FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2010
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
Teachers increase mathematics content knowledge at summer institute at MUW
COLUMBUS, Miss. – Teachers across the state are spending their final days of summer at Mississippi University for Women honing their mathematical knowledge in preparation for their students returning to the classroom in the fall.
Fifty educators representing 34 schools and 23 school districts are participating in the two-week long CHAMPS (Creating High Achievement in Mathematics and Problem Solving) Project Summer Institute for teachers through the Roger F. Wicker Center for Creative Learning.
“Our goal is to develop CHAMPS’ teachers mathematical content knowledge and pedagogy by exposing them to ongoing and systematic professional learning opportunities,” said Sarah Sumners, project director. “The summer workshop is just the first phase of the CHAMPS project. They will also be exposed to follow-up Saturday workshops, a classroom mentorship and the state and national mathematics conferences.”
Targeted districts include Aberdeen, Amory, Chickasaw County, Choctaw County, Columbus, Kemper County, Lowndes County, Monroe County, Noxubee County, Okolona, Oktibbeha County, Philadelphia, Starkville, Tupelo and Webster County.
Amy Smith-Clark, who teaches fifth grade at Franklin Academy Elementary School, is in her fourth year of teaching.
She said the session has increased her knowledge of the Understanding by Design Framework, a tool used for educational planning.
“I have learned to focus on the big picture and the importance of explaining to the students why they need to know this information and how they can apply it in real life.”
Fourth grade teacher Stacy Dewberry, who teaches at Immanuel Center for Christian Education, said she has enjoyed the information-sharing from the other instructors including handouts, texts and strategies. She has been teaching for five years.
“We are learning how to teach old topics with a new twist and the exchange of ideas has been valuable.”
Andrew Yoder of Jackson decided to attend the institute after his first year of teaching at Pearl Junior High.
“After your first year of teaching, you realize what you don’t know. I thought I should take advantage of the opportunity,” said the eighth grade pre-algebra teacher. “The first two days we focused on the Understanding by Design curriculum, which is a quality approach to planning lessons. I plan to adopt the approach. It’s going to enrich my classroom.
The CHAMPS Project is funded through a Mississippi Department of Education Mathematics and Science Partnership grant.
For more information about the program, contact Sarah Sumners at (662) 241-6088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.