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Mathematics Expert

Cheryl F. .F


I am trebly certified in NJ in Elementary Education, Social Studies, and Mathematics, hold an undergraduate degree from Duke University, and have a Master of Science in Mathematics Learning and Teaching from Drexel University. I have experience working with teachers and/or students in Grades 1 through 8. I believe that my 10+ years as a middle school teacher offers a unique perspective as to what constitutes a well-balanced mathematics curriculum. I am able to recognize both where the students have come from and where they are going. Therefore, I understand the need for horizontal and vertical alignment, as well as the importance of maintaining a balance of computing and context. Students who spend the entire class period listening to the teacher do all of the talking are usually preoccupied with learning rules and procedures and struggle to extend previous knowledge to new situations. On the other hand, students who are given the opportunity to actively engage in discourse tend to develop abilities to adapt their thinking and methods to fit a range of contexts. Therefore, students should be expected to not only solve problems but to also furnish proof or explanations for their work and reflect on the reasonableness of their answer. I also have significant experience both developing and presenting workshops and talks to teachers, administrators, and parents, ranging from local schools to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting and Exposition and the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics Annual Conference. I believe that the most important skills and attributes to be a successful mathematics teacher are honoring constructive activities on the part of the learner rather than demonstrative behavior on the part of the teacher, having the ability to approach a problem in multiple ways and follow and understand several solution paths, and having a repertoire of activities and experiences to meet each student where he or she is at and push his or her thinking forward. In addition, I have experience cultivating and developing curriculum materials and resources, including lessons to accompany games and differentiated worksheets. As a consultant for the Center for Game Science, I created modular blended instructional materials for online games such as Creature Capture and Treefrog Treasure that integrated game-based problem learning with non-computer activities to maximize student learning. In my role as a Math Coordinator at a school in NYC, I led a team of second grade teachers in creating multi-year word problem lessons that built upon students' knowledge of, and experience with, beginning, middle, and end in reading and writing and relating this to start unknown, change unknown, and result in unknown word problems. We shared our curriculum in several local and national conferences and other schools have adopted many of our ideas. In addition, I am currently part of a team at John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth rewriting our Math Olympiad for Elementary Students course. I have also been actively involved in comprehensive reviews of current math curricula and searches for new resources at several schools. The most recent of these happened over the past few years. I worked alone, in small groups, and on committees to evaluate internal data regarding student achievement, consider feedback from parents about their children’s experiences, review current research in the field and recommendations from numerous professional organizations, and speak to teachers and administrators at peer schools. Once a decision was made, I worked with administrators to develop and facilitate the school’s transition plan to the chosen curriculum. I arranged outside professional development and was the primary point of contact when questions arose, set the pacing calendar and curated and created resources for teachers, selected an assessment management system and inputted and interpreted data, and designed and delivered parent education. Finally, I completed my entire degree online, including a two-part course in online student mentoring. Also, while working at Drexel University after graduation, I helped plan and facilitate online courses and professional development for other math teachers as part of a Math Forum NSF project. Furthermore, all of the communication with students, as well as course development, for my job with Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth is done online. Therefore, I am familiar with many online learning tools, including course management software system such as Moodle and Blackboard. I am also used to participating in virtual meetings and communicating and collaborating with colleagues and students both synchronously and asynchronously using email, G Suite tools, collaboration hubs, Adobe Connect, Zoom, and other appropriate resources

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