2008 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award
Ms. Patti Seeholzer, Utah
Searching for new ideas to enrich lessons and engage students in the learning process, Patti Seeholzer saw Utah's AITC online course, Food, Land & People, as a program that would enhance her students' opportunities for learning not only about agricul¬ture, but in all the content areas of the Utah Core Curriculum. Patti's Embryology study includes hatching eggs, journal writing, puzzles, and a choral reading. During the study of honeybees, a portable hive is brought to the classroom for students to observe the bees' activities. A cotton-picking relay and viewing an animated cotton gin in action leads to learning the importance of cotton and inventions in our society. Students read books, compose poems, make graphic organizers, do math activities, perform short plays, and conduct many hands-on experiments. Patty states, "I want to instill my love of learning in my students. When I am excited about what we are studying, I feel this ene¬rgy transfers to the children through my teaching. Agriculture in the Classroom has helped me accomplish that goal."
Patti Seeholzer was selected the Region I Elementary Science Teacher of the Year in 2006 and received the Presidential Excellence in Science & Math Teaching. She teaches third grade and is in her 24th year of teaching.