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Pocatello Community Charter's Emily Lockhart Awarded NWPE Grant
posted by: Cindy Omlin | April 26, 2016, 12:12 AM   

Congratulations to NWPE member Emily Lockhart, 7th-8th grade math teacher at Pocatello Community Charter School.  Ms. Lockhart, a two year member of NWPE, received a $500 grant to purchase math games and materials to increase the mathematical fluency of her students.  It is this type of support that Ms. Lockhart appreciates about NWPE.  “I chose to become an NWPE member because I like the resources available. It makes me feel safer in my job to know that I have legal support if need be. I also like having a voice in educational topics in the political sphere. I was happy to hear that NWPE was an option. The local union has not always been supportive of charter schools and I’m not sure that their decisions are always in my best interest. I’m proud to work at a charter school where families can choose to expose their children to different ways of learning and I think that this choice enhances the Pocatello Community.”

emily lockhartLast year, Ms. Lockhart had the opportunity to attend the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) National Conference where she attended a session presented by Box Cars and One Eyed Jacks.  She learned about games and activities for fluency practice and found the games to be fun, engaging, and challenging, even as an adult.

Computational fluency is a combination of being accurate, flexible, and efficient with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. In middle school, computational fluency is extended to exponents and all rational numbers. “My students are currently at varying levels of computational fluency. However, all students would benefit from regular practice.”

Ms. Lockhart will use the grant to purchase the Box Cars and One Eyed Jacks Upper Elementary Dice and Cards Kit to make practicing computational fluency fun and engaging as well as supplies to keep manipulatives organized and activity books.  She’ll share the games and materials with her K-8 colleagues’ classes.

Ms. Lockhart believes that teachers should be given more autonomy in the classroom if they are to improve the professionalism of their field.  “Teachers are the most knowledgeable about what benefits students because they are the ones in contact with students every day. When decisions are made without teachers’ input, then the outcome can be disconnected with best teaching practices (like the proliferation of standardized testing in classrooms). Outcomes may also drive qualified individuals away from the profession.”

Congratulations again to Ms. Lockhart on her dedication to advancing student achievement and the professionalism of education!

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