Grant trains Vail Valley teachers in math
VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – In a pleasantly packed room of 30 elementary, middle and high school math teachers in Colorado’s Vail Valley, some contemplated number patterns and equations, while others discussed place value and using manipulatives to enhance their instruction. This was day three of 15 training sessions provided to the first of three groups of teachers.Eagle County Schools was one of three school districts to be awarded the Math Partnership Grant, which guarantees $350,000 per year for three years to provide professional development for math teachers in grades kindergarten through 12. “We are receiving a generous amount of ideas and strategies to use in the classroom, which can only create a better learning environment for the students,” said Ines Barcenas, a fifth grade math teacher at Avon Elementary School. “I’ve had limited training in the specific area of math, so this experience will inevitably help me succeed in the classroom.”Math Partnership coordinator and instructor Kristen Bunn recently joined Eagle County Schools to support the program. “During the first three days of training, we have been examining common student misperceptions around algebraic thinking,” Bunn says. “The teachers have been working on what these misperceptions are and how to correct them.”Sixty more teachers will be randomly selected to participate in the final two years of the project.”It’s helpful to see what high school teachers are doing in terms of looking at what the end result should be and, as an elementary school teacher, knowing what strategies I should be putting into place now in order set these students up for long-term success,” says Doreen Meringolo, a fourth grade math teacher at Edwards Elementary School.Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy math teacher Scott Hopkins says he has enjoyed learning different ways to break down basic operations, such as equations.”For example, many students believe that the equal sign means that one side of the equation is worth the same as the other; however, students tend to see an equal sign as a signal to ‘compute,'” Hopkins says. “This misunderstanding of equality leads to a difficulty of understanding how to manipulate algebraic equations down the road.”
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Vail’s updated plans regarding the state guidelines and isolation housing requirements is one of several pieces of information guests are waiting on heading into the 2020-21 season.