Promoting Math in the New Year
As the new year approaches, we have been gaining significant momentum in math skills and problem solving. Math I is focusing on dividing decimals based on a thorough understanding of place value. Relating the chip model to the steps in division of decimals is paying off with increased understanding of how the algorithm functions. If you have a student in Math I, ask him or her to demonstrate how they can solve a decimal division problem using this concrete model–a great confidence builder!
Math II and III students are working in unit prices and rates including speed, work, and measurement conversions. Ask your math student to help you shop using unit prices posted on grocery store shelves. Why not save money while reinforcing valuable math skills and smart consumer habits?
Math IV is learning to do proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem. Remember the Scarecrow’s line in The Wizard of Oz after receiving his request for a brain? In the famous 1939 film, the Scarecrow mistakenly claims, “the sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side.” Our Math IV student can tell you why that isn’t true. Ask her to explain and then show you the proof using the “square within a square” model. Then find a home project to put this valuable theorem to use!
As we embark upon another great school year, I am starting my 21st year at Index School. I began my career rather adventurously in a small school in Nevada where I taught two years in a 5-6-7-8 classroom. I discovered that I loved the age group, working in a small community, and being able to work collaboratively to create curriculum to meet standards in ways that engaged the students. And so, the journey continues….
I graduated from Lewis-Clark State College summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Reading. Student teaching experience includes 2nd grade, 5th grade, and high school college prep and regular English classes. My endorsements include Reading K-12 and most recently, English 4-12. I have considerable credits in my Master’s Degree program in the area of Literacy Specialist K-12. Part of my Master’s work was working with students who had reading difficulties in the Center for Learning and Literacy at the University of Nevada, Reno under the supervision of Donald Bear and Shane Templeton, well known literacy specialists, professors at UNR, and two of the co-authors of Words Their Way.
I consider myself a lifelong learner not only academically, but also in general. My greatest desire is to nurture that mindset along with critical thinking and curiosity in the students I am fortunate enough to teach.
I enjoy reading (of course) and most outdoor adventures, especially those in and around water. The best times are those spent with family and good friends. I’m exceedingly proud of my son and daughter and their families, including my three grandchildren who furnish much of the joy in my life.