A group of local teachers has a chance to learn new methods of instruction this week at Hermosa Elementary School thanks to MathLab, a traveling program presented by New Mexico State University.
Mathematicians and math educators from NMSU work with local students, and the learning sessions are live-video streamed to a separate observation room where teachers are watching. The teachers are then able to discuss, reflect and collaborate on how students learn math, effective educational practices, and math content for teaching.
“This is such a unique experience,” said Sara Morales, senior program manager. “The kids are able to learn how to apply math in hands-on ways while the teachers learn new ways of teaching.”
There are three different classes happening this week at Hermosa – two kindergarten through third-grade sessions and one fourth- through sixth-grade session.
According to Morales, the more comfortable a child feels in the classroom, the more willing they are to learn.
“You might notice the kids are more vocal during these sessions, and that’s encouraged,” said Morales. “It’s not just a teacher lecturing at the front of the room; it’s a class-wide discussion the whole time.”
The goals of these sessions are:
• to study effective pedagogy in mathematics by supporting classroom practices through studying elements of an effective math learning environment.
• to develop conceptual understanding of mathematics by engaging students in mathematical tasks and deepening teachers’ pedagogical and content knowledge in the context of teaching mathematics.
• to support implementation at school sites including district/school administrators and teachers by providing follow-up opportunities; and
• to build a Teacher Leader Cadre.
After this week, the mathematical troupe will pack up and make the trek to Las Cruces, Pojoaque, Gallup and Los Lunas, where they will carry out the same sessions for teachers local to those areas.