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Ms. Nigro’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Hazel Avenue Elementary School
  • West Orange, NJ
  • More than half of students from low‑income households Data about students' economic need comes from the National Center for Education Statistics, via our partners at MDR Education. Learn more

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Two years ago my 4th-grade teaching role transitioned from a general education elementary role, I taught every subject, to the departmentalized model. This new model allows me to focus on providing a greater level of expertise and helps students develop a stronger number sense. While the departmentalization model lends itself to a cooperative student learning approach and differentiation, my students are stuck using "traditional" old school single student desks. Students often have a difficult time maneuvering their bodies while working in groups or following my movements as I bounce around the classroom. I would love to start integrating more flexible desk options. I feel flexible, mobile desks will help my math students quickly and easily pair up and work in small groups. My own personal experience as a reformed "math-hater" drives me to provide the best possible experience for my students. When I was in fourth grade, I had a very difficult time in math class. I remember my math teacher getting upset with me because I had a difficult time grasping concepts. My inability to quickly understand clearly upset her. After working with me for awhile, I recall her saying, “There’s nothing more I can do. You’re just not good at math.” Her comments sparked my dislike of math and problem-solving and my insecurity in the subject matter. I struggled with math throughout the rest of my elementary, middle and high school years. I was always second guessing myself and insecure about sharing my answers or work. Because I always doubted myself, it was hard for me to develop my mathematical intelligence. I finally had a crystallizing experience in college. Most of my math teachers lectured, believed in skill and drill and rarely encouraged collaboration and discussion. I know my students will benefit from collaborative student desks!

About my class

Two years ago my 4th-grade teaching role transitioned from a general education elementary role, I taught every subject, to the departmentalized model. This new model allows me to focus on providing a greater level of expertise and helps students develop a stronger number sense. While the departmentalization model lends itself to a cooperative student learning approach and differentiation, my students are stuck using "traditional" old school single student desks. Students often have a difficult time maneuvering their bodies while working in groups or following my movements as I bounce around the classroom. I would love to start integrating more flexible desk options. I feel flexible, mobile desks will help my math students quickly and easily pair up and work in small groups. My own personal experience as a reformed "math-hater" drives me to provide the best possible experience for my students. When I was in fourth grade, I had a very difficult time in math class. I remember my math teacher getting upset with me because I had a difficult time grasping concepts. My inability to quickly understand clearly upset her. After working with me for awhile, I recall her saying, “There’s nothing more I can do. You’re just not good at math.” Her comments sparked my dislike of math and problem-solving and my insecurity in the subject matter. I struggled with math throughout the rest of my elementary, middle and high school years. I was always second guessing myself and insecure about sharing my answers or work. Because I always doubted myself, it was hard for me to develop my mathematical intelligence. I finally had a crystallizing experience in college. Most of my math teachers lectured, believed in skill and drill and rarely encouraged collaboration and discussion. I know my students will benefit from collaborative student desks!

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