Tag Archives: Trudy Denton

Westport Teachers Teach The World

For 3 days in April Columbia University’s Teachers College will be the site of an international event. Educators from around the world will participate in the Global Learning Alliance‘s 2014 conference, on 21st-century education.

Hundreds of presentation proposals were submitted, from China, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Australia, Finland, England, Canada and the US. Only 40 were selected.

But of those 40, an astonishing 5 came from Westport teachers. They represent all levels: high school, middle school and elementary.

Bedford Middle School 6th grade instructor Jeremy Royster will present “Truth- Sleuthing to Develop Global Solutions.”

Jeremy Royster

Jeremy Royster

That’s “a fun way to describe the search for evidence in conflicting reliable sources to support a reasoned conclusion about a given topic,” he says. Throughout the year, his students use their “truth-sleuthing” skills to challenge Dr. Jared Diamond’s claims that geography is the key to unearthing the causes of wealth and poverty in the world.

Participants in Royster’s workshop will study a region of their choice, using resources linked to his website to support or refute Diamond’s argument. They’ll also use his own students’ proposals intended to help some of the poorest countries in the world.

The goal of truth-sleuthing, Royster says, is to “encourage people to think more critically, deeply and broadly so that they will be better poised to improve our global society.” To that end, his students are well versed in critical thinking, global awareness, online research, presentation skills, creative thinking, innovation, entrepreneurship, and problem-solving.

He looks forward to sharing what he’s doing with educators from around the planet. He hopes too that they will offer him “a different cultural perspective on teaching in general.”

Other presenters from Westport include:

  • Staples math teacher Trudy Denton and grade 6-12 math coordinator Frank Corbo: “Transforming a High-Performing Mathematics Program to Meet the Needs of the 21st Century.”
  • Kings Highway Elementary School assistant principal Anne Nesbitt: “Elementary Math Education for the 21st Century: Transitioning From the Concrete to the Abstract.”
  • Bedford Middle School teachers Courtney Ruggiero and Alison Laturnau: “Bringing the  Common Core into the 21st Century.”
  • Elementary school teacher Hannah Schneewind: “Persuasive Writing and 21st Century Skills in a First Grade Classroom.”

Top educators from around the globe will be at Columbia in April. They come from places like Singapore and Finland — countries regularly ranked atop the lists of “best educated.”

And they’ll all learn from 7 of Westport’s finest.

Bloomberg Hails Staples

Recently, “06880” reported on the Staples students who finished 5th — out of nearly 1,000 high school teams — in the Moody’s Mega Math Challenge. All they had to do was figure a way to salvage America’s inter-city rail system. In 14 hours.

Turns out they’re as articulate as they are bright.

On Bloomberg Radio’s “Taking Stock” show the other day, 3 team members talked about the Moody’s competition, the US transportation systemt, and the state of 21st-century education. Unlike most people interviewed on radio — myself included — they rocked it.

Staples Mega Mathletes (from left): Matt Silver, David Haswell, Connie Zhou, Robert Perry, Michael Menz.

They were clear. They were direct. And they were honest. Asked to describe their “failures,” they cited their inability to find the cost of raw materials and prevailing wages in some parts of the country.

Of course, as Robert Perry said, “You can only do so much in 14 hours.”

Interviewer Pimm Fox noted that he and Staples math instructor/Moody’s advisor Trudy Denton “never did this in high school.” Trudy replied that Staples’ focus on real-world, problem-solving math encourages students to leap into areas like this.

Pimm was impressed that Perry plans a business/engineering major at the University of Michigan, and that fellow interviewees David Haswell and Connie Zhou are headed to Harvard.

Team members Matt Silver and Michael Menz were not interviewed. No, they were not slacking off.

They had another appointment: a New England championship math meet.

To hear the entire Bloomberg radio interview, click below: