Diana Rhea, a 6th grade teacher at East Hills Middle School (AR), has been named the Open Up Resources Teacher of the Month for September 2022. Rhea is being recognized for her outstanding work in her classroom and ongoing support of teachers across the country as a member of the Open Up Resources National Professional Learning Community.Rhea’s work with Open Up Resources 6–8 Math makes her one of the most innovative teachers in the country. The Open Up Resources 6–8 Math curriculum inspires a new way of teaching math by transforming classrooms into hives of activity focusing on discussion, questioning, debate, and the deeper conceptual learning of mathematics that follows.
Tatum Williams, a colleague in the Greenwood School District, nominated Rhea for her ability to engage children in grade-level mathematics and support them using math language productively. Williams shared, “This year Mrs. Rhea has great success at using this curriculum to push struggling learners to be on grade level. She has had great success at using math language routines in order for students to truly understand math vocabulary and use it effectively.”
In her nomination, Williams described Rhea’s passion for her students and their success. She explained, “Mrs. Rhea has taught for over 28 years and you would think she has taught this curriculum all those years. Mrs. Rhea loves her students and provides them with real world problems. Mrs. Rhea never gives up on a learner!”
Rhea believes in what Open Up Resources 6–8 Math can do to support children. She offered some insight: “My advice to anyone considering this program is to think of a concept or lesson that is usually difficult for your students, then find that unit in this program and see what happens when you utilize this curriculum. Give OUR a real chance. Read the [unit and lesson narratives] and follow the sequence to see how this program sets up kids for success!”
Open Up Resources is a non-profit on a mission to increase equity in education by making excellent, top-rated curricula freely available to districts. You can learn more at www.openupresources.org.