Morgan Curry, a 7th-grade math teacher at Mascoutah Middle School of Mascoutah CUSD 19 (IL), has been named the Open Up Resources 6–8 Math Teacher of the Month for March. Curry 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.Curry’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.
Caroline Campbell, a colleague at Mascoutah Middle School, nominated Curry for her leadership in implementation and student engagement. Campbell shared, “Morgan is a leader when it comes to best practices using Open Up Resources. She has a way of teaching that really reaches her students. They come into math class excited about what they day might hold.”
In her nomination, Campbell described Curry as innovative. She explained, “She knows that students who DO math, UNDERSTAND math. She is creative in how she presents the lessons and works hard to keep it fresh. She is constantly looking for new ideas and ways to improve her practice. ”
Curry mentioned that she appreciates the progression from conceptual understanding to procedural fluency within the Open Up Resources 6–8 Math curriculum. She explained, “When I think about the way equations were taught while I was in school, all I think about is doing 30 problems in class—then for homework too—and just memorizing steps that need to happen. With this curriculum, I get to see students at every level look at an equation and reason their way through it. They can mentally solve equations by noticing what's happening to a number. I don't need to teach steps to memorize, I just need to give them an opportunity to [work] their way through what's happening to an unknown number and BOOM they're all algebraic thinkers.”
And she offered some advice: “I would tell a teacher considering adopting this curriculum to just trust it. There were more than a few times my first year using this curriculum that I was unsure of the reasoning behind what the books were asking us to do. Everything in this curriculum is so well thought out, and there's a reason for everything.”
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.