P. Grahame Sorensen, a math teacher at Highland High School of the Salt Lake City School District (UT), has been named the Open Up Resources Teacher of the Month for November 2022. Sorensen is being recognized for his outstanding work in his classroom and ongoing support of teachers across the country as a member of the Open Up Resources National Professional Learning Community.Sorensen’s work with Open Up High School Mathematics makes him one of the most innovative teachers in the country. The Open Up High School Mathematics 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.
Chelsea Fisher, a colleague at Highland High, nominated Sorensen for the thoughtful and engaging ways he presents Open Up High School Mathematics. Fisher shared, “As a math coach, I have had the privilege of being in Mr. Sorensen’s room and watching the excitement of the students as they discover connections, reason through problems, and share their work with their peers. He puts in so much time and really loves what he does!”
Sorensen shared that he appreciates the high-quality tasks within the curriculum. He explained, “I like that the tasks are structured to promote student thinking and understanding. I like how students are guided through concepts and make sense of the concepts and are able to have discussions around the problems.”
One way Mr. Sorensen engages students in Open Up High School Mathematics is by leveraging the great tasks and making them even more relevant for his students. “I modified one of the lessons to fit our school logo. During the lesson, I had students in my classes who were really proud of themselves for finding an equation for the pattern.”
Sorensen also highlighted a support that is available for educators as they consider using the curriculum to amplify student discourse around mathematics. He shared, “The materials for orchestrating discussions are helpful and are worth considering if you would like students to be discussing their ideas more.”
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.