Third-grade students in Christie Tyndall’s AIG classroom used technology to transform an ordinary area and perimeter test into a 21st century way of learning basic math skills.
Thanks to a grant awarded to Tyndall from CAFE, Clinton Area Foundation for Education, these students have pieces of the latest technology that only enhances the quality education they are already receiving.
Tyndall was awarded a grant to purchase a set of 3D pens students used to transform ordinary house plans into a three-dimensional look.
“Having the 3D pens has allowed my students to take an idea and bring that idea to life,” Tyndall said.
As part of the third-grade math curriculum, students are required to learn and understand the concepts of area and perimeter. To measure their knowledge and understanding, Tyndall gave students an opportunity to draw a set of house plans as their assessment.
“The house plans were the test,” Tyndall explained. “Getting to use the 3D pens was something fun and extra.”
According to the students, using the pens doesn’t only enforce the concepts they learned in regards to the area and perimeter, but they can also utilize the pens to get a better understanding of geometric standards like 3D shapes.
“The pens have taught us how to use area and perimeter and make it easier to understand,” third-grade student Allison Naylor shared. “It’s easier for us to understand because you can see it in a different perspective.”
For now, the pens may be providing Tyndall and her students a little fun, but Naylor said it will give her and other students the chance to know if they want to pursue a career in architectural design.
“The students are the best explores and they have done a great job putting these pens to use,” Tyndall said.
CAFE funds various grants to local educators throughout the year. According to Joan Tsao, CAFE president, there is a process involved in teachers receiving the grants. First the teachers write grants and present them to the CAFE board during meetings. Then the CAFE board reviews the grant applications and selects those which will be funded.
Once approved, the grants fund items that cost above and beyond what the schools can afford. According to Tsao, CAFE has already funded grants from each school this academic year.
Several grants, like Tyndall’s, have requested items to support the school system’s Global Initiative program, which helps students learn more about the world in which they live. CAFE has also funded several grants that focus on STEM education, including funding for Sampson Middle School science and social studies teacher Leslie Matthis to begin SeaPerch, an underwater robotics program.
Matthis and her students placed first in state-level competition and will be traveling to Massachusetts this summer to compete nationally.
“In evaluating each grant request, we seek to maximize the impact of every dollar entrusted to us by CAFE members and the United Way. We are very fortunate to have received funding support from the United Way of Sampson County. We focus on grants that have a multi-year usefulness and reach a high number of students,” Tsao said.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.