Students are the stars in Patricia Reames’ 3rd grade math and science class at Unity Learning Academy. In this case though, star is S.T.A.R. -- Students Taking Academic Responsibility.
She may not have rolled out the red carpet, but her students were in the spotlight as they practiced subtraction on the second day of school.
Her class last year had the highest math scores in the school, and she is hoping this year’s class can top it.
“I told them we got a hill to climb, but when we get up there, we’re going to celebrate,” she said. “They know that I want not only growth – growth is great – but they need to be proficient.”
She uses hands-on math to help students grasp the concepts.
“We’ll go around the school in a line and they’ll point out arrays,” she said. “One of them was in a construction company and his company needed to order X amount of lumber for the fence he is doing for another kid that has a rental property. So, they had all these real-life jobs, and they were able to incorporate them.”
These scenarios provide opportunities for them to see the practical applications of multiplication, area, and more. She uses this approach teach science too.
“We did owl pellets [last year]. We talk about the food chain and the water cycle. We have Global Gardens. From the garden to the plate: they grow their own food and we try it in the classroom. We’re doing a lot of motion and magnetic forces, so I’ve got all these things set up in my little science cabinet so I’m excited about that.”
The stage has been set for another great school year, and the students at Unity are ready to make it happen.