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Open Door to the "Super Store" Web site name: Mrs. Sumner's Fourth Grade

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Web site creator: Sharon Sumner, Sullivan Elementary School, Sullivan, Missouri

"I've been making Web pages since I was first introduced to the Internet in 1996," recalls fourth grade teacher Sharon Sumner. "Prior to that time, one of my favorite hobbies was devouring teacher magazines searching for creative activities to use in my teaching. I saw right away that the Internet was like one big free teacher's store."

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Sumner is such an avid user of technology that she once pulled a muscle in her back while working on a Web page all day -- and she quickly discovered the value of a good chair!

"I began my journey into the Internet by collecting site URLs, typing them in a word processor, and putting them in a notebook," Sumner told Education World. "Once I was introduced to Web-page design, I began creating pages that would link to those resources. Mrs. Sumner's Fourth Grade simply evolved from that point to what it is today -- a working Web site used daily by myself and by my students, a communication tool linking school and home, and a resource for students, parents, and teachers."

Sumner has posted links related to her classroom subjects on an Online Curriculum page that includes resources in Math, Social Studies, Science, and Communication Arts. Her Missouri History page in the Social Studies section is popular among educators across the state. A new addition to the site is the Virtual Hero Club, an enrichment opportunity for students. They use the Daily Assignments page to keep track of their work and view what is in store for the future.

Sumner, who freely donates hours after school to tutor teachers who are less tech-savvy, also receives frequent feedback from visitors to the site; and she responds to every message. "Many times others will seek my advice, and I'm pleased to be able to help them in any way I can," said Sumner. "I understand the power of technology and want others to share in that knowledge."


Article by Cara Bafile
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