2006 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching
Each year the President of the U.S. recognizes outstanding K-12 science
and math teachers throughout the country. One math and one science
educator is chosen from each state who exemplifies deep content
knowledge combined with the ability to motivate students in science and
Jennifer Doss says that one of her students’ favorite lessons is learning to multiply decimals by using dice and calculators. “The dice provide the numbers to multiply, and the calculators allow students to compare their answers with the correct ones. It is always fun when a student asks for a different calculator because their calculator is, ‘giving me a smaller number.’ Eventually, students discover the patterns and learn how to multiply decimals,” stated Doss. Outside the classroom, she created a phenomenon in the county with 24Game, which she started playing with her students to encourage them to practice basic math facts. When her school had its first school-wide tournament, the game proved to be so popular that she taught a 24Game workshop for teachers at a math conference, which was the catalyst for a county-wide tournament.
One of my greatest beliefs about teaching is that enthusiasm matters. After 8 years of teaching, I am still excited about the promise of each new day. At the end of my first year teaching fourth grade, I gave my students a report card for feedback on my teaching. One girl wrote, ‘You made learning fun. You even made math fun and I don’t know how you did that!’ That comment reassured me that my efforts to plan interesting and meaningful lessons had been worthwhile.