I love math, helping my family, making money and investing in stocks!
I love my dog Rico, synchronized swimming and every animal in the whole entire world!
I LOVE soccer, I like playing with my friends, and I want to be a mini Messi soccer player!
From an early age, I was constantly exposed to math at home with my family playing card games, buying things I wanted with my own money and baking with my mom. These early math experiences at home, provided the foundation I needed to succeed at school in math. As a child, I LOVED math and was extremely confident and successful until Grade 12.
Since math had come easily to me, I was surprised when I took Pre-Calculus in Grade 12. I found that the math didn't make sense to me anymore as I couldn't relate it to real-life. I dropped the course. In university physics class, the same thing happened. I didn't understand how to connect the math to my life, so I left the sciences and switched into a Bachelor of Arts degree.
I earned my Bachelor of Arts Degree (Geography and Spanish), Bachelor of Education Degree, Post-Bachelor Diploma in Education (Counseling) and my Master's Degree (Parent Math Education). I studied at both University of Manitoba and at Université de Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I also studied at Universidad Regiomontana for one semester in Monterrey, Mexico.
Before, during and after my studies, I traveled to many countries around the world including Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Morocco and Egypt as well as studied Spanish in Mexico. I also taught English in China and Japan and was a substitute teacher in England for two years. During my travels, I learned about different people, languages and cultures and embraced every opportunity I had.
What was interesting for me in Japan and China, was that I had to learn the number system within the first few days of arriving so I could shop and negotiate prices. I realized how essential it was for me to understand the VOCABULARY of math words. I have noticed in Canada that some students' math problems start with the math words in both French and English, which was a big AHA moment for me.
When I substitute taught in England for two years, I realized that no matter where the school was and who the students were, there were many students who struggled in math. When I tried to teach math, other kids would tell me, "They can't do math. That's the stupid group." I didn't accept that. It was in England where I started to develop my lessons to reach all students in the class and challenge those who needed it. My passion had been ignited.
After my travels, I taught Grade 4 French Immersion in a small town in Manitoba and then as a Grade 5 French immersion teacher in Winnipeg. After having three children, I decided to take on a different role and became the school counselor and math resource teacher. It was during this job, where I realized that kids, as well as their parents, have a lot of math anxiety. I decided that something had to be done.
Starting from when they were babies, I started talking about numbers every day with my kids from counting, to learning about time, money, baking and temperature. As a math resource teacher, I had parents asking for what they could do at home for math and teachers asking for what they could recommend to parents. I started filming short math videos with my kids to show parents what to do. The videos started changing parents' perspectives about how to teach their children math. My research idea was born.
For my Master's research, I studied how to help parents teach their kids math in a fun and easy way. I taught parents how to teach math step-by-step about the concepts of time, money and temperature. I offered three workshops to parents and showed them videos with my own 3 kids from teaching vocabulary all the way to complex problem solving just through TALKING!!! Parents tried the math talking with their children and they were able to let go of their math anxiety and their children became more confident in math!
Currently, I have returned to my Grade 4/5 French immersion teacher role and bring my experience as a counselor, math resource teacher and researcher to my students! I have changed how I teach math and I believe that anyone can learn math at anytime! For parents to teach their kids math, I suggest to watch a video anytime and start TALKING! Use fingers, food, games and toys and practice all the time! The most important thing is to HAVE FUN! For teachers, I believe that teaching math can be made simple and if we work together with parents, then children can succeed. If children are behind, we have to start from where they are at and build math concepts up step-by-step. The earlier we start, the better and easier it is for our students!