Thanks to Teachers: Susan Ball

Photo credit: WLOS Staff

There are desks in Susan Ball's fourth grade class at Brush Creek Elementary School, but much of the math is learned down on the floor during an exercise called Number Talks.

"We pretty much think out loud and we explain what our answer is, and we learn from our mistakes and all that," explained one student.

During Number Talks, students give each other high fives after one problem is solved.

"I really like it," student A.J. Thomas said. "It's a lot better than doing worksheets."

Ball, a longtime fourth grade teacher at Brush Creek said Number Talks are all about the support and teamwork that leads to problem solving.

"I've taught different levels. College. I've taught preschool, and I really enjoy this fourth grade -- third and fourth grade. They're really becoming their own people. They're doing their own thinking," Ball said. "Their minds are developing and growing and blooming."

Ball says it is similar teamwork among the Brush Creek community that led to her being named Brush Creek's Teacher of the Year and her Thanks to Teachers nomination.

"It's not me, it's the kids, and the families and the support the school has that makes this such an honor," she said.

"I don't really know how to describe it, but she teaches in a really fun way, and I like it," student Dawson Metcalf said.

"Fourth grade is a really big jump, so for people who usually don't have to think as hard, she's taught us how to really, really dig deep and think beneath the surface," student A.J. Thomas added.

"They're working so much harder and faster than we did as children and kids did 20 years ago. They're 21st century learners, and they are having to rise to the task," Ball said.

Susan Ball's students said they are rising to the task thanks to a wonderful teacher.

"It just clicks now," Thomas agreed.

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