Painting By the Numbers

I never knew that my experience working on stage crew in the theater would come in handy at ESSDACK, but for the last two days I have been working on a set piece for the By the Numbers podcast. It all started with a shopping trip to Hobby Lobby to find something with numbers to spruce up the look of the podcast.

Jaime, Michelle and I found wonderful metal letters but no numbers and we were getting discouraged when we finally happened upon some wooden numbers. They were about the size we were looking for so we picked out numbers and letters to spell out the title. The next challenge was finding a way to display them. We thought about a folding screen, shelves, or hanging them from the ceiling but none of those ideas thrilled us. We were headed to the front of the store when as luck would have it, we spied a child sized free-standing chalkboard. All of us agreed that this would be perfect for the set as most of the parents in our target audience were from the “chalkboard generation”. At that point we decided to write the title of the podcast on the chalkboard and attach the numbers to the frame.

On our way back to work we discussed that it would be even better if the chalkboard had a magnetic whiteboard on the back so we could turn it over and use it during the podcast as well. Luckily, our resident jack-of-all-trades, Leon Schmidt was in the office and was able to help us make the chalkboard functional as well as decorative.

Over the next two days, I spent several hours painting and decorating the numbers with bright acrylic paints and painting the title on the chalkboard.

Check out our first episodes together……coming soon to My Kids Turn!

Hi, I am Renee' Smith and I began teaching math in, of all places, a maximum security prison. “I was 21 years old and 99 lbs. soaking wet. Some of my students were convicted murderers and as scary as it sounds, it was incredibly sad. Many of those men had failed in the school system and then turned to crime.” That early experience with public school dropouts, cemented my resolve to help future students understand and succeed in the area of mathematics. To that end I dedicated 16 years to the classroom, teaching 5th grade math through algebra. After obtaining my Masters in Education from Baker University, I joined the ESSDACK team in 2007. I have presented at the local, state, and national levels but my most worthwhile experience at ESSDACK has been working to take the fear out of math for teachers and students alike. Although my primary focus has been providing professional development in mathematics, I also devote time to podcasting and creating materials for teachers to use in their classrooms. My podcasts include, By the Numbers, Just Desserts and Math Snacks. Working at ESSDACK has provided me the opportunity to do many of the things I love. “I have the time to research current educational practices, I get to be creative, collaborative, and I meet tons of new people."

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