Playing with dirt is part of the curriculum in Rhonda Rogers' third grade class.
"We're gonna talk about fractions," says Rogers as she encourages her students to fill their plastic cupcake containers halfway with dirt. The students go on to make mini "greenhouses" while learning about math and science.
Rogers has taught third grade at Jonathan Valley Elementary School for five years, and been a teacher for 13 years.
Before that, she was a stay-at-home mom of two, including a special-needs daughter.
"Whenever she was growing up, I worried about what kind of teacher I would be sending her to," Rogers remembers.
Rogers turned her worrying into becoming the teacher of her dreams, graduating with honors while working full-time and caring for her family.
"I want to be the kind of teacher every parent says, 'I want my child to be in her class, because I know she's going to be well taken care of. I know she's going to learn.'"
Rogers says she's all about hands-on learning, even if it's mummifying a hot dog as part of Egyptian studies (yep, it's two months old).
"She just takes it to a different level," says parent Melody Spomer. "She's very hands-on ,and just makes learning fun."
"She's really funny and really fun," says third grader Jonas. "She really likes the outdoors, like me, and I like her."
"She always wants the best for us and makes testing and things fun," adds third grader Scout.