PBS Digital Innovator 2017

Sylwia Denko

Sylwia Denko New Jersey
  • NJTV
  • Lawrenceville, New Jersey

Sylwia’s third grade students are all little geniuses. As a devotee of “Genius Hour”—a project-based learning movement—Sylwia encourages her students to solve complex problems by following their own passions. She presents students with situations that require them to find solutions on their own and brainstorm about skills they have that might solve the problem. “When my little change-agents learned about endangerment and poaching of elephants, they were passionately motivated,” Sylwia says. “I watched my students move from curious wonder, to frustration, and finally to determination to make a difference.” By the end of her nonfiction unit, and after a month of research and collaboration, the students proudly adopted “class” elephant, Sukari.

Fun Fact: Sylwia, aka @MissDenko, has more than 15,500 followers on Twitter.

Follow Sylwia on Twitter, @MissDenko, and on Instagram @LeadingLittleLearners.