MDCS
Inspiring Students

Alexandra Nichols

Alexandra grew up on the southern coast of Massachusetts and she is very excited to begin life here in the mountains as she wants to learn everything she can about hiking, camping, and kayaking. Alexandra grew up playing viola and piano and has played in many different orchestras. Her biggest passion, however, is teaching! Experiencing those “aha!” and “lightbulb” moments with students bring her the most joy. She is overjoyed to be working closely with the fantastic team of teachers here at Mountain Discovery to deeply develop her pedagogy.

Alexandra received both her B.A. in Psychology and M.A.T degree from Brandeis University. Through her studies there, she honed her skills in teaching math through conversation and teaching science through inquiry. Alexandra hopes she inspires students to develop positive social identities, express comfort with people who are both similar to and different from them, relate to people as individuals, and express empathy when people are mistreated. Alexandra is excited to be part of a school community that honors: Empathy and Caring, The Natural World, Service and Compassion, Diversity and Inclusion, Success And Failure, Responsibility for Learning, The Having of Wonderful Ideas, Collaboration & Competition, Solitude and Reflection, and The Primacy of Self.

Third grade is filled with many new and exciting adventures, all designed to heighten the student’s awareness of the world around them. The expeditions, based on the NC Standards and Course of Study, provide an opportunity for students to learn and make connections between all the subjects of study (Math, Reading, Language Arts, Science, & Social Studies).

In math we begin to explore the concept of multiplication; learning our times tables is a year-long goal that starts at the beginning of the year. We continue our education of addition and subtraction and even throw some Algebra in to keep the students thinking!

A variety of Reading techniques are used to educate the students about the different genres. From whole-group reading to Reading Workshop, the students practice skills that not only help them become better readers, but allow them to express themselves creatively.

Social studies bring discussions of the city in which the students live and their government. We also study the meaning of citizenship and strive to practice being good citizens in everything we do. We explore communities and examine how to be a productive member of such and learn that, even though we may not be adults yet, we can still initiate change.

Science during the third grade involves investigating the skeletal system, the solar system, soil properties, and plant growth and adaptations. You could say we learn from the inside of our bodies to infinity and beyond!

It is important to note that in all we do, we strive to demonstrate and model the Expeditionary Learning Design Principles. In doing so, we are allowing students to become a well-rounded student, not just one who reads and writes well.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, improvements, or even just simple “pats on the back.” Together we can raise the students up to become the best people they can be!

Lisa Murphy

Third Grade Assistant

Lisa received her BS in Elementary Education in 2017. She loves guiding students through inquiry and investigations of science and social studies through the use of technology, games, and project based learning. She would like every child to know that they have a purpose in life and can be successful in their quest to be responsible for their own learning. Lisa currently has four dogs, Harley, Jake, Bella, and Gihli (Cherokee for dog), her cat Smoky, four chickens and one horse. In the near future, she hopes to open 3D’s Christian Youth Center and Family Campground and to care for foster children. Her son, Dillan, is furthering his knowledge and love for working with horses and she hopes to add this skill to the Youth Center.

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