December 2019 Teacher Spotlight – Jennifer Coughlin

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December 2019 Teacher Spotlight

Jennifer Coughlin

K-5 Mathematics Coach and 5th/6th Grade Math Specialist
George Fisher Middle School,
Carmel Central School District, Carmel, NY

How long have you been a teacher?

I currently am a K-5 Mathematics Coach and 5th/6th grade Math Specialist at George Fisher Middle School in the Carmel Central School District (Carmel, NY). I just started my 24th year teaching. I have also taught kindergarten and third grade.

How did you learn about Math & Movement?

I learned about Math & Movement when I attended the New York City Mathematics Project Annual Conference last year and Suzy was the keynote speaker. I applied for both the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education and Community Foundations grants and received $7,500. This allowed me to purchase various mats and attend the Math & Movement Summer Institute where I was trained on how to use the mats with students.

How long have you been using Math & Movement in your classroom?

This is the first year I’m using Math & Movement in my classroom, as well as with other teachers around the district.

What changes have you seen in your students since using Math & Movement?

My students are more engaged, motivated, and confident since we have started using Math & Movement.

What is your favorite floor mat and why?

My favorite floor mats are the Number Grid, Place Value Hop, Factor Fun, Clock Hop, and all the skip counting mats, too!

I love using all these mats, but my favorite is the number grid (Add/Subtract Mat) because it provides a visual model to show arrays, multiplication, the distributive property, area, and perimeter. For example, to show the distributive property, I use different colored post-its to break up the arrays into smaller parts, which makes an abstract concept more accessible to students. So many concepts can be taught with just one mat!!

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