Melanie Sprouse - Onsite Participant
Lakeview Middle School, Greenville, South Carolina
Mel Sprouse is a 7th grade Math teacher at Lakeview Middle School in Greenville, SC. She is also the Technology Curriculum Coordinator for the school and recently won the Sallie Mae First Class Teacher Award in the county in which she teaches.
Mel currently uses the Internet in a variety of ways as part of the math curriculum. Her school serves primarily students from poverty-stricken homes who need to be motivated to learn. She uses the Internet to stimulate their interest in learning, and says "they love it! The students want to come to class and can't wait for the next lesson that will be taught with the use of the computer."
Mel has also set up and maintains a Web site for her students and participates in Classroom Connect as a Field Test Teacher. There are computers in her classroom and she has recently ordered a "white board" to be able to magnify the computer screen for the entire class to see. This summer she hopes to gain information from others to take back to her school, and to share the experiences that she has had using the Internet successfully with her own students with those attending the Institute.
Mel is thinking about several projects for her summer work:
- Math and Science Integrated Projects
These projects include topics of force, motion, and energy with a culminating roller coaster project. The students will go to a theme park and perform tests and experiments with various coasters and then evaluate the data that require the math elements. This project could be posted on the Internet and classes could compare data, make graphs of their comparisons (including the coasters speeds and sizes), and share the information with each other.
- Virtual Math Museum
A historical look at math through a virtual museum. Students could visit from their classroom via the Internet. Pictures from existing museums, books, or students could help students solve problems related to the historical accomplishment. Math connections to the real world could be included, and a collaboration with an existing museum could perhaps be established.
- Key Pal Projects
Two of Mel's math classes participated in a key pal project this year. Students were given a topic every two weeks on some type of problem-solving skill (guess and check, use a table, etc.) and were asked to develop a word problem that required the use of this skill. The problems were posted and students were then required to answer problems from partners from another school. The students were excited about this project and were very engaged in the process of having to develop an appropriate problem. This could be promoted on a larger scale by linking schools with each other according to the level and needs of the schools interested.
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