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Forward-thinking Educator wins Golden Apple for Blended Learning Classroom

At FreshGrade, we think that all teachers are superheroes, and we love celebrating their achievements. This week we are excited to profile another award-winning FreshGrade Champion, Sarah Rich.

JamesJones_PRI_AV2A9034_cl_szSarah is a 2nd Grade teacher and a founding faculty member at Paul Cuffee Charter School, Rhode Island. She has recently received NBC10’s Golden Apple award for her use of 21st Century Learning connecting parents with the use of FreshGrade. Her innovative approach has also been recognized by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) with a Digital Leader Early Learning Award.

Sarah was nominated for the Golden Apple by a parent for her use of FreshGrade, which connects her classroom to home, and enables parents to feel like they are a big part of their child’s learning.

Here’s a video showing how Sarah uses FreshGrade in her classroom:

“FreshGrade was a great find at the beginning of the school year,” says Sarah. “I used to spend hours at the weekend on a blog, and before that, I used to write monthly newsletters. Now I’m able to showcase much more. I mostly use the portfolio tool, which engages the students, has made Parent Conferences really easy, and allows me to spend more time on the children’s performance. They often ask me, ‘Are we going to put this on FreshGrade?’”

At Paul Cuffee, Sarah’s class of 2nd Graders are pioneers, practicing blended learning at their own pace. The students share two computer rooms and a laptop cart with the rest of the school and are lucky to have access to 5 iPads that Sarah has acquired for the class.

Students at Paul Cuffee use technology to record evidence of learning — from Reader’s Theater performances and science experiments, to stop animation creations to bring their stories to life, such as the life cycle of a mealworm.

“The children are held accountable and know that what they’re doing is a privilege,” says Sarah, “They are now gaining confidence by coaching 4th and 5th Grade students, learning about classroom management, and thinking about how they can support their teachers.

Sarah is currently wrapping up a FUSE Fellowship through the Highlander Institute and is coaching other teachers on blended learning using FreshGrade. Follow her on Twitter @edtechSAE. Congratulations, Sarah, from all of us, and thanks for being a FreshGrade Champion!

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