Mathematics Enrichment Camp Experiences Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: Teacher Voices and Perspectives

Elizabeth Grossie, Lerri L. Cockrell, Natalie Davis, Patricia Beaulieu

Abstract


The STEM camp described in this paper has offered engaging applied mathematics activities to rising 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-grade students with "hidden or unmet mathematical potential" (Sheppard, 2019, p.3) for one week each summer since 2014. Theme-based activities were designed by Master Teachers with the assistance of university STEM majors. The COVID-19 global pandemic started in the midst of preparation for the 2020 summer camp.  This article addresses how camp mathematics teachers seized the opportunity to keep the camp on track by transforming the camp into a virtual camp themed “Out of this World.” Teachers and camp interns encountered technical, social, and instructional challenges in transitioning to a digital platform while preserving the integrity of the prior learning experiences. Such challenges presented opportunities for collaborative and innovative resolutions as well as personal and professional growth. The lived experiences presented a need for a vector from instructional theory to practice and resulted in the development of an authentic professional learning community. The voices of these educators speak hope and promise for mathematics teachers answering the call to remote learning.

 


Keywords


Remote learning: Mathematics camp; COVID-19 Teaching; Middle school;

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