Julie Lefebvre, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher at Daniel F. Mahoney Middle School in South Portland Public Schools (ME), has been named the Open Up Resources 6–8 Math Teacher of the Month for January. Lefebvre 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.
Lefebvre’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.
Colleague, Katie Clark, nominated Lefebvre for the leadership she has provided both with the implementation of the curriculum and with the district’s switch to hybrid learning this year. “Julie has been amazing during our first two years of implementation,” she shared. “This year she has worked to develop materials to track engagement during hybrid learning during real-time.”
Lefebvre says that using the curriculum has pushed her to be more of a facilitator than a lecturer. She explains, “I feel strongly that we should ‘nix the tricks’ and help students see why math works the way it does rather than trying to get them to memorize procedures and formulas, and the curriculum has helped me do that.”
“Have faith in the curriculum, collaborate with colleagues, embrace the practice struggle, and use questions to guide students in the right direction” are just a few of the recommendations she would give to other teachers new to the curriculum. She says, “It will lead students to use the tools they need to succeed in life—such as critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.”
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. Learn more about our National Professional Learning Communities here.