Deanna Stoube loves challenging herself to create lessons that engage young learners in a story and teaches them a strategy/skill along the way. When she was a classroom teacher she would use themes to create environments to support the lessons she would teach. For example, in her last classroom, the school was building a new library just outside Deanna’s windows. Instead of worrying about the distraction it might be for her class, Deanna turned construction into the theme for the year. From Building a Story to Caution: Falling Teeth her students were engaged in learning through their construction theme.
Deanna left her first grade classroom to become a teacher of future teachers. During that time she had a future teacher in her class that would – years later – provide Deanna with an opportunity to return to her love of lesson writing. That future teacher was StarrMatica’s CEO, Emily Starr. In 2012 Emily asked Deanna if she’d be interested in developing K-2 Literacy lessons for StarrMatica. Deanna jumped at the chance to once again challenge herself to create literacy lessons for young learners. The added bonus of creating these lessons to be done online made the opportunity even more appealing.
It’s difficult for Deanna to pinpoint her favorite part of lesson writing. She usually spends hours doodling ideas on legal pads and dreaming about possibilities. Then it’s on to storyboarding how to make the lesson come alive. Developing literacy lessons for StarrMatica has become a family project. Deanna counts on her husband and three children to listen to her ideas and give their thoughts. In fact, you’ll see Deanna’s children and their pets as characters in many of her lessons.
While Deanna loves the time she gets to spend working for StarrMatica, she continues in her role as a teacher of future teachers. Helping future teachers of literacy see the opportunities they have available to them to enhance their teaching, brings her two professional loves together – teaching future teachers and developing lessons for StarrMatica.