An educational manuscript co-authored by Old Town Elementary School Teacher Annie Durham has been selected for publication by Science and Children, a leading peer-reviewed journal for elementary science education.
Durham, who teaches first-grade at Old Town, was interviewed as part of the manuscript, entitled “Put your walls to work: Planning and using interactive word walls” with Texas State University Assistant Professor Dr. Julie Jackson. Durham and Jackson collaborated after the Old Town first-grade team began research on interactive word walls.
The word walls are classroom displays created by the students as the teacher introduces new science vocabulary that students need to know as part of the science unit.
Jackson interviewed Durham multiple times for the journal and listed her as the co-author of the manuscript to be published.
Durham’s contribution in the article consists of her experience using the question prompt “because” rather than asking “why.” A majority of the work within the manuscript was inspired by daily interactions with students, Durham said.
“I saw how asking the question ‘why?’ sometimes felt like an attack to students, prompting them to finish,” Durham said. “‘Because’ isn’t combative, it’s a conversation instead and it feels safer. The kids can more clearly tell that I want more information rather than feeling like I’m questioning the correctness of their answer or thinking.”
Science and Children publishes nine issues each year and accepts 25 percent of submissions. Durham’s article will be published in the literacy themed November 2016 issue.
“It is an honor to be selected for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, as it confirms the relevance of the teaching practices described in the manuscript and positions the author as an educational leader on a national level,” Jackson said. “Ms. Durham is a mature professional with a wealth of teaching knowledge that benefits the students at Old Town, curriculum development in Round Rock ISD and educational practice across the United States.”