The positive energy is strong early in the day at one east Anchorage elementary school. Lorianne Mordini's second grade class at Wonder Park engages in dance and song, as they get ready to tackle a day of learning.

"I really enjoy this age group," Mordini said. "They're really fun. They still like love school. They love everything."

This is Mordini's fourth year teaching and she says she mirrors her students' enthusiasm. A lot of scholastic ground is covered throughout the school year, but she places a special focus on reading.

"We do a lot of different things," Mordini said. "I like to group them. I definitely make sure that the text they're reading is interesting to them. I also make sure that it's on their level, that they're capable of reading it."

She engages in unique ways, encouraging students to read "outside the book".

"For our homework, actually, we have a 'reading bingo' and it has lots of different fun things to read," Mordini said. "Read a recipe, read the newspaper, read the back of a cereal box and they seem to really enjoy it. I just want them to love reading at the end of second grade."

According to a letter from a parent nominating Mordini for "Head of the Class", her students' make tremendous strides in reading throughout the school year. With reading scores down for Alaska youth when compared to national numbers, she emphasizes it's importance regardless of the subject being taught.

"Science we're learning about earth systems," Mordini said. "We've been working on incorporating our science with our writing and reading. I really like to integrate the arts into my teaching. Everyone can learn and benefit from that."

Mordini grew up in Eagle River and continues to live in the area. She enjoys the opportunity to teach and inspire the next generation of Alaska.

"I just wanted to give back to my community and do something that makes a difference for the future," she said.

Lorianne Mordini is KTVA's Head of the Class.

Know an educator who deserves recognition? Nominate them for KTVA's Head of the Class.

Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.

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