Posted Date: 11/09/2023
The Louisiana Association of Teachers of Mathematics (LATM) and the Louisiana Science Teachers Association (LSTA) held a Joint Conference this past week in Baton Rouge at the Raising Cane’s River Center.
More than 60 Ouachita Parish teachers and district coordinators attended the event that provides professional development and networking opportunities for all math and science educators throughout the state.
Eight teachers from Ouachita Parish Schools System also presented 50-minute sessions to the more than 700 instructors in attendance.
Good Hope Middle School teacher Jamie Hugghins’ presentation was titled “What’s the Method Behind Your Mathness?”
“Presenting at LATM was extremely rewarding and a memory I'll never forget!” said Hugghins, who was also named the 2023 LATM Middle School Math Teacher of the Year. “I've always enjoyed working with students, but being able to pass along some of my classroom strategies to fellow educators was a unique experience that I hope to repeat again in the future. I left the session feeling encouraged and excited at the thought that I could make an impact on educators and their students across the state.”
Laytoya Bershell and Cassidy Boggs, the duo from East Ouachita Middle School, presented on “Groovin’ With Groups,” focusing on Enrichment Groups in middle school. Ms. Boggs said presenting was something she wanted to do to take the next step in her career.
“Typically, rotational groups end around elementary. Here at East Ouachita, we have broken the stigma that "groups are for elementary" and implemented rotational groups in our Enrichment program, for our 6th-8th mathematics department,” Boggs said. “With major growth last year from our students in these groups, we presented this content to our middle school math department in our back to school district-wide Professional Development. After the response we received, I knew we had something special to share with others as well. I am thoroughly grateful to be part of a district that encourages teachers to step out and share what they have learned as professionals.”
Woodlawn Junior High teachers Megan Kemp and Jennifer Brisnon teamed up with West Ridge’s Virginia Koonce for their presentation titled “Work Smarter, Not Harder”.
“Our presentation focused on the Edulastic Testing Platform, demonstrating its capacity to enhance students' readiness for online state assessments and streamline the grading and data analysis process for teachers,” Kemp said. “This versatile online testing platform spans all subjects and grade levels, offering an invaluable tool for educators and students alike.”
Mrs. Koonce, a 6th grade Math and Robotics teacher at West Ridge, was excited to present at LATM because she said Edulastic was a game changer for her and her grading.
“It also prepares my students very well for the LEAP Test as it has the desmos calculator built to the edulastic testing platform,” Koonce said. “There are no issues when it comes time for testing because they have been using Edulastic all year!”
Other presenters included West Monroe High School Math Teacher Summer Pate, whose presentation was titled “Are You Cheating? Or Using Tools Strategically?”
“My session focused on using tools strategically for different class/state assessments with the main focus on Desmos graphing calculator for the LEAP,” Pate said. “I chose to present on this topic because this is a "cheat code" to the LEAP for our students and knowing how to use this provided tool appropriately and strategically can help a lot of students pass their LEAP on the first attempt. Did you know that 85% of the Algebra 1 LEAP test can be done using Desmos? This statistic alone was my ‘why!’”
Ouachita Parish 6-12 Math Instructional Coordinator Maggie Acree also presented on the topic “Just Say No! Rules That Expire in Mathematics”