Molly Timmins, AmeriCorps VISTA Leader
MathAmigos held an exciting second Math Teacher Workshop on February 24th at the Higher Education Center. For this workshop, teachers asked for additional resources and games focused on teaching fractions to their 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students. The dedicated community partners and SFPS staff on the MathAmigos team sure did deliver!
Teachers rotated between Dean, Chari, and Karina’s stations to get a taste of how each manipulative could be used to make learning fractions a much more tangible experience for students. As a follow up to the session offered at Workshop numero uno, Dean Gerber, mathematician with the Santa Fe Alliance for Science demonstrated how to teach fractions using Cuisenaire rods, manipulatives of all different shapes and colors. The smaller rods can be added together to create the equivalent of a whole rod in various combinations in order to demonstrate how a number can be divided into smaller parts, i.e. fractions! Chari Kauffman, Math and Science Coordinator for SFPS, and Karina Mentor, 5th grade teacher at El Camino Real, offered two other mini-sessions using different kinds of manipulatives to teach fractions such as magnetic strips, blocks, and disks. Even better- every teacher was able to take home a set of fraction strips for their classroom!
“I am taking many things but I got a lot from fractions, manipulatives, and puzzles for fractions.” -SFPS Teacher
In an additional session on fractions, Shannon Rogers, with The Art of Problem Solving, introduced puzzles into the mix to teach fractions and number sense, a great next step after manipulatives.
Delara Sharma, 5th grade teacher extraordinaire at Piñon Elementary, delivered a second round of Exploding Dots as a follow up to the first workshop- and differentiated her instruction to provide an Intro Class to teachers new to the MathAmigos workshop and a more Advanced class to returning teachers.
31 Teachers from 18 schools received five fun and innovative teaching strategies to bring back to the classroom along with a great lunch discussion over Panda Express in one Saturday afternoon. Stay tuned for what’s next to come from the MathAmigos group, not only for teachers, but also for family fun with math!
MathAmigos as a collaborative working group of Opportunity Santa Fe composed of Lynn Bickley (Interfaith Coalition for Public Education), Chari Kauffman (Santa Fe Public Schools), James Taylor (Math Circles), Dean Gerber (Santa Fe Alliance for Science), Gary Clendenen (former professor and math textbook author), with great administrative support from AmeriCorps VISTA members Jennifer Barreto and Molly Timmins.