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Social Media for Mathematicians

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As part of an optional extra credit project, students in Heather Trifiletti’s math classes at James Wilson Young Middle School created mock Instagram accounts for mathematicians throughout history. These “accounts” featured “posts” from the mathematicians’ points-of-view and “comments” by their contemporaries that demonstrate the public response to their work during their lifetimes. The research that went into this assignment gave the students valuable historical context for development of modern mathematics.

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Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day

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At the end of March, students in Lauren Higgins’ class at Academy Street Elementary School celebrated World Down Syndrome Day to promote awareness and acceptance of those with the developmental disability. They participated in the “rock your socks” initiative, in which each student sported two differently patterned socks to represent that differences should be celebrated. The class also welcomed two visitors with Down syndrome and engaged in a dance party and an interview with them. Higgins’ students greatly enjoyed the day’s programming and learned to be more accepting of others and to look for common ground despite differences.

Learning History Through Humor

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Social studies teacher James Molinari has been creating memes as a fun way to engage his students at James Wilson Young Middle School and make classroom lessons memorable. Molinari began this practice while schools were closed due to COVID-19 last year, and it was such a fan favorite that he continues to introduce new memes to correlate with each new curricular unit. Each time, students analyze how the memes relate to the historical period they are studying and enjoy some laughs in the process.
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