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Golden Apple recipient turns students into problem solvers

Inside 2018 Golden Apple recipient April Moran's kindergarten classroom at Cormier School and Early Learning Center in Ashwaubenon (WLUK image)

ASHWAUBENON (WLUK) -- In April Moran's kindergarten class at Cormier School and Early Learning Center, the story of Jack and the Beanstalk is coming to life.

And a challenge is set.

Students need to create a beanstalk for Jack to climb, using only 10 pipe cleaners, pushing these 5- and 6-year-olds to use some critical thinking skills.

"We talked about structure, we talked about function and then we talked about what an engineer needs to do and how does an engineer's brain need to think to create," Moran explained.

The solo part of the project turned into a team-building process.

"I want you to compare your structure to the person next to you," Moran instructed students.

A group that isn't considered just friends, but family.

"We all help each other out. There's no putdowns. We're problem solvers, and failure is OK," Moran said.

Mrs. Moran's students persevered throughout the challenge.

It's not a golden egg but a Golden Apple shining bright in the classroom, a shimmer of success beaming bright for all to see.

"I'm working beside a lot of Golden Apple winners. They're the people -- you know, my mentors and colleagues -- that have made me who I am today," Moran said.

Moran also uses iPads, which she says allows her students to use to send their school projects right away to their parents.

FOX 11's Tom Milbourn, Michelle Melby and Mike Murad kicked off the nomination period for the 25th annual Golden Apple Awards in September. Nominees were announced in January, and the Teachers of Distinction were named later in the month.

The full list of recipients was announced in February.

This year's Golden Apple Awards ceremony is set for April 18. It will be broadcast at 6 p.m. April 19 on CW 14 and at 6 p.m. April 22 on FOX 11.

The Golden Apple Awards are a program of the Greater Green Bay Chamber, with support from major sponsors.

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