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Math Forum: The Co-Op Perspective

As two students interested in education, we’ve had a great experience working at the Math Forum. Not only did we get to go into classrooms and observe teacher-student interactions, but we also got to come up with methods for teachers to use in their very own classrooms.

Here is a glimpse into our Math Forum experience.

Gina DiDomenic

Hi, I’m Gina, I’m currently entering my junior year at Drexel University and am just now finishing my second co-op.

As stated above, I had the privilege of working at the Math Forum, and it has been a wonderful experience.

It had been very difficult for me to find an education-based co-op, since most education jobs are field experience-based, which you do in your later years at Drexel, but I was lucky enough to find this one.

I got to do things I love every day at work. I would solve various math problems each day (I love math!!) and try to think of methods for how to solve them. At first I found this a little challenging, because when solving a problem you are used to doing it your own way — and that’s it. However, with this I had to think outside the box. Solving problems for elementary students was probably the most difficult. Even though the problems were much easier, I had to keep in mind that they did not have all of the same schooling as me yet. For these problems I used various methods such as Drawing a Picture, or Using Manipulatives.

I had a great time at the Math Forum, and I’m definitely going to miss it. I will carry on the skills I learned here into my own classroom one day.

Casey Sneider

My name is Casey Sneider and I am a soon-to-be junior at Drexel University! My major is Secondary Mathematics Education with a minor in Mathematics and for the past four months, I have been completing my Co-op at The Math Forum.

My co-workers have become my mentors over the past few months, as they have taken me to observe in classrooms, taught me how to come up with valuable methods for teaching children math, and talked to me about what I should anticipate to experience when I become a future teacher one day. Learning about the Problems of the Week and being able to help Suzanne create packets for the problems has been extremely helpful in teaching me how to apply these writing and thinking skills to making teacher lesson plans. Making video scenarios* with Gina all over Philadelphia has been not only fun, but has taught me how there are more ways to teach than by just lecturing in front of a class.

I’ve also been able to meet with many teachers from all over the country, primarily through The Math Forum’s EnCoMPASS Project. They talked to me about how connecting with teachers through social media is such a valuable source to a young teacher who is just starting out in the classroom for the first time.

I’ve gained so many skills and learned many new things about the teaching world through my co-op, so I know that The Math Forum will always have a special place in my heart and in my classroom one day.

* to view the video scenarios – YouTube or Vimeo