Wednesday, December 19, 2012

MCC Center for Economic Ed names 2012 Teacher of the Year

Pictured left to right: Ardie Sturdivant, Greg Pratt, Michelle Barton, John Balentine

Ms. Michelle Barton, Math Instructor at Ward Traditional Academy has been named the 2012 Middle School Teacher of the Year by the MCC Center for Economic Education.

Typically, this recognition is awarded to a social studies teacher. This year, our center is pleased to recognize Ms. Barton for integrating the standards based Stock Market Game in her math curriculum. Ms. Barton has creatively integrated standards based instruction across disciplines both in her classroom and for the entire Ward community. Beyond her creativity in applying a social studies based activity to mathematics instruction, Ms. Barton models collaboration and community building though her work with colleagues at Ward in language arts and social studies.

Barton explained her rationale for utilizing the stock market game in her class and her motivation for sponsoring the Economics Club at Ward: "Integrating economics into my curriculum has allowed me to bring math to life. Students always used to ask me, "When will I ever use this?" Introducing concepts like slope, graphing, and linear equations using the Stock Market Game allowed me to show students a real life application before they even thought to ask."

The results of Ms. Barton’s mentoring are reflected in the results of the Fall, 2012 Arizona Stock Market Game - Ward student teams captured first and second place in the elementary division and swept first, second and third places in the middle school division.

Ward Traditional Academy is a k-8 traditional school in the Tempe Elementary School District. The school has received an A grade as an excelling school and attracts students from across the valley.

Ms. Barton attended training sponsored by the Center for Economic Education in August, 2012 to implement The Stock Market Game in her math curriculum. She is one of a small number of math instructors who has taken advantage of the Center for Economic Education programming to address the emergence of common core requirements in the middle school curriculum. Ms. Barton is a graduate of Arizona State University and has taught pre-algebra, algebra and geometry at Ward since 2009.

The Center for Economic Education at MCC supports innovation in economics instruction across the curriculum and across grade levels in Arizona. John Balentine Director, K-12 Social Studies at the Arizona Department of Education reflected on the work of the Center and our partner the Arizona Council on Economic Education:

“Today’s employers are seeking graduates that have key skills of critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration. Arizona’s teachers and students are fortunate to have a cross-curricular resource, The Stock Market Game, hosted by the Arizona Council on Economic Education, develops these skills and helps ensure all of our students are prepared for college, career and civic life”

Ms. Barton was honored December 17, 2012 at Ward Traditional Academy. . Debbie Henney, Executive Director of the Arizona Council on Economic Education, John Balentine, Director of K-12 Social Studies, Ardie Sturdivant, Principal Ward Traditional Academcy and Greg Pratt, Director of the Center for Economic Education presented the 2012 Middle School Teacher of the Year award to Ms. Barton.

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