Ellen A. Thompson


Ellen A. Thompson was a classroom teacher in Vermont for over twenty years. She spent fourteen of those years in a Multiage setting. For nine years she taught children aged 6-9 years of age.

Ellen achieved her National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist in 1999.

Ellen has shared techniques that she field-tested in her literature-based classroom with teachers across the country. Her expertise with year-long themes, planning and teaching clearly enhances her presentations. Ellen is able to share many examples of classroom set-up, management techniques, and real learning based on her past experiences as a Multiage teacher. Ellen knows how to make "learning," not "teaching," the focus of a classroom, creating an environment where students can and do learn.

When Richard Mills, then Vermont's Commissioner of Education, went to spend a day in Ellen A. Thompson's Multiage classroom to present her with Vermont's 1993 Teacher of the Year Award, he remarked on how Ellen's class "appeared to be running itself."

Having left the elementary classroom, Ellen spends her time teaching at the University of Vermont in the elementary education program. She also presents nationally for several educational groups and independently for school districts across the country.

Ellen has published her first book, I Teach First Grade! for Crystal Springs Books. Several video tapes have also been produced of Ellen's classroom. A Day in a Multiage Classroom and Nuts and Bolts of Multiage Teaching are available through Crystal Springs Books, located in Peterborough, New Hampshire. A video was produced by the Vermont State Department of Education on the Vermont Common Core, which also highlights Ellen's classroom. Ellen has contributed to several books on Multiage and inclusive classroom instruction, which are published by Crystal Springs Books. Ellen is currently working on self-publishing her literature-based literacy lessons. They will be available first on this website.