Educator Q&A: A Colorado Teacher Shares Why She Loves CKLA

By Amplify Staff

jessmcnary headshot.jpgName: Jessica McNary
School:Gunnison Elementary-Lake School
District: Gunnison Watershed School District
What grade do you teach? Kindergarten
How long have you been teaching CKLA? 1 year and 112 days!

Q: What is your favorite part of CKLA and why?

A: I enjoy seeing kids make connections as the year goes on. Many of the listening and learning units build upon each other and reference things students learned in other units earlier in the year. Hearing them remember what they previously learned is the best.

Just recently we were studying weather and seasons and the lessons referred to plants sprouting, it was great to hear students referencing back to when we studied plants. I also enjoy hearing parents talk about what their kids talk about at home from their learning.

Q: Do you have a favorite CKLA domain or unit to teach and why?

A: I really enjoy the Kings and Queens domain. In our class, we pick a daily king and queen who wear crowns and sit on royal thrones for the day. The king and queen are the line leaders for the day. I purchased a tent-like castle where children are able to play and read inside.

Also during play time, I have a wooden castle that students play with. I love hearing their vocabulary and conversations while playing with the castle. I feel like suddenly their art comes alive with castles, kings, and queens.

I like that the learning is not limited to the 30 minutes we have scheduled for listening and learning, they really are making those connections all day long. My students really enjoy hearing about crown prince and princesses. Students are interested cause these are real children who really could be king or queen someday.

This year is especially exciting with another royal wedding happening in England. I can't wait to show my students some clips from the royal wedding in mid-May.

Jessica McNary is one of our educator ambassadors. You can follow her on Twitter at @McNaryClass. Do you have a question for a CKLA teacher? Are you interested in being an ambassador? We’d love to hear from you! Please send us an email at!

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