8 Ohio County Teachers Win ‘Math4Life’ Classroom Grants
Ohio County math teachers counted up wins and grant money following the most recent round of Math4Life financial awards from the West Virginia Department of Education.
In total, eight teachers received grant funding for projects they proposed to increase math learning in their classroom, and prizes totaled a cumulative $6,770.
Two of the teachers – Eileen Gilmore of Madison Elementary School and Michelle Titus-Glover of Middle Creek Elementary School – each were awarded $1,000 grants.
Titus-Glover teaches math to transitional kindergarten students. She explained the grant application asked educators to propose a math activity for their classroom, and her idea involved using magnetic building tiles to teach students shapes.
“In my class, everything is hands on,” Titus-Glover said. “We use magnetic building tiles to build shapes from other shapes.
“I ask them to make solid 3-D shapes, and ask them how you can make a cube from these shapes,” she continued. “Then I ask them if they can make a cylinder, and they realize they can’t because there are no circles.”
She said the students come to enjoy both making patterns with the blocks and math learning.
“They think it’s cool,” Titus-Glover said.
In her classroom, students play such things as matching games, puzzles and bingo – all in an effort to teach them math.
“Michelle is a fantastic educator,” Middle Creek Elementary School Principal Meredith Lewis said. “She is always looking for creative and innovative ways to motivate and improve student learning.”
Gilmore also teaches kindergarten, and applied for the grant to purchase the magnet tiles.
There are “a bunch of activities you can do with them,” including the learning of addition, subtraction and patterns, she said.
“We haven’t gotten them yet,” Gilmore explained. “But this money will fund enough so that every student can have their own kit. It keeps them engaged.”
The students do like playing and learning, she continued.
“They love math,” Gilmer said. “Learning is magical to them at this age. They like learning in general.”
“Any hands-on tools are appreciated by the students, and I always try to tie in books with them. If learning about patterns, read books about the weather and weather patterns.”
Teachers are very grateful for funding opportunities such as Math4Life that can bring more learning items to the classroom, she said.
“Otherwise (some learning initiatives) wouldn’t be possible,” she explained.
Other winners include Megan DeGrava, Madison Elementary School for $750; Jenna Bugaj, Madison Elementary School, $930; Genevieve Fields, Bethlehem Elementary School, $785; Ellen Nau, Warwood School, $805; Anne Vopal, Warwood School, $850; and Amanda Finley, the Warwood School, $650.
“I’m Proud of the Warwood teachers for putting in the extra effort to secure the Math4Life Classroom Educator funding to continue the programs we offer. It will be a great benefit to our Viking students,” said Warwood School Principal Joey Subasic.
Madison Elementary School Principal Andrea Trio also praised her teachers.
“It’s great that our teachers take the initiative to find ways to provide resources for their students,” she said. “They are going above and beyond to give us such great opportunities, and they ultimately will be rewarded. I’m very grateful for our teachers.”
The Math4Life initiative is a statewide effort from the WVDE to improve student mathematics performance across West Virginia. Through it, the WVDE works with counties and schools throughout the state to institute best practices, challenging pedagogy, and student engagement strategies to improve students’ mathematics achievement.