There is a Chinese proverb that says "a thousand teachers, a thousand methods." Educators today understand that all children do not learn the same way. The second grade teachers at Benton Grade School are no exception.
The regular meeting of the Benton District 47 Board on Tuesday began with a presentation of learning strategies by the second grade teachers and a few of their students.
"The students showed five different strategies to add and subtract," teacher Tonya Shurtz said.
Shurtz said the second grade students have been working on addition and subtraction problems up to 1,000. Five of those students appeared with their respective teachers to demonstrate to the Board members the skills they have learned.
Emaline Collins, from Mrs. Cindy Mathews' class, showed how to decompose numbers in order to get the answer. Jaycee Webb, from Mrs. Christine Knight's class, showed the arrow method to add and subtract. Adalynn McCormick, from Mrs. Shay Clark's class, showed the place value method of drawing discs to group numbers to get the total. Gabe Motsinger, from Mrs. Tonya Shurtz's class, showed totals-below and 'add-across and-down' to show the total. Aaden Webb, from Mrs. Amy Calcaterra's class, showed the most common known version known as the vertical method.
"These strategies are introduced in second grade with Engage New York math curriculum," Shurtz said. "The variety of methods offer students an opportunity to find the method that works best for them."
Shurtz said these skills will be used by the students in the third grade as the problems become more difficult.
Board president John Metzger said the board welcomes presentations like this.
"It's always an enjoyable part of the meeting when they bring the kids in," he said. "It gives contact to the board members that we usually don't get. It makes the whole thing real."
After an executive session, the board took action on several items.
The board voted 6-0 to appoint Ron Winemiller to fill the seat left vacant by Dave Severin. Severin was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in November.
Winemiller, a teacher and basketball coach at Benton Consolidated High School, is a candidate for a board position in the upcoming Apr. 4 election.
According to Superintendent Jay Goble, Winemiller's name will remain on the ballot, which has already been published in yesterday's Christopher Progress and appears in today's Benton Evening News.
"If he wins, he will serve his own four-year term," Goble said. "The board will then appoint another candidate to fill the remainder of Severin's term."
In other action:
* The board voted to seek bids for garbage service, student transportation and custodial services. The district is at the end of three-year contracts with Durham Bus Company for transportation and Centerstone for custodial services.
* The board approved the 2017-2018 school calendar. The first day of school for students will be Aug. 16.
* The Board discussed the new event center. It is expected that the district will take occupancy within the next two to three weeks. "It appears that some of the very first events that will take place in the new addition will be our annual health fair, our academic awards night, and our spring music concerts," Goble said, adding "we are very excited to finally host our own graduation on May 19."
* The board discussed a dedication ceremony for the Doug Collins and John Malkovich Event Center. That ceremony is slated for sometime near the beginning of school in August. "We want to be able to give Mr. Collins and Mr. Malkovich plenty of advanced notification so hopefully they will be able to join us for that ceremony," Goble said.