back to Wisconsin shortly thereafter and the rest is history. I mention my life story so that you may understand my life perspective and route to Caledonia. I truly believe education is my life's purpose and I am humbled by the fact that I have the opportunity to have a positive impact on the future leaders of our country here in Caledonia.

What Can Your Child Expect in 5th Grade STEM?

Math will be modeled around the principles of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics as well as the Singapore Model. These are the foundations of 21st century research. The goals of this style of education center around students developing a truly conceptual understanding of the math they are doing and also honing a flexible skill set that will support students in future endeavors.

What Does This Actually Look Like?

- Each unit starting with hands on activities then moving to work on paper and pencil.

- Working together in small groups and whole-class to solve real world problems.

- Using discussion and discourse to develop a strong understanding of concepts.

- Learning to solve problems in multiple ways beyond the traditional rote method(s).

The other parts of the STEM acronym will synchronize during the science portion of the class block. Students will have a large role to play in deciding what topics we learn about and what that learning looks like. Personalized learning is becoming an integral component of instruction around the state and especially here in Caledonia at both public schools. I will be trying my hardest to support students in the decision making progress. Keeping with the theme of personalization, the Science Fair format will be changing to allow students the opportunity of selecting any science topic they would like to learn about. The details will be ironed out in the near future, but to give you an idea, the format will look very similar to the National History Day projects.

Sincerely, Jake Hebeisen