Teachers learn new methods

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 3, 2018

Teachers within the Pearl River County School District are currently engaging in a series of professional development workshops before the start of the upcoming school year.

Thursday morning, Elise Brown, a professional development coordinator with the University of Mississippi and the Mississippi Department of Education, held a workshop with the District’s math teachers to share information that would help students become more engaged so they will be better prepared for college and the workforce.

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“We want to actively engage our students in learning and give them ownership,” she said.

During the workshop, Brown shared various techniques teachers can implement in the classroom to engage students with the subject matter and with one another.

One of the techniques Brown suggested teachers employ included incorporating aspects of video game design to make the curriculum more relatable, she said.

Leslie Espy, a math teacher at Pearl River Central Middle School, said students typically have a short attention span, so engaging them in hands-on activities while introducing them to new concepts can overcome that hurdle.

“It will help engage their brain in an active way, allowing them to learn concepts we would like them to learn,” Espy said.

She said one of those methods includes having the students build and link cubes while teaching them how to calculate a ratio, she said.

Active learning encourages students to work as a team, fostering an environment for the exchange of new ideas, she said.

Curriculum Coordinator Kimberly Alford said professional development workshops are held annually before the beginning of the school year to equip teachers with strategies to be successful.

Workshops will be held with teachers in other subjects as well, including performing arts, language, science and history, she said.

Alford said that the subject matter for each year’s workshop is based on the results of teacher surveys, observations of student performance and state assessment results.