At Grassy Creek Elementary in Greenwood, Indiana, fourth graders love talking about math thanks to Angela Fowler. Her “number talks” help students understand number patterns and find different ways to solve problems. Fowler incorporates the “I do, we do, you do” strategy and breaks the class into groups based on levels of understanding, continuously reviewing data and rearranging groups accordingly. She uses a wide range of visual models to build understanding of math concepts and differentiates her practice to address each student’s needs. Fowler commands the room with her energy, engaging lessons and high expectations. And students’ fluency with math concepts soars: Last year, Fowler’s students grew from 8% mastery at the beginning of the year to 54% by the end.
Fowler seeks out best practices, looking to improve her own instruction through webinars, podcasts and coaching. She has served as grade-level chair, sits on Grassy Creek’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) team, leads the school’s math professional learning community (PLC) and has delivered professional development and workshops on how students learn mathematical concepts. Fowler mentors new teachers and is committed to helping them grow and build their skills.
Fowler understands that relationships are key to student success and works with colleagues to meet the needs of all students, including those with individualized learning and language plans. She provides inclusion services to students with emotional disabilities, incorporating them in her classroom’s community circle time, joining them for lunch, and making sure they are included at recess. Fowler goes to great lengths to connect with families, sharing what and how their children are doing in class and strategies for supporting their learning at home. She planned a math night for families, similar to what Grassy Creek has done for reading in the past, to introduce parents to the recently adopted math curriculum.
As the sponsor for Grassy Creek’s Girls on the Run club, Fowler is a role model for positivity, being a lifelong learner and embracing a growth mindset. She was not a runner before starting the club, but she built her own running skills alongside the 20-plus girls in the program to set the example, culminating in a 120-mile relay. Fowler also co-chairs the school’s “Riley Week” fundraiser for Riley Hospital for Children in downtown Indianapolis. Activities include a “Talls vs. Smalls” basketball game and an annual all-school rock-paper-scissors tournament. The week’s events, which last year raised more than $3,000, also include testimonials from families whose children have been treated at Riley, helping students understand the importance of philanthropy.
Fowler earned a bachelor’s in elementary education with a concentration in mathematics in 2015 from Ball State University.
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