Focus on Massachusetts STARs: Introducing Laura Burney

Laura Burney with Students

Laura Burney, grade 4 teacher at the Israel Loring Elementary School in Sudbury, MA.

Laura Burney has been a classroom teacher for grades 3-6 since 1992.  Currently a 4th grade teacher at the Israel Loring Elementary School in Sudbury, MA, Laura has sought many leadership roles in Mathematics and Technology within her district.  In addition to being a STAR member, she is also an ActivTeacher and serves on the ActivCouncil for Promethean’s interactive whiteboard technology.  Laura embraces the use of DEStreaming video into her teaching in multiple ways.  She not only embeds video into her flipcharts for teaching content, but she empowers her students by giving them the tools to create, process and demonstrate understanding.  

Last year Laura’s students became researchers, filmmakers, and producers!  Taking sample MCAS questions from the previous year’s state proficiency tests, her students were assigned the task of creating their own ‘Maths Mansions’ videos!  ’Maths Mansion’ is a series of videos in DEStreaming’s repertoire that covers a wide range of math topics/concepts.  Each episode is an adventure in which contestants are trapped in a Gothic mansion by their host, Bad Man, until they can successfully crack a range of math challenges.  Laura’s students were very familiar with the ‘Maths Mansions’ series, eager to assume the roles of the characters they had come to love!

Working in teams, students developed and wrote the script for the particular MCAS math concept they chose from the samples.  In addition to writing the scripts, they also designed their sets and costumes, and were then filmed using a FlipVideo camera.  Many students used the ActivBoard as one of their teaching tools!  Parts of the original Maths Mansion videos were incorporated into the final iMovie product to ensure authenticity!

Kids were immersed in the math by not only watching the Maths Mansion videos, but also by creating their own content, further developing their own understanding, and then demonstrating what they knew to others.. These videos are going to be shared with the other 4th grade classes for their review of the math!  Yeah Laura!

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