As MIND's Content and Community Specialist, there are many aspects of my job that I enjoy. My daily interactions with colleagues and ST Math educators across the country are nothing short of inspiring, especially during these unprecedented times.
Arguably the best part of my workday happens during the first hour of each morning. It's a simple routine but entertaining nonetheless. I open my laptop, sip several cups of coffee, and peruse ST Math's social feeds to review all of the fantastic user-generated content posted in the last 24 hours.
This simple exercise has reinforced that teachers are one of our most valuable resources when implementing ST Math successfully. After all, they are the ones on the front lines doing everything they can to provide daily doses of optimism despite an ever-changing learning environment.
Some of the most successful campaigns we've produced to date have been in close collaboration with our talented teacher community, namely ST Math's recent Feel the Love Campaign, which ran throughout February.
Jenn Donais Shares the Love of ST Math with Her Community
Middle school math coach Jenn Donais awoke to an unseasonably warm New England morning in the small town of Amesbury, Massachusetts. Thirty-nine degrees, to be exact.
It was a Friday, and Jenn was getting ready to share Amesbury Middle School's JiJi Day celebration on ST Math's first-ever Instagram story takeover. With a phone in her left hand and a JiJi plush doll in her right, Jenn rallied her colleagues across Amesbury to create several fun activities for everyone to engage with.
This JiJi Day was unlike any Amesbury had ever seen in its past. It was the first JiJi Day where students were back together in the classroom again since transitioning to learning at home.
Of course, this all looks like fun, but Jenn's posts were accomplishing much more than merely entertaining our followers. Amesbury teachers and students shared their experiences solving puzzles, practical strategies for tackling more advanced concepts, and fun facts about their town.
One major accomplishment worth mentioning is that on this day, Amesbury Middle School surpassed 1 million puzzles. How do you like them apples?
Leigh Boland Keeps the JiJi Vibes Going
Leigh Boland is no stranger to ST Math. We've worked with her and her colleagues on quite a few different initiatives to build JiJi Culture within her classes.
Leigh is a full-time math coach and interventionist specializing in early childhood education in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. She supports a diverse set of students with different learning styles and comfort levels with math.
The school year initially started fully remote but later shifted gears to a hybrid model where teachers combine in-person instruction with live streams of their daily lessons. With half on campus and the other half learning online, it made perfect sense for Leigh to walk us through a hybrid day in her life through Instagram.
Each morning, Leigh updates her class's virtual bulletin board to measure her students' success week over week. She created a dynamic document within Google Slides that records the total number of objectives reached, puzzles completed, and average minutes spent in ST Math.
Digital tools like Leigh's virtual bulletin board enable her to have substantive conversations about goal setting with her students. She targets a class average of 60 minutes per week for her first graders, whereas 90 minutes is the goal for her second graders.
Seeing students light up after JiJi makes it safely to the other side of their screen has been incredibly rewarding for Leigh. But one of the best parts about her role, she says, is being surrounded by all the love students have for JiJi.
At the end of the school day, Leigh's son summed it up perfectly:
JiJi helps you learn a lot of stuff, even the things that are hard. You have to persevere.
Think your school would be a good candidate for taking over ST Math's Instagram account? We think so, too.
Apply to do an ST Math Instagram Takeover:
- Create a 15-30 second video explaining why you want to take over our Instagram account.
- Provide a simple outline of the content you plan to post.
- Send everything to email@example.com.
We look forward to seeing what you come up with.