Math teachers implement new standards
Floyd County teacher to help state's math teachers implement new standards
Posted on 04/17/2012
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Angela Lacey Hester, a math interventionist for Floyd County Schools, has been selected to facilitate a summer math academy for the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics (GCTM) and the Georgia Department of Education. The 2012 GCTM/GaDOE Summer Mathematics Academies will provide math teachers across Georgia with three days of training in preparation to implement the Common Core Mathematics Standards this coming fall. Eight academies will be held in locations across the state this summer. Hester's responsibilities as a facilitator will include proofreading and editing modules to be used in grade-level sessions during the summer academies and serving as facilitator for the fourth-grade academy sessions during the three day workshop. 

Hester will facilitate the academy planned for June 25-27 in the Cobb or Paulding County area. Hester said, "I am very honored by the selection and excited about the opportunity to support teachers during this challenging time of transition." In a letter from Peggy Pool, GCTM vice-president and director of the Academies, Hester was commended for her willingness to spend part of her summer working with the state's teachers. Pool wrote, "Becoming a facilitator this summer is both an honor and a very important responsibility." She added, "Without you, GCTM and the GaDOE could not have these academies and teachers across the state of Georgia would not have the opportunity to attend three-days of intense training in preparation to implement the Common Core standards within their classrooms in the fall." 

During the Summer Academy, teachers will participate in three days of instructional support as they prepare to implement the Common Core GPS Math Standards. There will be many components to the academy including: standards for mathematical practice, mathematical content, and assessment. Teachers will create station/center activities and learn to use manipulatives to enhance fluency. They will have the opportunity to collaborate with grade-level colleagues from across the state.

During the past two years, Hester has worked with the Georgia Department of Education as the state has prepared for the transition to Common Core GPS Mathematics Standards. She served on the new standards Precision Review Team which had the responsibility of addressing teacher concerns and suggestions regarding math standards and tools being used by the state to assist teachers in the implementation of the new math standards. During the past several months, Hester has worked with the department of education writing mathematics units of instruction for third and fifth grades. 

As a math interventionist for Floyd County Schools, Hester's responsibilities include providing support in the mathematics classroom, sharing research-based strategies and activities, assessing students, monitoring student progress, sharing data, and providing math instruction to small groups of students. She serves six of the eleven elementary schools in Floyd County. The schools Hester serves include: Cave Spring Elementary, Alto Park Elementary, Pepperell Elementary, Midway Primary, McHenry Primary, Pepperell Primary. The Math Intervention Team was created in the fall of 2009. This four-person team of Heather McCain, Mary Smith, Laura Daughtry, and Hester was developed to increase academic achievement in the area of mathematics. The team was designed to provide support for Special Education Teachers and Students with Disabilities. 

The vast majority of Hester's 18 years in education have been spent teaching mathematics. She has taught fifth-grade, middle school math and high school math. She has also taught GED math night classes at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. She received her undergraduate degree from Kennesaw State University in Middle Grades Mathematics Education. Hester has a graduate degree from Walden University in Elementary Mathematics Education and she has added High School Mathematics and Special Education to her certification. "It was never my intention to teach math in so many different grade levels," Hester said. "However, it has been a tremendously enlightening experience, allowing me to see the natural progression of students as they master mathematics skills." She added, "My unique perspective allows me to be a better teacher to my students and greater support to teachers because I not only know what students need to learn at each grade; I also understand why and how they will use the skills as they progress through middle and high school."