Menlo Park, CA: Melissa Wardie, a 4th grade teacher at KND Elementary (MI), has been named the Open Up Resources Teacher of the Month for September 2023. Wardie is being recognized for her outstanding work in her classroom and ongoing support of teachers across the country as a member of the Open Up Resources National Professional Learning Community.
Wardie’s work with Bookworms K–5 Reading and Writing makes her one of the most innovative teachers in the country. The Bookworms K–5 Reading and Writing curriculum inspires a new way of teaching language arts by engaging students through compelling, real-world content to build equitable and inclusive learning opportunities.
Cody Jensen, an instructional coach at KND Elementary, nominated Wardie for her dedication and efforts for her students. Jensen shared, “Melissa always goes above and beyond for her students regardless of their status. She holds every student to high expectations for their learning and for their behavior.”
In the nomination, Jensen explained how Wardie strives to meet the needs of all learners in her classroom. He explained, “[Melissa] ensures to differentiate instruction daily to meet all of her students' needs. She follows the Bookworms curriculum with fidelity and believes that when it is done correctly the curriculum will positively impact student growth.”
Wardie’s favorite thing about Bookworms K–5 Reading & Writing is the materials and novels that are read during shared reading. She went on to share, “My reluctant readers don't want a story to end… they use Google to try and find a sequel.”
And she offered some insight for educators using the curriculum: “You will have to work hard, set expectations and MODEL, MODEL, MODEL but the end result will be well worth it!”
Open Up Resources is a non-profit on a mission to increase equity in education by making excellent, top-rated curricula freely available to districts. You can learn more at www.openupresources.org.