Aug. 27, John Holt Van Norman, 77, of Billings, Montana, formerly of Worland
Worland temperatures: High 34, Low 11 precipitation: 0.00
Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 32. Wind chill values as low as zero. South southeast wind between 3 and 5 mph.
Saturday: A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms before 9am, then isolated showers between 9am and noon, then scattered showers and thunderstorms after noon. Some of the storms could produce small hail and gusty winds. Partly sunny, with a high near 83. South wind 6 to 16 mph becoming west southwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could produce small hail and gusty winds. Partly cloudy, with a low around 52. Breezy, with a north northwest wind 15 to 20 mph becoming light and variable after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 29 mph.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 70. North northeast wind 7 to 11 mph.
Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 46. Northeast wind 5 to 9 mph becoming southeast after midnight.
Labor Day: Partly sunny, with a high near 72. East southeast wind around 6 mph becoming north in the afternoon.
Sunset tonight: 7:43 p.m.
Sunrise tomorrow: 6:28 a.m.
Teacher Catie Deromedi looks over student KyAnn Calhoun’s work.
Making math relevant
Deromedi honored with one of first state STEM awards
By Susan Lockhart
Special Project Coordinator
THERMOPOLIS — Catie Deromedi is excited about math. You can hear it in
her voice and see it in her actions. She wants her students thinking
with their whole brain, solving real-world problems and being excited
right along with her about finding those solutions.
Deromedi, sixth grade math instructor at Thermopolis Middle School, was recently one of three recipients of the first STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Educators of the Year awards. Also honored were Gary Duquette, math and engineering instructor at Jackson Hole High School and Dr. Allen Childs, chemistry and math instructor at Northwest College in Powell.
Deromedi graduated from Culver Stockton College in Canton, Missouri with a degree in elementary education and an endorsement in middle school.
“I’ve always loved math, it’s always, always been my favorite subject,” Deromedi said with a big smile. “It’s the fact that there are multiple ways to solve one problem that gets me excited.”
Getting her students to focus on problem solving in real-world settings, rather than rote memorization of facts, is the key to getting them excited about math, she said.
“I started the first week of school with the marshmallow challenge where my kids had to build a structure out of 20 spaghetti noodles, a yard of tape and a yard of string with the marshmallow on top,” Deromedi said. “So they had to use their math skills to figure out what kind structure would be best. Then we did a reflection sheet about the challenge, where we talked about how important this is to our society where math is involved.”
The students have also put their math skills to work building CD hovercrafts since school began.
Part of each day’s math assignment is a technique Deromedi says focuses student learning —TIPS, Thoughts, Information, Plan and Solution.
“For every word problem or real-life scenario they get, they have to use TIPS to pull it apart and solve it.
“I honestly feel like problem solving is where kids are lacking these days. You can teach them something, teach them the processes, but if they don’t understand the scenario behind it, how to relate it to other real-life things, there’s no relevance to what they are doing. Teaching them HOW to be problem solvers is key.”
Deromedi said she pulls a lot of different techniques into her teaching style including “whole brain teaching.”
“Whole brain teaching is where I use mirror words — they have to use their listening skills, their kinesthetic movements as well as speaking skills to mirror what I say. It literally gets their whole brain thinking.”
It also gives the kids a laugh when she has them mirror “Rule number five, keep your dear teacher happy,” as she uses her fingers to stretch a big smile across her face and they parrot the words and movement back.
Deromedi credits her high school math teacher for lighting the fire for problem solving in her.
“Seth Klusemeyer always taught us different techniques to solve every problem,” she said of the teacher. “Not only that, he would teach us the hard way to solve a problem and then teach us the easy way to solve the problem. I absolutely loved that, it got me interested in math and put a desire in me for math.”
Deromedi was nominated for the STEM award by her principal, Breez Daniels, who said Deromedi’s success in the classroom inspired her to make the nomination.
“Catie has had phenomenal growth with her sixth grade students. Her students’ achievement in the classroom speaks for itself — they perform very well on their tests, their assessments, all the academic indicators we have at school. She’s able to get phenomenal growth over an academic year in math.
“A big piece of it is that Catie has excellent student engagement in the classroom. She does a nice job of connecting math to the real world — real, true problem solving, critical thinking types of skills are emphasized.
“You can see the excitement in the way students dive in and actually want to understand mathematical processes.”
Daniels adds that, since math is sometimes a male-dominated field, it’s good for sixth grade girls to see a woman excelling in that area.
Continued in today's issue of the DAILY NEWS. Subscribe here
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