RMS teacher recognized as CITE Learning finalist

Published 11:53 am Friday, March 4, 2016

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— After successfully implementing the blended learning program, GradPoint, into her eighth grade Spanish I class, Riverchase Middle School teacher Katherine Grimes was named a finalist in the CITE Learning Award.

Riverchase Middle School teacher Katherine Grimes is a finalist for the CITE Learning Award. (Contributed)

Riverchase Middle School teacher Katherine Grimes is a finalist for the CITE Learning Award. (Contributed)

Each year, the parent company for GradPoint honors leaders who make significant contributions and encourage further innovation in online learning.

Shannon Bogert, Pelham City Schools’ curriculum supervisor, nominated Grimes, who was then selected as a finalist among four other teachers from around the country.

“I was completely flabbergasted when I found I was nominated in the first place,” Grimes said in a March 4 interview. “Then to find out (I was a finalist). I don’t think words can explain just how honored I was to be nominated and chosen.”

Grimes said she has been taking lessons from the GradPoint program and incorporating them into her classroom. This gives the students a supplemental way to use the information they learn in class and apply it online.

“They have different exercises and things like that to use what they have done and apply it into different formats,” Grimes said. “It’s just a way to facilitate something extra into the classroom instead of just the traditional format.”

Not only can the students use the online program in the classroom, but Grimes said they can also use the resources at home to get in extra practice and reinforce classwork.

This is the first year Grimes has used the GradPoint program and said it seems to be helping the students with their Spanish.

“They get in there, they really enjoy it,” she said. “There are things they’ve taken and are able to apply and feel confident in what they have done and have learned.”

Knowing that Bogert noticed how Grimes was working with this program and nominated her for a nationwide award was humbling, Grimes said. Just to be among the finalists was a great feeling, she said.

At the end of the year, Grimes said she plans on evaluating the program to see how beneficial it was to her students. She said she feels it was a great resource for her classroom, so she’s eager to evaluate it.

She plans to continue implementing GradPoint in her classroom, using it to keep her students motivated and engaged in what they are doing.