Lori Granite

Lori Granite of Rockford has taught 1st grade self-contained, PK4-6th/Spanish, and now teaches JK4-5th grade S.T.E.A.M at Rockford Christian School, where she’s been for 10 years. Despite having 25 years of teaching experience, Lori continues to seek new information and best practices to add to her “toolbox.” By furthering her education, attending professional development workshops and participating in professional organizations, she feeds her love of learning and models that passion to her RCS learners. Lori knows her students, their backgrounds, learning styles, interests and cultural diversities. She attends their events; participates in service projects and fundraisers; gives notes of encouragement; and calls parents to keep them informed about their child’s progress.” Lori also takes advantage of our community’s amazing technology resources, connecting with Discovery Center Museum, Collins Aerospace, Winnebago County Farm Bureau, Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful and Burpee Museum, just to name a few. These efforts convey how much she cares about the students and their academic success. One parent wrote that her third-grade daughter raves about Lori, “she wants us to think and she always is so happy to answer our questions – and the things she teaches always makes me want to ask so many questions.” Lori’s students delve into class topics so deeply that they often continue research beyond the classroom, creating posters and PowerPoint presentations on their own to share with the class, not for grades, just to satisfy their curiosity about topics she’s introduced. Students also share “treasures” with Lori, such as insects, snakeskins and x-rays, for her to identify and discuss. Several parents wrote in amazement about what their children learn from Lori and how they have even taught them a few things over dinner talk! During anatomy lessons, Lori calls the students “doctor.” They proudly write “Dr.” on their work. In doing so, she says, “they easily become motivated to reach higher academic expectations because they know I believe in them.” Lori applies differentiation techniques to both teaching plans and assessments. Reviews may look like a Jeopardy game or a childish drawing, but by collaborating with parents, colleagues and resource staff, Lori finds and uses the best methods to connect with students at their levels. “I have discovered that when students realize assessments can take on forms to fit their particular learning styles, they have less anxiety about testing and show more confidence in class.” The third-grader’s parent praised Lori for inspiring her students and encouraging them to ask questions. ”Those are the children who can change the world. And those are the things that Mrs. Granite brings into a classroom.”