To introduce you to our newest grant recipients, we’ve started Fellow Friday. Last week, we highlighted fellowships focused on conservation and sustainability of our planet. Today, we’re elevating the itineraries of those counting on math-related learning this summer with their Fund for Teachers grants…
Rebecca Janka | Odyssey Leadership Academy – Oklahoma City, OK
Explore homes and countries of both known and undiscussed mathematicians/physicists, observing how their theorems and calculations are related to historical developments of mathematics, to inform a learner-centered class that allows students to critically think through their own lives while engaging with the world around them.
“The study of mathematics has been the historical quest to understand relationships between mankind and the universe, something the traditional model of math education too often misses. However, traditional math education stops at mere calculation, leaving many students to feel frustrated and overwhelmed, missing the beauty and awe inherent in mathematics itself. The purpose of my research is to learn from foundational mathematicians who have shaped the world with their lives and work, to find the wonder they had, and pass on these lessons through my classes.”
Donna Kaiser | Stamford High School – Stamford, CT
Participate in the ASM Materials Camp for Teachers at the University of Maryland to learn methods for making math and core science principles more enticing and relevant to high school chemistry students.
“In my urban high school, we lack resources to have state-of-the-art equipment, so this will provide inexpensive projects and activities to help me as a chemistry teacher ignite student interest, bring curricula to life, and show practical applications of materials in students’ everyday lives. During the camp we’ll work with metal, ceramics, polymers and composites to develop projects to bring back to the classroom.”
Shannon Mullins & Sandy Osborne
Coffenberry Middle School – Myrtle Creek, OR
Embark on a math quest to sites in New York and England associated with the history and importance of math to make the subject and its application interesting and meaningful to rural, low-income students.
“Most of our students struggle greatly with math and are living with caregivers who struggle greatly with math. It is common to have repeated conversations with students about why math is important, necessary, and interesting. The impact of this this fellowship will help students switch from the perspective ‘Math is something I have to do that is meaningless and torturous’ to ‘Math has always been used by humans to find a pattern and make life easier.'”
Nora Abbott, Jordan Alley, Jenna Gudmunson, Molly Fredrickson-Leonard & Julia Vaughan
Invest Collegiate Imagine Charter School – Asheville, NC
Complete multisensory math training at the Siena School in Oakton, VA, to gain knowledge of cutting-edge practices that give students fun and rewarding experiences and provides real-world practice to prepare them for successful lives.
“Our students feel constantly defeated in the general education classroom when faced with concepts that their peers understand easily. While our team is very well-versed in state of the art instructional practices to engage students in remedial reading and writing, we lack equal training in hands-on math strategies. By learning a system that has been found to be successful in teaching students reading and writing and applying it to math, we know our students will be engaged and more likely to love what they are doing and persevere. By also presenting them with grade-level concepts in a concrete way, we will be giving them access to understanding and academic success in the general education classroom.”
Philip Wisler | BPS English High School – Jamaica Plain, MA
Embark on a month-long road trip documenting sites across Canada and the United States through biweekly TikTok videos aligned with math problems to demonstrate how creativity and curiosity can reveal meaningful connections between mathematics and everyday life.
“Too often, my students don’t see why math is relevant after simple procedures are mastered. For this reason, math teachers like myself may struggle to find truly meaningful connections that can inspire students in a typical math lesson. To change this inequality (pun intended), I plan on harnessing social media, starting with super-popular platform TikTok, to provide a new avenue for student learning and participation.”
“Now more than ever, it is imperative that we invest in the most important component of any classroom — the teacher,” said Karen Eckhoff, Executive Director of FFT. “Educators are facing countless challenges every day, and Fund for Teachers is dedicated to further diversifying the ways that we can support them. Our grants represent trust in teachers’ professionalism, creativity, and vision, offering flexibility to meet the unique needs of each classroom, with the students remaining the ultimate beneficiaries as they continue to grow and learn in today’s ever-changing world.”
We look forward to introducing you to more 2022 FFT Fellows next Friday!