Instead of teaching tips and tricks to solve math problems, Nasim encourages her students to explore many different ways to get to the right answer and find the one that works for them. She teaches her students the “why” behind each formula or method, instead of just having her students memorize them.
“My students know that the whole mathematics problem solving process is like taking a risk! What is important is to take the risk, try and make mistakes, correct the mistakes, try again and finally solve the problem. It means success!” - Nasim Chenari, 6th – 8th Grade Mathematics Teacher
Throughout each lesson, Nasim utilizes different ways of teaching, such as drawing or telling stories, in order to reach each student in the way that works best for them to learn. Due to her innovative style, Nasim saw nearly a 10% increase in her classes’ average test scores from the beginning to the end of the year.
To ensure inclusive and equitable education while teaching virtually, she encouraged her English Language Learners through private chat so they would feel comfortable speaking up in class.
“Students in minorities always feel that they are heard and seen in our community. They realize that they are a significant part of my class and always have an equal chance of being seen, heard, understood, and participate in our class activities.”
With the Unconventional Thinking in Teaching grant, Nasim plans to purchase classroom materials, such as mathematics manipulatives, and also invest in her own professional development by starting the journey to become Gifted and Talented, Special Education or English as a Second Language certified.