Mrs. Ashley Cleland

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Mrs. Ashley Cleland

Hello! I am thrilled to teach an amazing group of fifth graders here at James W. Smith Elementary. I am so blessed to work with students who have a true love for learning. This is my twelfth year of teaching and I am savoring every moment!

I've been married to my amazing husband Scott for 8 years.  He's my rock and I can unfailingly count on him to be my number one supporter.  In addition to being an incredible father to our children, he admires my passion for my students and fosters positive conditions for the learners within my classroom.

We've been blessed with a feisty and compassionate little girl named Reagan, a thoughtful and inquisitive little boy named Lincoln, a silly toddler boy name Gentry, and a calm and happy baby named Everett. Reagan is learning to read and I enjoy helping her explore the world through books and responding to her incessant thought-provoking questions about everything she observes; she sure keeps me on my toes! Lincoln loves sports already and is enjoying giving his parents a run for our money trying to keep up with him.  Gentry is exploring the world by crawling after his brother and sister and learning new cute baby sounds.  Everett reminds our family daily to just be happy and content and not to stress too much! Our four children are the lights of our lives and have become my motivation to become a better teacher; it becomes more and more imperative to me to benefit every child who enters my classroom and beyond.  In my classroom, learning is a call of urgency and it is critical that I am the best teacher I can be for every child within our classroom.

I am fortunate to be a North Carolina Teaching Fellow who attended the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. I graduated in May of 2005 with my undergraduate degree and graduated in December of 2006 with my Masters of Elementary Education. During my courses at UNCW, I learned the importance of approaching instruction from various perspectives as no two children have the exact same prior experiences to facilitate their learning and no two students prefer to interact with lessons through an identical approach.

Please know that students will be expected to complete homework every night. If your child is telling you a different story, then please contact me to discuss homework expectations.  I understand that time with family after school is important and homework is designed to be minimal while still supporting student learning and allowing parents to connect with students and the school family over what is being taught in class. 

Students are expected to get their planner signed every night. This is a great way to communicate with me.  I am eager to forge a positive relationship with my students and their families.  Our primary goal is to best-benefit each child within our classroom walls.  Together, we can do this!

Our school is fortunate to be equipped with 1:1 technology.  This means that every child in our school has access to a piece of technology purposed with facilitating their instruction.  This is awesome and the benefits of this can be seen in a multitude of areas.  In our classroom, your child will have access to a chromebook.  We'll use this chromebook and your child's Google account throughout the day and it will serve as a critical tool to foster your child's instruction.  Ask your child to share their work with you and teach you what they've learned in class!  Students will explore a portion of instruction through project-based learning. This allows students to practice multiple reading skills at once while learning how to create a presentation or product of their understanding. It's also a fabulous way to integrate learning about social studies in a more authentic manner than simply reading from a textbook and answering questions. Students will actually be responsible for understanding the content. This is one of the best approaches for preparing your child for life beyond the classroom walls.

Science is one of my favorite subjects! I teach science through an inquiry-based approach which means that students are the leaders during science labs and I facilitate them in creating meaning of what they are seeing occur before their very eyes. It's so much fun to watch students realize a passion for this; we will have some busy hands completing science labs in our classroom.

Mastering math concepts covered in class is critical to students succeeding in ther future careers and life choices.  It is my mission to make math content relevant and meaningful to each child and to aid them in recognizing how important the content learned in class is to being a successful citizen.

We'll work with cooperative groups in all subjects and will learn more about our own gifts and talents as well as how to conquer our weaknesses!  Working with others to share products, reasoning, and purpose for choices allows students to strengthen their own understanding of content.  The discussions occuring within our classroom walls rival intellectual discussions of adults meeting in a board room.  In our classroom, you will observe respectful students who are eager to learn from one another and eager to teach one another.

It's going to be a busy year full of mistakes, successes, hard work, and smiles.  

Just Wait and See...