Sean Berg, a 6th-grade teacher at Myrtle Grove Middle School in New Hanover County Schools (NC), has been named the Open Up Resources 6–8 Math Teacher of the Month for October. Berg is being recognized for his outstanding work in his classroom and his ongoing support of teachers across the country as a member of the Open Up Resources National Professional Learning Community.
Berg’s work with Open Up Resources 6–8 Math makes him 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.
Katherine Martin, Lead 6-12 Mathematics Teacher for New Hanover County Schools nominated Berg because of his work leading the implementation of Open Up Resources 6–8 Math on his sixth-grade team. She shares, “He is creating resources and sharing with our whole district, contributing to the online Professional Learning Community, and serving as a leader in his building.” Martin, a frequent visitor in Berg’s classroom, also says, “There’s never a time when you walk in and don’t see kids fully engaged. He’s created a classroom culture where mistakes are expected and respected, and students feel safe getting a wrong answer.”
Berg’s favorite part of teaching, with the curriculum, is when students explain their reasoning without beginning every statement with, “My teacher told me...” He explains, “To be able to discuss efficient and alternate methods towards finding solutions is invaluable to students as they grow their brains and build confidence in math.”
In addition, Berg has also found joy in the way connections are made throughout the curriculum. “The subtle ways the activities nudge students into seeing connections and patterns along with the not so subtle ways, like the constant use of visuals to support sense-making and non-reliance on number only algorithms, are making our first year great!”
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.