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
Elizabeth Thurlow explained that year after year, students enjoy Block Town more than any other activity. Block Town is a hands-on geometry activity in which students develop an understanding of two- and three-dimensional figures by visualizing, drawing, and building their own structures. To encourage her students to excel, Thurlow provides them with a safe place to learn. “If they are learning in an environment which is accepting and allows for children to take risks, then real learning can take place,” she said.
My students are successful because I am constantly improving my craft, and they know I am not there to judge, but to help them understand mathematics. Participating in many professional development opportunities has given me a chance to improve my understanding of the mathematics content of my curriculum and to learn new ideas and strategies to use in class.