PAEMST Spotlight: Kristi Martin
This week we’re spotlighting Washington’s state finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST), who will go on to be considered for the national award in 2021. Check out the rest of our PAEMST Spotlight interview series here.
What has surprised you about teaching during a pandemic?
I’m not sure that I was surprised by anything, but it did confirm that great teaching practices are effective whether in the classroom or in a virtual setting.
Is there a distance learning lesson that you are particularly proud of?
Yes. When we first started remote learning during the spring of 2020, I engaged students in a 3 Act Math Task and almost all students engaged, persevered and built problem solving skills.
What is your greatest wish for school next year?
I would love to have students sitting in groups again. It is so important for students to engage in student-to-student discourse while they are exploring the mathematics.
What advice would you give to parents or caregivers who want to incorporate more science and mathematical thinking into their students’ lives?
Opportunities for students to experience critical thinking situations are easily accessible. For example, pouring water into two different sized glasses and asking which glass of water would the student choose and why. Focusing on flexibility of thinking is critical in supporting students’ success in education.
Is there anything that has been easier to do in a remote school environment?
It has been much easier to select and sequence student work for whole group discussions since being in a remote school environment. I can easily view all students’ work and have more time to sequence in a way that will advance the lesson towards the learning goal.
What is one concept your students struggle most to understand and how to you try to address this struggle?
I cannot think of a specific concept; however, I have found that using multiple representations supports students in making connections, building their ability to analyze structure and notice patterns.
Who have you been following or reading from a math and science perspective in the past year? Any other publications, blogs, etc. that you would recommend?
Making Math Moments that Matter by Jon Orr and Kyle Pearce