Clover Park School District announcement.
Clover Park School District is celebrating American Education Week by highlighting some of the great teachers providing students with the opportunities they need to learn and grow in the classroom. Today’s featured subject is math.
Katrina Howe, Carter Lake Elementary School
Carter Lake Elementary teacher Katrina Howe lets her third grade students play with math concepts before she ever teaches them how they work. She cuts colored paper into pieces so students can touch and feel fractions and sings songs with them about multiplication. Her students often don’t even realize they’re learning about math at first.
“Math is all around us, so students are using it all the time. They should be able to see it,” she said. “They get to make connections with math before they ever even learn about the concepts.”
They talk about what makes a good mathematician, and she always emphasize that making mistakes is part of the process. “That’s how our brains actually grow,” she said. “We took the whole first week to focus on getting rid of the stigmas in our minds that we’re not good at math or we’re too slow because it’s just not true.”
Sean Bruce-Aijan, Clover Park High School
Clover Park High School algebra teacher Sean Bruce-Aijan knows that each of his students has different challenges when it comes to learning math. For some, math is natural. For others, it’s much more of a struggle. He builds relationships and learns about each student to figure how to make math instruction work best for them.
“We have to begin with a personal connection before we can dig into the math,” he said. “Me and my co-teacher are always working to individualize student needs and trying to find ways that each learner can approach and show their work in a way that makes sense for them.”
Sean focuses a lot of his teaching on financial literacy and showing students how learning math can help protect themselves financially. “Many students who come into my class say they don’t see math in their future,” he said. “But everyone uses money and that’s one way we can all connect with math.”