Framing the Classroom

Teachers Who Make an Impact

Meet Jenna Ryan, fourth and fifth grade math and science teacher at St. Margaret of Scotland School in Chicago's South Side. Jenna is the kind of teacher that Big Shoulders is trying to support in every classroom. She's a Teacher Leader, and quite notably a Power User in the Big Shoulders Fund Math Initiative. 

The Big Shoulders Fund Math Initiative aims to establish a community of educators who work together to improve mathematics teaching and learning. Participating schools use Everyday Mathematics, a high-quality, researched-based curriculum that is aligned to the Common Core State Standards for Math (CCSS-M). Components of the program include: professional development (in-person and online through webinars) for administrators and teachers, creating teacher leaders at each school who attend professional development aimed at building leadership capacity in math instruction, in-school coaching support by the Center for Elementary Math and Science Education at the University of Chicago (CEMSE) staff, creating Power Users at each school who attend professional development around implementing technology in math instruction, and building a network community of math teachers.

“Last year I had kids begging to play math games on the board and computers during recess which was a great feeling,” says Jenna . Her classroom is equipped with a SMART white board which she uses to enhance her daily math lessons. “Because of Big Shoulders, we are lucky enough to have the e-suite that goes along with the Everyday Math Program so it all directly corresponds with the lessons we go through. It has helped the visual learners to see various examples on the board and lets them connect to the material in a way that suits them,” says Ryan.

Learn how Jenna works with the Big Shoulders Fund Math Initiative to give our students a competitive edge in math learning.