Katherine Curtis discovered her passion for teaching at a very young age. As an elementary student, she was inspired to pursue a career in education while helping in her mother’s classroom. Consequently, this led her to complete a master’s degree in Education at the University of California, Riverside and receive her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential as well as her Education Specialist Teaching Credential at the University of Redlands. In 2012, she began teaching at Judson and Brown Elementary School. Her role as a specialized academic instruction (SAI) teacher at the school has enabled her to work with students in grades TK-5 in both language arts and math. With over 17,000 Instagram followers and growing, it is undeniable that Katherine’s passion for teaching and commitment to both her students’ and fellow educators’ success is extraordinary!
To compliment her hands-on learning approach in the classroom and better engage students, Katherine has used Prowise Presenter software for many years to create interactive lessons and deliver fun, student-centered learning activities. However, in 2016 she introduced a Prowise Pro Line interactive panel into her classroom and the combination of the panel with Presenter software has led to remarkable results. In an interview with ELB, Katherine shares how the Prowise solution has improved her daily instruction, enhanced student collaboration, and enriched overall student learning. Let’s hear more from Katherine about her journey with Prowise:
ELB: “How many years have you been teaching?”
Katherine: “This is my 8th year teaching. I have taught 4th grade, K-5 intervention, TK-5 Special Education, and am currently teaching 3rd grade.”
ELB: "What is your favorite part of teaching?"
Katherine: “My favorite part of teaching is building relationships with students and watching them transform into well rounded citizens. I love when students can explain their learning, apply their knowledge, and make connections in the classroom.”
ELB: "What inspires you and your teaching?”
Katherine: “I first wanted to become a teacher when I was in 3rd grade. My mom had just began teaching and I would frequently help in her classroom. I am inspired by my friends and colleagues who are as passionate and invested as I am when it comes to making a difference in a child’s life. Watching and learning from some of the great educators that are currently teaching at the Ron Clark Academy definitely inspires my teaching as well. I was very fortunate to attend a conference in which I was able to collaborate with other educators to create rigorous and engaging activities for my classroom.”
ELB: "Have you previously used technology in your classroom?"
Katherine: “Before receiving a Prowise panel, my students and I used Presenter software on my document camera in order to leverage its educational tools and games! We had a classroom set of laptops, 10 iPads, and recently received iPods for our VR goggles! We also have experimented with green screen technology as well as robotics and coding.”
ELB: “How is the Prowise solution being used in your classroom now? And how has it helped you overcome previous challenges?”
Katherine: “Our Prowise is used every morning to display our daily slides. I use Prowise Presenter to introduce whole group lessons. Students are able to come up to the panel to participate or share work using ProConnect. I love being able to display student work in real-time. It allows me to quickly check for understanding and facilitates deeper classroom discussions. We also use the Prowise panel as a tool during our rotations. We love the tools that are available within Presenter software as well as the endless amount of educational games! My students are obsessed with ProConnect, as well as the activities that are available in tabletop mode. Prior to getting a Prowise panel, we did not have any type of smart board or panel that students were able to interact with. The panel allows students to have a more technology-based hands-on learning experience in my classroom.”
ELB: “How has the Prowise solution improved teaching and learning?”
Katherine: “The Prowise makes it easy for me to plan and present effective lessons. I love that I can link websites, articles, and other tools to enhance my lessons. Having access to these digital lessons year after year has allowed me to improve my instruction for the future. It also allows me to share my lessons easily with colleagues. Furthermore, I love the annotate tool. My students and I use this when showing, explaining, and presenting Google classroom assignments.”
ELB: “How did the staff and student body respond?”
Katherine: “Our school staff has hit the ground running with Prowise Presenter software. We have been slowly rolling out more panels to classrooms across our campus and have Prowise training days at our district. The collaboration piece has been so beneficial because we are able to share what has worked well in each of our classrooms. I always leave meetings with a new tip and/or tool to implement in my classroom instruction. The students just LOVE the panels. The tabletop games are a huge hit. I even have students begging me to stay in at recess to use the Prowise. Students are so engaged when using the panel and the ProConnect tools.”
ELB: “What has been your favorite part of using the Prowise solution?”
Katherine: “My favorite part of using the Prowise is how easy it is to use and implement! My students quickly picked up on how to use each of the tools and are really able to use technology to drive their own learning!”
ELB: “Do you have a favorite Prowise lesson that you would want to share with us?"
Katherine: “One of my favorite Prowise lessons from this year has been learning to use the C.U.B.E.S. method to solve addition and subtraction word problems! I started this as a whole group lesson over the first two days. Then we did math stations on the third day and students rotated through my group at the prowise. During this time, we worked on identifying key words as either addition or subtraction, and then created our own word problems! Many of my printable resources can be found in my Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) store. Just search Elem Einsteins! You can also follow along with my classroom on Instagram @elementary_einsteins. I share Prowise tips and tricks as well as answer questions about specific lessons!”
ELB: “Your dedication to education and your students inspires us! Thank you for sharing your story with us and we look forward to supporting your teaching needs in the future.”