Teachers are very special people that give so much of themselves to children. They delight in seeing who children are and finding ways to share information, build skills and help them become the best of who they are.
This morning I was looking on line to see what kind of things are being done in elementary schools, to teach math visually and came across this video; Teaching Math Without Words: A Visual Approach to Learning Math Through Software.
In the video Dr. Matthew Peterson shares some great insights on why the current language heavy approach to teaching math is not working, especially for children that learn visually and conceptually. In answer to these challenges, their group, The Mind Research Institute has developed math-learning software to use in the classroom and is yielding impressive results. This video includes examples of their software – which I must admit – move way too fast for me to fully grasp. But when seeing the children working and discussing, in front of their computers, the programs seem to move at a pace that invites engagement and understanding.
Art has long been perceived as a fun activity, with little academic impact or value in an educational system focused on literacy and test scores. Because of this misconception, art programs across the country are being eliminated in staggering numbers. While the cuts may help the bottom line, our students are paying the price. Research has proven time and time again, that art is essential to academic success, and many of our children can’t learn without it.
Over the Holidays, the Elgin Community Network organized a Community Thanksgiving Dinner. They collected turkey and dessert donations, recruited volunteers and expected to feed close to twelve hundred people a free Thanksgiving dinner. Our family volunteered for the morning shift, excited for the opportunity to give of ourselves.