Area math and science teachers participate in T3 Teacher Leader Cadre

Six area math and science teachers recently participated in a T3 GEAR UP Teacher Leader Cadre (TLC) training in Dallas, Texas. The Texas Instruments (TI) workshop is the first step in the pathway for the teachers to become TI Specialists. Participating were Liz Belcher, Panama science teacher; Tim Collier, McAlester math teacher; Michelle Cole, McAlester science teacher; Lisa Goddard, Wilburton math teacher; Cydney Meglemre, Keota math teacher; and Tracy Matthews, Krebs math teacher. The teachers traveled to Dallas and spent two days participating in intensive trainings.

The teachers were selected to help sustain the work that has been done in the Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP grant. TI wants to build teacher leaders in our area who have seen success in implementing the TI technology.

“I am so proud of these exemplary teachers,” said GEAR UP Project Director Linda Morgan. “They have been working with the TI Navigator and handhelds for several years and have integrated the technology into their classrooms. They were selected as being the ‘best of the best’ to participate in this program.”

“The experience provided by the T3 GEAR UP TLC was a valuable extension to my training using the TI–Nspire handhelds and TI Navigator system,” said Belcher. “Day one was an introduction to the various participants in the GEAR UP Cadre, and we immediately conducted investigations that provided data we were able to analyze and discuss. We examined various methods of combining the Nspire and Navigator as a valuable formative assessment tool for increasing student engagement and ownership of training.”

Goddard said, “I appreciate the training I have had so far and am excited about being able to help other teachers use the technology better after I finish this training.”

“The training was excellent,” said Meglemre. “No other training I’ve been to allows you to acquire so much knowledge, not only from the instructors but from the other participants. It is so humbling to know that I was recommended for this opportunity by people I respect and admire.”

The teachers must also participate in 20 two–hour live online sessions covering technology and leadership topics.

“I just began my 30th year teaching high school mathematics,” said Collier. “Three years ago, I was comfortable in thinking that I was a pretty good teacher. But then I came across Texas Instruments Nspire CS and TI Navigator. This technology and the teaching methods that surround it have changed my career. There is no math teaching methodology that compares to this system. This system allows students to investigate mathematics for themselves and interact with complex mathematical ideas in a very accessible format. I get excited each time I learn a new creative application of this technology.”

The GEAR UP grant provided the TI–Nspire equipment to math and science teachers beginning in 2011 when the GEAR UP students were in 6th and 7th grades. As the students advanced, the equipment remained with the previous teachers and additional equipment was purchased for teachers in the higher grades.

Matthews added, “It was great! So glad I was given the opportunity to attend.”

“We currently have over 80 math and science teachers in our partner schools utilizing the equipment,” added Morgan. “The graphing handheld enables a deeper understanding of abstract concepts in math and science subjects.”

The TI–Nspire and Navigator technology is in math classrooms in 25 partner schools and in science classrooms in 17 partner schools.

Eastern is beginning its sixth year of the $12.6 million federal GEAR UP grant. GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federal initiative to increase the number of low-income students who enter and successfully transition into postsecondary education.

Area teachers participating in the T3 Teacher Leader Cadre training are Michelle Cole, McAlester science teacher; Lisa Goddard, Wilburton math teacher; Liz Belcher, Panama science teacher; Tracy Matthews, Krebs math teacher; Tim Collier, McAlester math teacher; and Cydney McGlemre, Keota math teacher.