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Educators give great gift - time
School notes
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It is evident many educators in Liberty County agree with author Marcia Tate in that “every student comes with an inherent gift, a package, so to speak.”  Therefore, teachers accept that it is their job to unwrap this gift to find the most viable means by which each student can excel. As society has changed, so has the packaging of our students, requiring alternative ways of “unwrapping” each special gift.  
Led by the belief that every child is special and should be “unwrapped” as a contributing part of the classroom, more than 100 Liberty County teachers and paraprofessionals gave up their Friday night, Oct. 3, as well as the following Saturday to learn strategies for active, hands-on learning in the classroom at the third annual Liberty County Math/Science Summit. This activity brought together NASA representatives, Department of Education math and science specialists, consultants and teachers to focus on ways to bring learning to life in interactive and exciting ways. Skills such as data analysis, classification, oral communication, problem solving and discovery learning were brought to life through hands-on activities. Some examples of lessons included a “human shrink wrapping” activity to teach physics, “math magic” to reinforce problem-solving, and a NASA balloon activity to teach Vernoulli’s Principle of Air Flow.
As a result of the weekend, many students in Liberty County have been more engaged, encouraged and actively participating in their learning. Liberty Elementary paraprofessional and summit participant Khaleekah Moton-Gordon said, “The information and strategies have helped me assist teachers and students more abundantly. Both teachers and students have been elated to break from the normal routine of the classroom environment. The strategies provided opportunities for variety in the school setting.”
Also, Bridget Townsend from Liberty Elementary School used a rocket building activity learned at the summit to integrate math and science to enhance skills such as observation, measurement, object manipulation and estimation. She said, “Building and launching rockets truly rocked! My students were all eager to participate and continue to build on that knowledge every day.”
Waldo-Pafford Elementary teacher Velma Donnell said, “The math/science summit had a tremendous impact on my students’ outlook about math and science, as well as my teaching practices. There is no more moaning and groaning!”
Patricia Moody, Frank Long Elementary teacher, said, “By making activities in my classroom even more hands-on, the students have started to gain deeper understandings of both math and science and how they connect.”
The Chinese proverb, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand,” has been guiding the teachers who are devoted to “unwrapping” the potential of Liberty County’s most precious gifts –– the students –– by giving their greatest gift –– time.
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