Nunapitchuk, Alaska – December 4, 2019: Continuing a tradition that has been part of Anna Tobeluk Memorial School for that past three years, the students in advanced math classes got special, custom printed shirts this fall.
This year things were even more exciting because a very special and hard-working group of students progressed farther than any class has before. Instead of two top classes, this year there are three.
“Last year we had a single student progress to Pre-Calculus, but this year there were 5, and one of those students is only a junior!” reported secondary mathematics teacher Lonny Cruff. He continued, “I’ve seen the positive impact that a project like this creates among the students, and the extremely positive impact it has on the classroom environment.”
Assistant Site Administrator Michelle Tefft added, “As a former math teacher myself, I have seen the value of building a sense of community in these high-level classes.”
All schools are working to improve student achievement in the core subjects, and kids at Anna Tobeluk Memorial School are moving in the right direction.
“The fact that we have a junior who has progressed farther than any student in recent memory is tremendously impressive and encouraging. It’s all about student praise and motivation,” said Site Administrator Jimmy Hayes.
To personalize the shirts and promote the idea of membership in a special group, each student was given the opportunity to sign their name on a piece of paper that was scanned and screen printed on the back of the shirt.
The best education is what happens when people learn from each other, whether it is students helping each other, or when adults learn from kids, or when people cooperate across all sorts of other boundaries.
Integrating traditional styles of learning – Yuuyaraq – with math topics in school has led to better student learning outcomes and more effective instruction. Having a visual and tangible thing for students to see and work toward helps them to push themselves further than they ever thought possible.
As a teacher, being part of this kind of growing experience is amazing and all of the teachers at ATMS are involved in being amazing facilitators of learning for all of our students, said Cruff.