MISSOULA — Our One Class at a Time grant winner is sixth-grade math teacher Katie Matthews from Hellgate Elementary School.
Matthews has some clear objectives for her students.
"My main goal inside my classroom, aside from wanting them to have fun, is to engage them outside of a textbook. Textbooks have their purpose in a classroom, but I think it's more meaningful when kids get to work hands-on and get to work collaboratively."
Matthews will use the grant money to purchase what are called "magna-tiles," an idea she got from a teacher in Illinois, part of an educators' social media group.
The magna-tiles are an interactive STEM tool, that will be especially helpful for students who may struggle with math. They will help students visualize and build the problems they are solving.
"They are these magnetic geometric tiles that the students can build 3D shapes because we cover volume and surface area in sixth-grade math,” Matthews explained. “I think that will be a helpful tool for them as they visualize and construct models that they are solving problems relating to these concepts."