A native from Ontario, Melissa focused her budding education career on numeracy curriculum design. “Math is one of those subjects where a student’s understanding is not as obvious and it doesn’t always get the attention required to teach it to its full potential. It can be overshadowed by literacy.”
Since adopting Mathletics into her grade 7/8 classroom, Melissa continues to evolve her teaching practices. She doesn’t use a textbook anymore and while direct instruction still has its place in the classroom, Melissa facilitates small group instruction for differentiated learning. Some of the tools Melissa uses to instill an inclusive classroom includes customized courses, assigning assessments to determine personalized learning pathways and empowering students to use the self-help functionality before seeking assistance elsewhere. Building a student’s confidence in math creates engagement in their learning.
Through a variety of STEAM initiatives, engagement in Melissa’s math class is thriving. A fan favourite, Melissa hosts ‘escape room’ math activities, using http://www.breakoutedu.com/. Students solve highly captivating math mysteries, relying on their foundational and critical thinking skills, practiced in Mathletics. Writing code and designing Robotics, using Lego Mindstorms, is also a regular occurrence at Meadows School. To top it all off, Meadows Schools has been selected as a finalist for the Samsung Canada Solve for Tomorrow Challenge, a contest dedicated to building STEM awareness and encourage students to contribute to a better tomorrow.
In her current position as a Continuous Improvement Coach with Brandon School Division, Melissa recognizes that while technology can intimidate some teachers, it’s an opportunity to build capacity in students and inspire them to become the tech experts. Melissa’s best practices are widely shared with her counterparts within her division and other divisions within Manitoba.
Down the road, Melissa would like the ability to pull a few questions within different curriculum activities to deliver mixed practice.