Logan County math teachers attend professional development course from WKU

Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 8:49 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Logan County elementary teachers are participating in a program with Western Kentucky University to improve the effectiveness of their math classes.

The program is a year-long course in which 18 LCS Kindergarten through third-grade math teachers from five schools learns to develop a curriculum designed to meet specific student learning goals.

The project is headed by Amy Clark of Logan County Schools, in partnership with Dr. Hope Marchionda and Dr. Nick Fortune of the Department of Mathematics at Western Kentucky University, as well as graduate students from the Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology concentration of the Department of Psychological Sciences’ Master of Science Program.

The professional development sessions started during the summer and will continue through the spring. During the sessions, they will look at the lessons they are teaching in their schools and modify those tasks to create a higher-level and more engaging curriculum.

The five participating schools are Adairville, Auburn, Chandlers, Lewisburg, and Olmstead.

“As teachers, we’re always wanting to be lifelong learners. We’re always modifying and wanting to improve our teaching,” said Tiffany Morgan, K-3 Math Interventionist at Adairville Elementary.

The teachers record lessons from their classrooms and take them back to the sessions to review with peers and develop changes to the way they present the material to students.

Kindergarten through third grade is a vital time in the educational lives of students. The foundation for their learning is created during these grades. The collaboration between peers allows these teachers to examine each other’s methods and have discussions about effective practices.

“One of the things that I’ve really enjoyed about this training is that I’ve had a chance to meet with the other teachers in the district,” said Nancy Skipworth, Kindergarten teacher at Adairville Elementary School. “It is just an invaluable resource to be able to get together and talk with them.”

WKU is also able to learn from these sessions by learning what they need to add to their courses to better equip future educators.

This program is being used as a pilot study for a PreK-12 grant that, if funded, will expand the program to work with 70 kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers in the Logan County School District over a three-year period.