January 09, 2013
Christine Nolan-Dack: ExploreLearning Educator of the Month
Christine Nolan-Dack is a technology resource teacher for grades 3-5 at Boca Raton Elementary School. She has been a teacher for 16 years and has taught a variety of classes, including technology, art, ESE, and ESOL education.
Mrs. Nolan-Dack has used Gizmos for three years and Reflex for one year. She coordinates with classroom teachers, choosing Gizmos that expand on what students are learning in the classroom. Mrs. Nolan-Dack reports that Gizmos provide opportunities for practice, hands-on learning, and enhanced understanding. By collaborating with classroom teachers, she has been able to provide individualized instruction with Gizmos, allowing more students to master difficult concepts.
Mrs. Nolan-Dack’s students particularly like some of the math Gizmos that mix humor with a clear presentation of concepts, including Fido’s Flower Bed (Perimeter and Area) and Cannonball Clowns (Number Line Estimation).
Boca Raton Elementary also adopted ExploreLearning Reflex last year as part of a pilot project. Mrs. Nolan-Dack started using Reflex with only a few students, but demand from teachers and students quickly increased. Before long, 192 students were enrolled in Reflex. Students talked about the program to each other, and parents called to find out more. Mrs. Nolan-Dack says she has never seen an educational program engender a response like that before! Over the course of the pilot, students' overall math fact fluency rose by an average of 40 percentage points.
Thanks in part to Gizmos and Reflex, Boca Raton Elementary had some of their strongest FCAT scores ever, with scores rising over 25% from the previous year. It was also impressive that scores rose most prominently for those in the lowest quartile. Mrs. Nolan-Dack is thrilled to be a part of these gains and is looking forward to another great year!