Golden Apple: Teaching kindness while having fun at Dixie Bee Elementary

In Cheryl Thornton's classroom at Dixie Bee Elementary School in Terre Haute, you'll find a room full of busy eight-year-olds.

Posted: May 1, 2019 7:11 AM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Children today are being called 'the video game society.'

That is because of their focus on so many video games, kids are used to a lot of action.

That adds an extra challenge when it comes to keeping them focused...and that can be tough for teachers.

Our next Golden Apple winner is a 2nd-grade teacher who has embraces that video game society.

In Cheryl Thornton's classroom at Dixie Bee Elementary School in Terre Haute, you'll find a room full of busy eight-year-olds.

When we stopped in, they were 'swatting synonyms,' a fun way to learn about similar words.

"They are active bodies and they need to be able to get up and move around and they can learn a lot from eachother, and I love the turn and talk technique where they discuss together and learn from one another," Cheryl told us.

Mrs. Thornton has been at Dixie Bee for her entire 34-year-long career.

She said she is mindful of her young students' attention span.

She purposefully moves them around throughout the day and gives them hands-on things to do to help them learn.

"They're not going to remember worksheets and workbooks years from now, but they're going to remember the experiences they had," she told us.

She is working to keep the day exciting so kids get a great first impression of school.

When you ask others about Cheryl Thornton, they say she is genuine and motherly.

She says getting to know her students is very important to her.

"I call them on the phone before school begins in August and we chat a little bit so that I can get to know them," Cheryl said.

"She is dedicated, she is dynamic, she knows the needs of each and every one of her children," Dixie Bee Principal Mika Cassel said.

In a world full of negative things, this Terre Haute teacher works hard to make sure her classroom is a positive place.

Her kids are given compliments, they are treated with respect, and must do the same for each other, learning about kindness in a sometimes not so kind world.

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