Get to know Heather Kennedy

Introducing Edulastic Innovator Spotlight member Heather Kennedy! Heather is a Math Teacher and Department Chair from La Grange, NC. In addition to reading her wonderful Innovator Spotlight, you can learn more about Heather in this state test prep webinar where Heather will be presenting!

What inspired you to work in education?

My mother taught for 32.5 years in both elementary and middle school settings.  Some of my earliest memories are from being in her classroom.  On workdays as a young child, I would write names in books and clean desks.  As I became older, I learned how to use the copy machine, decorate bulletin boards, and set-up a classroom for the school year.  While I teach high school math and textbooks are now a rarity, those days helped shape my life today.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Students seem to think that if they struggle in algebra, then they aren’t ‘good at math’.  My goal is to show students that math is much more than just algebra and geometry.  I want them to find a branch of mathematics where they can have success.

How did you learn about Edulastic?

I stumbled across Edulastic in 2018 on Twitter.  I knew no one who used this platform, but I began to try it in class and I fell in love.

What do you love about Edulastic?

I use Edulastic mostly for tests (major assignments) and as a review for the final exam.  I love that I can pause a test for lunch or a fire drill.  The redirect feature was nice in the beginning, but the newer improvements have made it outstanding.

What tips do you have for teachers who are new to Edulastic?

My biggest tip can be used for any technological platform.  Start out with a no-stakes assessment.  I give students a 10 question assignment that covers basic math skills, but uses most of the question types offered by Edulastic.  The only grade is a completion check so that I can make sure students are comfortable with the platform before a true grade is given.

Share an #EduVictory from the past year. In other words, do you have a particular success story that has happened in your classroom or at your school?

My county was virtual for the first six weeks last fall.  Since then, we have been in a hybrid learning situation.  Students come two or four days a week or they can stay virtual.  Lessons happen synchronously four days a week.  There was a struggle amongst the faculty as to how to assess students in a meaningful way.  I talked to several members of my department and a friend in another subject.  Fast forward several days and a majority of the school now uses the free Edulastic platform.  My personal goal is to have the school purchase accounts for all teachers in the coming year.

Fun Facts

Favorite Edulastic test you’ve written?

Intro to Edulastic for Middle School Math. Preview and Assign.

Favorite type of question in Edulastic?

Drag & Drop as it mimics those types of questions on the state exam.

Favorite Edulastic #BestKeptSecret?

The pause feature is great!

Favorite Book?

Any Mary Higgins Clark novel that features Alvirah & Willie Meehan

Extracurriculars at school?

I am the advisor to the Math Club and Quiz Bowl team.

Favorite lesson or subject to teach?

Discrete Math – It’s nice for students to realize that math isn’t just algebra or geometry.  Most students feel they can apply the concepts in Discrete Math to everyday life.

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