The Daily Ardmoreite
  • KESAM workshop is 'like Christmas'

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  • Christmas was moved to the day after Halloween for some Ardmore City Schools teachers.
    K-8 Scholars Appreciating Mathematics, based at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, leads workshops and gives materials to kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers to improve math instruction.
    Teachers from across the Ardmore district attended a KESAM workshop at the Noble Pavilion Friday during a professional development day. Each attendee received a large box of supplies to go with the hands-on activities they learned through the workshop.
    "It's like Christmas. Usually we would have to buy these things ourselves or ask for a grant," said Melissa Knight, Charles Evans fourth and fifth-grade special education teacher.
    All the activities discussed and demonstrated at the workshop focused on adding a visual and hands-on element to math lessons.
    The supplies that teachers received, known in education jargon as manipulatives, are often purchased by teachers using their own funds. Now, teachers can actually do the activities learned without having to pay for it out of their own pocket.
    "Manipulatives are a great tool for special education students. This will help tremendously with their learning," Knight explained.
    These supplies and the workshop were paid for by the district's Title I funding.
    "There's nothing like watching a child when they figure something out and a teacher when what they provide is the tool that gets a student to that moment," said Assistant Superintendent Missy Storm. "We are glad to be able to provide a program with the proven success enabling teachers to have that moment."
    Activities included a loop game, where a student reads a card with a math problem on it. Then a student with the answer reads the question on their card. If all questions are answered correctly, then each student will have read their card.
    Ways to look at a math problem as a butterfly or a bow tie in order to remember what needs to be done to solve it were demonstrated.
    "It was very informative," said Shikisha Coloney, Charles Evans fourth-grade teacher. "There are a lot of new ways to teach basic concepts that kids don't always get the first time. It's all stuff we can start using tomorrow."
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