Collaborative Learning Experience Brings Pre-Service Teachers and Practicing Alumna Together MacKenzie Riley Young | May 4, 2021

Students in Dr. Pamela Thompson’s ED 320 Elementary Mathematics Methods class were able to apply their knowledge this semester by collaborating with local teacher and alumna Meghan Stover ’20 MS Ed ’21.

Students were engaged in designing and acquiring digital enrichment resources to extend Meg’s lessons in multiples, fractions and factors–for her 4th grade class in Winslow. Meg and the ED 320 Elementary Mathematics Methods students met remotely to discuss the nature of the math curriculum that Meg teaches, the topics coming up over the next few weeks: fractions, multiples and factors, and we also asked Meg’s students what things they were interested in so that our Thomas students could design mathematics activities around student interest.

Recently, Meg received the handmade packages and the digital resources for her class. She will be joining the class as part of their final week meeting to share how her students have been interacting with the materials and the learning that has been going on.

“This kind of collaborative learning with a practicing alumna educator and pre-service teachers is exactly what makes the Lunder School of Education a unique place to grow as a professional educator!” says Chair of the Lunder School of Education Dr. Pamela Thompson.

“Working with the students in Dr. Thompson’s Methods of Teaching Mathematics class has been an exciting and unique opportunity,” said Meg. “I was looking for some new and engaging math activities and teaching strategies to use with my 4th graders as part of my capstone research project. Dr. Thompson reached out to me about the opportunity to work with her students to create these strategies, and I was thrilled to accept the offer. As someone who just took this course a few years ago, I remember how enjoyable it was to create new teaching strategies and activities. But, we didn’t get the chance to try out these strategies with current elementary students. This opportunity isn’t only providing me with more activities to use with my students, but the students of the Methods of Teaching Mathematics course are now getting effective feedback from a current teacher and current elementary students! These students have designed some very creative activities and strategies for me to teach to my 4th graders. Not only am I very excited to use them during math class, but my students are too!”

Thomas College students who were a part of this project also enjoyed it. Here’s what they had to say:

“Reflecting on my own personal math education, [the curriculum] was very scripted. I personally wish I had the opportunity to do activities similar to the ones we are creating…This whole process was quite fun and also gave me resources/toolbox ideas for my own teaching.” –Lindsey Desmarais ’22

“Through this experience, I was able to think of myself as a future educator and to learn ways to enrich a scripted curriculum.” -Ashlyn Fitzgerald ’22

“I learned a lot about teamwork and the importance of collaboration, I also learned that is takes a lot of time and dedication to produce mathematics manipulatives. I thought a lot about the many activities that I want to use in my future mathematics lessons to keep my students interested and wanting to learn more. –Ashlyn Littlefield ’22

Thanks to all our ED 320 students who worked together to research, create and share their ideas on enriching mathematics curriculum!