Ally Malkowski, an 8th-grade teacher at Deer Park Junior/Senior High in Deer Park Community City Schools has been named the Open Up Resources 6–8 Math Teacher of the Month for September. Malkowski is being recognized for their outstanding work not only in her own classroom, but also in supporting teachers across the country as a member of the Open Up Resources National Professional Learning Community.
Malkowski’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.
Anne Berger, Instructional Coach for Hamilton County Educational Service Center nominated Malkowski because of her strong belief in good instruction and doing what is best for students. She shares that although Malkowski is in the early stages of her career she is a leader in her department and is even supporting the high school teachers shift their instruction now as well. Berger says that, “the conversations that Ally is having with her team is really beginning to influence the greater culture of mathematics in their school.”
Malkowski shares that after implementing the Open Up Resources 6–8 Math curriculum she can “confidently say my students know how to engage in mathematical conversations so much better now. It provides so many great learning opportunities that really stick with the students and it has been really encouraging to see state test scores rise since using this curriculum.”
When asked what advice she would give to a teacher new to implementing the curriculum, she responded strongly saying to be patient! She says, “it is so easy to become frustrated or wonder what the students took away from a lesson, but the curriculum ties itself together so well that everything just clicks in the end. It builds perfectly from unit to unit, so trusting how the curriculum works is key.”
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.