In The Classroom: Summit Cove fifth graders are ready to change the world 

Today we are IN THE CLASSROOM at Summit Cove Elementary, where fifth grade teacher Evan Cuthbert is getting philosophical on the first day of state standardized testing.  

“Teaching is interesting because you don’t truly know, like self-reflective, how good of a job are you doing as a teacher, right?” he tells me when we meet in his classroom April 2, just thirty minutes before students arrive. “Because you can only see it in the data when it shows up. So for me, it’s trusting that we’ve done our best all year and we’ve hit all of our state standards, which is what’s required of me as a teacher.” 

Mr. Cuthbert is feeling confident his first day of testing, known as Colorado Measures of Academic Succes. 

His students are feeling just as confident. They took their first CMAS test in third grade. By fifth grade they get a brand-new challenge: science. 

“A lot of the students really love it,” Cuthbert says. “Science talks about practical application and things like gravity, and different forces of attraction, magnetism, chemical changes, physical changes. 

It’s a style of hands-on learning he himself loves: Before coming to Summit Cove, he spent summers teaching surfing and more at summer camps in California. 

“We did a lot of hands-on experiments this year in the classroom leading up to science CMAS,” he says. 

After two weeks of testing, Mr. Cuthbert’s fifth graders will dig deep into their final projects of the year, when they pick a topic and design a solution based on what they’ve learned. Climate change is popular. At least one student is tackling sustainable agriculture. 

“We’re going to take their applied knowledge from some of their experiments and how they build models,” he says, “and create a model from something real world.” 

Thanks again for going in IN THE CLASSROOM from Heavenly Times Hot Tubs and Billiards and the Summit Foundation Bright Futures Fund