EMS Scholarship 2016: Heather Vaillancourt

EMS Scholarship Recipient

Heather Vaillacourt
West Elementary, Hutchinson Public Schools, District 423
Hutchinson, MN

Heather teaches first grade at West Elementary in Hutchinson, MN. She this is her fifth year of teaching.  Her first 3 years she taught in a multi-age Montessori classroom.  This is her second year at West Elementary as a first grade teacher.

Heather is passionate about primary students experiencing math in hands-on, concrete ways.  This concrete experience in math allows students to more deeply build their sense of number and in turn, to make sense of the relationships between numbers. She is committed to building math understanding in the primary grades using hands-on manipulatives and math talk as vehicles to build math thinking & understanding in all students.

Heather is a member of the NCTM & the MCTM. She has served as a PLC leader, a mentor teacher, a data team member, and a data coach. She can interpret data to find weaknesses and strengths in student learning, then uses that information to drive her instruction in such a way as to increase student engagement and learning.  She is a life-long learner and strives to learn more about how students are engaging and thinking about subject matter - especially about math.

Heather has a continued drive to broaden and deepen her comprehension of how students are thinking about math.  In August 2016, she enrolled in the K-5 Mathematics Specialist Certification program at Hamline University.  The program is focused on the Cognitive Guided Instruction approach to supporting student learning in mathematics. The financial support from the AMTE Grant will allow Heather to finish the program in July 2017 and earn her K-5 Math Specialist Certification. She is grateful for the opportunity.

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