I strive daily to encourage my students to think deeply and become motivated, enthusiastic learners. I want them to be genuinely EXCITED about learning! The importance of a positive, nurturing atmosphere helps to develop a classroom that's child-centered with an emphasis on active learning. Correct modeling is an essential ingredient at this age and stage of learning! The students become independent workers and deeper thinkers when I provide positive reinforcers, humor when appropriate, and integrate standards and subject matter across my first grade curriculum. Songs, games, questioning techniques and the use of technology(Smartboard interactive activities) help to encourage higher order thinking skills and cooperative learning in my first grade class. I have a class motto that the children relate to: "If you believe, you WILL achieve!" and they know that "can't never could" so they're encouraged to try new things and have an "I CAN" attitude with a willingness to work together so that our classroom is a place where everyone feels safe and excited about learning.