Carly Bowden brings her mathematics curriculum to life for students of all abilities. A seventh grade math teacher at Andover Central Middle School, Bowden creates innovative, engaging projects that reflect the way math is used in the real world. She takes students to a local grocery store to buy items based on a set budget, then sets up her room as a grocery store full of discount and sale offers to help students learn about percentages. Bowden turned her space into an “escape room,” the team problem-solving activity popular with teens, where pupils solve equations to move ahead in the game. She has transformed her classroom into the International Space Station and donned a Bob Ross costume to lead a painting session during the school’s Exploration Days. In Bowden’s classroom, learning is both fun and successful. On STAR screeners, 87% of her students score proficient or above, with most making more than a year’s growth while in her class.
Known as a masterful relationship-builder, Bowden develops confidence in all students and leads them to reach their full potential, especially those who struggle with math. Students feel successful, valued and important to the classroom’s success. Using flexible seating and manipulatives, Bowen adapts all lessons to meet the specific needs of each learner while creating a collaborative family-like atmosphere. Students who need additional support can count on her attention and know she will do whatever it takes to help them succeed.
Bowden uses her social media accounts to tell the story of her classroom to parents and the local community and connect with teachers around the country, often inviting other educators into her classroom via Skype. In addition to her work in the classroom, she is the assistant coach for the school’s cross country and track teams. Always looking to improve her pedagogy, Bowden has attended professional development with Disney and the San Diego Teacher Field Trip. Bowden mentors new teachers, has been an early implementer of project-based learning, and presents at district-level professional learning programs and educational technology conferences.
Bowden earned a bachelor’s degree in middle school math education at Emporia State University in 2015.
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