An Interview with 3rd Grade Teacher Hannah Irion-Frake

Third Grade Teacher Engaging Students

We took a field trip to visit Hannah Irion-Frake, a third grade teacher in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. She shared what’s on her mind this year as she gets ready for back to school!

Pick one word that is your focus or intention this school year. Elementary Teacher Hannah Irion-Frake

Hannah: “Growth”

What is your favorite activity to build classroom community during the first week of school?

Hannah: “It’s so important for everyone to learn each other’s names during the first week of school. I have two favorite picture books that I read to my class: The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi and Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal. We also do several name game activities. In a circle, we share our name and a fun fact and then see if everyone can remember the people before them in the circle. We create our own class name jar with a special symbol to represent ourselves. We do a classmate scavenger hunt to learn neat facts about each other while also writing everyone’s name on our own paper.”

What is your favorite “teacher hack” or “tip”?

Hannah: “Instead of different classroom jobs for different students, make one student the “VIP” each day. Let them do all of the jobs that day – line leader, paper passer, calendar helper, etc. You’ll save your sanity when you don’t have to remember everyone’s job each day and that one student gets to feel super special all day long! I use a jar with clothespins that have student names written on them. Once they had their turn, I clip their clothespin to the side of the jar. When everyone has had a turn, all the clothespins go back in the jar and we start again!”

What are some traditions or superstitions you have for the first day of school?Students Using Seesaw to Document Learning

Hannah: “I always set extra alarms because I am so worried I’ll forget to wake up and get back into the routine of school!”

How do you use Seesaw to connect with families?

Hannah: “In addition to the amazing Messaging features that let me message 1-on-1 with parents and send small- and whole-group messages, Seesaw lets families see what we’re up to in the classroom! I can share pictures and videos with families of the things we’re doing. Families get to see their student’s work in their child’s portfolio. Families can like and comment on their child’s work too! As a mom myself, I love the window into the classroom, especially when my child usually tells me they did nothing all day!”

Share one Seesaw goosebumps moment. Was there a time learning was captured on Seesaw that gave you goosebumps?

Hannah: “My favorite moment will always be the first time I heard one of my most quiet and shy kiddos read with beautiful fluency and expression on Seesaw! I had never heard them speak that loudly or clearly or in so many words and I was in awe of their reading! It was that ah ha moment for me about why Seesaw helps all students show what they can do!”

What/who inspired you to become an educator?Third Grade Teacher Engaging Students

Hannah: “My mom inspired me to become an educator. Ever since I was little, I loved being in her classroom and hearing her talk about her students. As I got older, I watched the impact she had on students and I knew I wanted to have that kind of positive influence too.”

What are your tips to build relationships with families at the start of the school year?

Hannah: “Reach out to families early and often to help build positive connections. I send home a welcome letter to families before school starts that shares important information about our class schedule, how to contact me, and directions to join our class on Seesaw. I also share a little bit about myself and my family. To keep those positive connections going during the first week of school, I share pictures of what we’re doing as often as possible and I try to send positive messages to parents when I catch their child doing something awesome!”

What is your favorite quote of all time?

Hannah: “‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.’ -Maya Angelou”Students Using Multimodal Tools on Seesaw

What song do you know all the lyrics to?

Hannah: “An embarrassing amount of Disney movie songs!”

JOIN Hannah Irion-Frake at Connect 2023!

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