Brittany conducts small group instruction in each
subject area every day. These groups are formed based
on student needs. Ongoing formal and informal
assessment provides Brittany with insight
to the strengths, weaknesses, and learning modalities
of each student. This information is used to make
decisions about how best to group students, what
skills will be targeted, and what instructional strategies
will be most effective. Group composition changes on
a weekly basis and from subject to subject.
Enrichment for All
Brittany provides opportunities for enrichment to all
students multiple times throughout each week. She
integrates activities and resources into her instruction
that encourage students to stretch their thinking
about the Common Core Standards and apply higher
level thinking skills. All students participate in this
challenging learning, regardless of their skill
level. In this way, both high and low
performing students have opportunities to
maximize their learning.
Brittany has created a set of posters that display each
of the Common Core standards and the related
essential questions and enduring understandings.
Posting these helps to focus instruction, and they are
referred to throughout each lesson. These are used by
all of the 1st grade teachers at SPARK as well as
teachers at 7 other APS schools whose teachers
Brittany has worked with to model
standards-based planning and instruction.
Brittany seeks to expand her professional knowledge
by taking advantage of learning opportunities. She is
currently part of an APS cohort working to earn a
reading endorsement. She has also completed multiple
online courses over the past year through APS’s
collaboration with ASCD.
In preparation for the current school year, Brittany
traveled to Chicago in July 2013 to attend the
Conference for Extraordinary Educators, presented by
SDE (Staff Development for Educators). During the 4
day conference, Brittany attended sessions that were
specifically selected to meet her instructional needs
and the learning needs of students at SPARK.
As planning for the 2013/14 school year got under
way, Brittany proposed to her 1st grade team that
they plan for monthly STEM instruction. Her
teammates were quick to get on board with the idea
and Brittany led the way for planning activities and
collecting needed materials. 1st grade students love
our STEM weeks and have been applying crosscurricular knowledge to real world scenarios.
Brittany applies intervention strategies that target the
needs of struggling learners in all subject areas. She
meets with students in small groups or 1-on-1 on a
daily basis to apply interventions with fidelity. Data
is collected on the effectiveness of these intervention
strategies. This data is used to measure student
growth, make changes to the intervention plan as
appropriate, and/or adjust learning goals.
A student works on a Words Their
Way activity. Assessment data showed
that this particular student was having
difficulty with phonics skills such as
identifying onsets and rimes, and
phoneme segmentation and blending.
Analyzing the data led to Words Their
Way being selected as an appropriate
intervention for the student. Followup
formative assessments have shown that
the student has made great
improvements with the program.
Brittany displays anchor charts throughout her
classroom to showcase learning in all subject areas.
These anchor charts are often created with the
students and serve as important instructional aids
that are frequently referenced by students.
Brittany has been responsible for creating and
maintaining SPARK’s Common Core book room. The
collection features leveled texts for each grade level to
incorporate literacy standards into instruction across
the curriculum. Brittany was responsible for setting
up the physical space, working with each grade team
to select texts, ordering and communicating with the
vendor, working with the PTO to designate and
raise funds, and spending time each week to maintain
the organization and accessibility of
the collection for all SPARK teachers.
Brittany frequently uses a grid like the one on the
next page during instruction. Each students’ name is
in a box. While teaching, Brittany can make quick
notes about students responses or performance on
tasks. Collecting this informal data on the spot
allows her to make immediate decisions about
student grouping and assignments for independent
work selections of that day’s lesson. This also allows
for immediate interventions to occur when needed.
Brittany maintains content specific word walls that
display current vocabulary. These word walls include
terms, definitions, and key pictures. Word walls aid
students in developing their schema of new content,
making connections to previously learned concepts,
and encouraging students to utilize academic language.
Brittany shows a deep understanding of the agegroup with which she works by being able to create
and adapt materials to be “first-grade friendly.” These
young learners are most successful when content
and activities are presented in an inviting manner,
with simple, clear organization. Brittany works to
ensure that she provides her students with
instructional materials that fit their developmental
needs and tastes.
Brittany serves as a teacher leader at Springdale Park
Elementary School and throughout Atlanta Public
Schools. Examples of her leadership include...
✤Serving on Spark’s SILT team.
as a member of Spark’s Lead
the Learning Cadre, charged with
planning for and implementing schoolwide professional development.
modeling and mentorship
for teachers that are new to APS.
(Brittany meets with these teachers to determine their
needs, then models appropriate strategies and shares
relevant resources. The mentoring relationship is
continued through debriefing sessions, follow-up email
correspondences, and future site visits.
✤Participating in the Atlanta Families Winner’s Circle
(This group of previous winners works throughout the district to
support and promote high caliber teaching. They have a close
partnership with the Superintendent and are called upon to
address needs throughout Atlanta Public Schools.)
Brittany is a former AFAEE winner and is
currently an active member of the
foundation’s Winners’ Circle.
has participated on teacher
advisory panels for the Bill and Melinda
has participated on teacher
advisory panels for Atlanta Public Schools.
has been involved in leading district-wide
training sessions. Most recently, she led a session
in August 2013 for kindergarten teachers on the
topic of integrating Common Core literacy
instruction with Georgia Performance Standards for
creates instructional materials that are
shared with other teachers across the world. She
maintains a blog (http://www.peachy-teaching.com) that she uses
as a platform to share ideas and resources with other
teachers, and many of the materials that she creates
are available for free on her Teachers Pay Teachers