2019- 2020 Best Practice Golden Apple Teachers of Distinction

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CONNECTIONS and COLLABORATION Connection – noun - /kəˈnekSH(ə)n/ - a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else. Through these best practices, students are seeing how the various disciplines of the classroom continually cross over and fit into the context of the real world.

Regina Bale

Shannon Green

By implementing the idea of guided reading stations into science, Ms. Bale is seeing increased achievement with her students. Stations rotations may include small group instruction, independent practice through hands-on labs, vocabulary or technology. This approach has led to higher engagement, broader knowledge and increased confidence in her students.

In Ms. Green’s art room, students use their social and creative skills to engage in real-world situations with their art production. By building positive relationships inside the classroom as well as out in the community, students are building confidence and their social-emotional well-being. Through participation in various community art projects and contests, students are learning that hard work, creativity and perseverance can have great outcomes in the world outside of school.

Cypress Palm Middle, 8th Grade Guided Science

Kim Butun

Lely High, 10th - 12th Grade Active Learning Students are up and learning in Ms. Butun’s psychology classroom! To fully learn the material and grow in their ability to think critically and creatively, her students are active each day. From role play to writing and presenting speeches and poems, from creating art to doing topical research, the students are actively engaged with the material and each other every day.

Amie Herrera

Parkside Elementary, Kindergarten - 2nd Grade Integrate Core Curriculum into PE In Ms. Herrera’s P.E. class, students are not only getting in shape, but they are also reinforcing their math and vocabulary lessons. By incorporating the core curriculum into their physical activities, students are retaining the knowledge and expanding their vocabulary, leading to greater gains across the board.

Caitlyn Carbonell

Catherine Honiball

Teaching the whole child is central in Ms. Carbonell’s classroom. Focusing on each student’s mind, body and soul means not only teaching the academic information, but also teaching students social skills such as collaboration, listening, and how to disagree respectfully. Not only do these skills contribute to higher achievement, but they also provide a foundation for life.

Engagement comes in various forms in Ms. Honiball’s science classroom. In order to address the differing levels of background knowledge of her students, she is closing the gap by tapping into their natural curiosity. Using technology, games, and hands-on scientific investigations, students are eager to participate, show their knowledge, and help one another to succeed.

William R. Combes

Tanya Kish

Participatory learning and academics go hand in hand in Mr. Combes’ class. Not only are students learning the core content, they are applying that knowledge to real-life projects, such as building a doghouse that will be donated to a local animal shelter. Using skills-based problem solving, students are developing a “can-do attitude” that is preparing them for life inside and outside the classroom.

Once Ms. Kish realized the impact of using Kagan strategies in her classroom, she began to implement and adapt them, witnessing tremendous growth in her students. When she finds her students completely engaged in their learning and using academic language, she records them and posts to Twitter. Now they are “Twitter Famous” and their parents and others in the community can see their great work.

Juniace Senecharles Etienne

Maria Leyva

In Ms. Etienne’s French classes, students are not only learning the language, but are immersed in the culture. By using Virtual Reality, students are able to “visit” Francophone countries and explore the similarities and differences to their own culture. This leads to a better understanding of people around the world and the desire to make a global change by giving back.

Living in a culture that is different from your own can be both exciting and challenging. Developing life skills, creative thinking, interpersonal communication, and working as a team are some of the skills needed in life. In Ms. Leyva’s class, she presents material that is useful and relevant to her adult learners, to help them adapt and thrive in their new environment.

Lely Elementary, 2nd Grade Total Teaching: The Mind, Body, and Soul

Highlands Elementary, 5th Grade Empowering All with All Education

Barron Collier High, 9th - 12th Grade The Culture of Other Francophone Countries


Osceola Elementary, Kindergarten - 5th Grade Creative SEL with Community Sponsor Collaboration

Avalon Elementary, 5th Grade Generating Scientific Curiosity Through Engagement

Estates Elementary, 3rd Grade Twitter Famous with Collaborative Structures

Immokalee Technical College, Adult Education Cultural Acclimation through Relevant Instruction