I am delighted to welcome you and your child to Duffy Elementary!
My name is Christine Mori and I am the Curriculum Specialist. I have been a teacher since 2000 and I have taught 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th. Before moving to Connecticut, in 2012, I taught in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York and Florida. I am originally from Pennsylvania and a graduate, in Elementary and Special Education, from Penn State University. I also have a Master’s degree in Teaching and Learning, with a concentration in Reading, from Nova Southeastern University, in Florida.
My role as a curriculum specialist involves many parts. I have the unique opportunity to work with students, teachers, and parents daily. I help with instruction, school culture, scheduling, coordinating events, and I am an active member of several committees.
Duffy is a wonderful place that is built on respect, responsibility, and compassion. Our community stretches far beyond our brick walls, and I look forward to our partnership with you and your family. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
How to Create a Community of Mathematicians
At Duffy School, we will “Advance achievement for all students and reduce disparity between and among groups.” One way we will work towards reaching this goal is to teach our students how to create a Mathematical Mindset. This Mathematical Mindset is one where students believe math is about thinking, sense making, big ideas and connections.
During a daily math block, your child will be engaged in purposeful tasks that “engage problem solving and connections to relevant, real-world application.” They will work in whole groups, small groups, and individually.
In the opening weeks of school, and developed throughout the entire year, teachers will work to create a community of mathematicians by emphasizing these beliefs:
1- Math is about connections and communicating
2- Math is about creativity and sense making
3- Mistakes are valuable
4- Depth is more important than speed
5- Questions are really important
6- EVERYONE can learn math to the highest levels
7- Math class is about learning, not performing
Just Remember the 5 C’s
Want to help support your mathematician at home? It’s easy, just remember the 5 C’s!
Curiosity- find engaging ways to bring math into your daily routine
Connection Making- connections between concepts, procedures, and tools
Challenge- allow your child time to productively struggle with problems
Creativity- find problems with multiple entry points and various solutions
Collaboration- talk about the strategies used to solve
Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University, and author of the book Mathematical Mindset, shares some of her resources on her website You Cubed.
Looking for ideas? Great tasks to challenge yourself and your child? Check it out! www.youcubed.org
Christine Mori, Curriculum Specialist
At our house, reading before bed is a part of our nighttime routine. I’ve been getting a little smarter lately, because I am reading books to my girls that are engaging, yet purposeful. I’m “sneaking in” some books that will help them begin to grow their Growth Mindset. Reading the books, having discussions, and making connections will keep them away from a fixed mindset. I want them to believe that they can learn, change, and develop any skill. I want them to be better equipped to handle inevitable setbacks, and know that hard work can help them accomplish their goals.
Here are some of our favorite titles that we hope your family will enjoy!
Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
When Floyd's kite gets stuck in a tree, he's determined to get it out. But how? Well, by knocking it down with his shoe, of course. But strangely enough, it too gets stuck. And the only logical course of action . . . is to throw his other shoe. Only now it's stuck! Surely there must be something he can use to get his kite unstuck. An orangutan? A boat? His front door? Yes, yes, and yes. And that's only the beginning.
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
This is a story about a girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.
The OK Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
In this clever and visual play on words, OK is turned sideways, upside down, and right side up to show that being OK can really be quite great.
This book celebrates the real skills and talents children possess, encouraging and empowering them to discover their own individual strengths and personalities. Whether OK personifies an OK skipper, an OK climber, an OK lightning bug catcher, or an OK whatever there is to experience, OK is an OK place to be. And being OK just may lead to the discovery of what makes one great.
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes
by Mark Pett
Meet Beatrice Bottomwell: a nine-year-old girl who has never (not once!) made a mistake. She never forgets her math homework, she never wears mismatched socks, and she ALWAYS wins the yearly talent show at school. In fact, Beatrice holds the record of perfection in her hometown, where she is known as The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes. Life for Beatrice is sailing along pretty smoothly until she does the unthinkable–she makes her first mistake...in public!
The Dot by Peter Reynolds
Art class is over, but Vashti is sitting glued to her chair in front of a blank piece of paper. The words of her teacher are a gentle invitation to express herself. But Vashti can’t draw - she’s no artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. "There!" she says.
That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey of surprise and self-discovery. That special moment is the core of the creative spirit in all of us.