Andrew Menard – 4th Grade

Andrew Menard is a fourth grade math, science, and social studies teacher from Denver, Colorado. He’s been a classroom teacher for a whopping 29 years (!!!), and is a proud Engagement Engineer whose work is helping to raise the bar of the EMC² Learning community. Here’s what he had to say about how EMC² Learning has helped both him and his students add new life to his fourth grade classroom.

Fighting To Keep Things Fresh

As a teacher with nearly three decades of experience, I always knew that I had to keep my teaching fresh and innovative. But when it came to creating new teaching experiences to keep my students engaged, the task seemed overwhelming. I felt like I was staring at a mountain that was insurmountable. The thought of launching new ideas was discouraging, and I often found myself struggling to keep up.

That’s when I discovered EMC² Learning. The website was a treasure trove of great ideas that I could use right away, or modify slightly to make them specific to my classroom. I was excited to keep finding and using all sorts of new ways to engage my students. What was even better was that the Skill Builder courses took my thinking to a new level.

"By completing the Skill Builder courses, I was changing my mindset, not simply implementing new activities."

From Roadblocks to Road Ready

I had been following Michael’s work for a long time and was excited to see this new site. I had been trying to implement a gamified classroom for years, but not being a big gamer, I kept hitting roadblocks and was not satisfied with my results. After the COVID year(s), I wanted to provide a unique and memorable experience for my incoming 4th graders. No doubt, they were down on school after remote learning. I committed to going all in on gamifying my classroom and that’s when I joined EMC². I was specifically interested in the courses that dealt with this topic.

The site raised my game to new levels! I now have a notebook filled with player level cards, badges, and items. The kids can’t wait for us to see what happens next in our multi-section boss battles. That’s all I heard about during parent conferences this year. Kids are talking about school at home! While I continue to work on our year-long game, I have also started using some of the other resources found on EMC². The graphics are high quality and the activities are always engaging.

As a teacher with 29 years of experience, I am proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks. The problem is never solved because the journey never ends, it just keeps evolving. The journey is now what keeps me moving forward, looking for new ideas, twists, and opportunities. I can’t believe how much new material is added to the EMC² site on a regular basis. While not all of the resources on the site work for me, the fact that new resources are added keeps me coming back for more. I now see materials in my classroom that I have never used being utilized in completely different ways. I have just started to think differently about new ways to engage students.

If you’re a teacher looking for fresh ideas, I highly recommend checking out EMC² Learning. The website has been a game-changer for me, and I’m sure it will be for you too.

EMC² Learning is home to more than 600 fully editable resources for any course or content area. Engagement Engineers and members of the Creative Corps enjoy a full year of access to each of these resources on demand. We hope you’ll consider joining us to unlock a full year of site access. For complete details including our exclusive limited time offer for annual site membership, click here.

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