Moving to Math THANK YOUs

This is the month of push for the Moving to Math classes. We’ve worked all year to unlock the minds of our students and help them see the box, measure it, crawl around it, jump in & out of it and transform it into a tool for their personal artistry.  We’ll be reviewing and preparing for the testing season that’s coming soon.

There are so many amazing lessons that have been developed among the students, classroom teachers, and myself over the last 4 years of writing the Moving to Math program. I have huge respect and gratitude for several people. It’s time to stop and thank them.

Jane Reifsnyder at Portage Collaborative Montessori School is a source of constant inspiration. She is a dancer at heart and comes up with amazing ideas. She also does a great deal of grant-writing to help my crazy ideas manifest. We are currently working on PUNCTUATING CULTURE THROUGH SONG AND DANCE. Thank you!

Valarie McPhillen from The Arts Academy at Summit is another person whose personal commitment to students has aided my development. It has been comedic to watch her mathematical wizardry come my way. Yes, it’s 4th, 5th, and 6th grade math…but mathematics is an eternal and endless concept. Our planning meetings have been packed full of details and bright ideas. Thank you!

Jennie Albrecht also from The Arts Academy at Summit is a go getter with her students. She taught me that it’s, in fact, very good that I’m tenacious about building a good problem for the students to solve. They can figure out the volume of a big human formation. Thank you!

The last person on the list is the person who planted the seed of what is possible. Ms. Cummings was a music teacher who tried to open the minds of a rural classroom of 4th graders. She offered CREATIVE MOVEMENT once. ONCE. It was her first year of teaching and it really….didn’t…go so well. All the boys were hyper and running around the room like crazy farm boys. Go figure. I was captivated. I stood in the middle of the room…not moving…and watched everyone move around me. Then, I went home and did all the moves I memorized Ms. Cummings performing. Then, I came back to school the next day and began the process of translating every single lesson into a movement. How oddly abstract for a 4th grader!!! It was my thing though.

I did recently look up Ms. Cummings. I thanked her for her creativity.  I shared that she wouldn’t remember me. I was a wall-flower – but I appreciated her passion.

This is a guiding value of mine as an instructor.  I truly give every class all my energy.  I believe that we make more energy when we spend what we have.  YOU NEVER KNOW what your students will take home.  SO GIVE THEM ALL YOU’VE GOT!

Thanks to ARTSinSTARK for making MUCH of this possible.  Congratulations on your Community Impact Award!

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