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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Uprising star math teacher

Math teacher Kathryn Chestney is a star teacher.

“I wanted to motivate people to just keep working hard and going above and beyond. Because it really does pay off,” Chestney said. “It makes it more fun for me to encourage my students.”

Chestney started three new opportunities for her math students. The first opportunity she started was “Mathlete of the Week.”

“I do Get More Math when I am bored, and I just had a lot of free time. I ended up getting 300 points. I was happy to get a trophy,” junior Mary Worley said.

“The thought just came to me. But there are some students who will go above and beyond on Get More Math. When students need 20 points and some people get 30 for that week. They do it to get more practice and I thought I should reward them because they are going above and beyond,” Chestney said. “I made it a play on words with athletes and whoever gets the most Get More Math points in that given week will get the mathlete award.”

For right now, there are three Mathletes of the Week for Chestney. Each Monday, a new one is announced. The student who wins each week gets a shout-out in all of her classes, a round of applause, a trophy and three bonus points.

The second opportunity Chestney started for her students is a star board. Students can earn a star on the board if they get an A on a math test or quiz.

“I started it because one of my fellow teachers had that idea and I really liked it because the kids got really really excited to see their names up there and I really like to see how it grows and gets bigger and bigger and I think it’s really nice to see your name when you do something awesome,” Chestney said.

There are stars on the board for each of her classes. Some students have more stars on the board than other students. Chestney uses different colors of paper and writes their name on it and hangs it up on the starboard.

“I love having my name on a star, I was happy when I saw it even though it is one star. It helps motivate me to do better on tests so I can get more stars on the board,” junior Haley Tanzi said. “Some people can be more encouraged to get a prize or a star than to get nothing.”

“I feel like the star board is not a kind idea, because it can lower people’s self-esteem. It makes people feel like they aren’t good enough to get a star on the board if you fail a test,” junior Colby Wendle said.

The third opportunity Chestney started was handing out stickers. Students earn the stickers by participating and being willing to come up to the board to try the problems.

“Stickers will always put a smile on my face, and I feel like you are never too old to get stickers, and you are never too old to get rewards for putting yourself out there and trying something,” Chestney said. “Some students will get really excited about it while some people don’t want stickers, which is okay. But I feel most of them get pretty excited about it. Then some will make a competition out of who gets more stickers.”

Most people are willing to come up but Chestney says, “It gets people a little more excited to come up and participate.”

Some students have different thoughts on her handing out stickers.

“The stickers have definitely changed my participation in math because I have the courage to do it to get a sticker. Just having an opportunity to earn a sticker is motivating for me,” junior Jude Plutko said. “We have more people in the class that have a desire to get stickers so there is more participation going on. It is helping students participate more.”

“The stickers haven’t changed my participation in math because stickers aren’t my thing. I like the star board but only if I get a star, it helps motivate me a little to do good so I can get stars,” junior Kayla Gottshall said.

Chestney is a star teacher in some of her students’ eyes.

“I try to make it more of a positive environment. I know that math can be a little intimidating at some times,” Chestney said. “I just want to make it a fun environment and a safe place for people to try to succeed and to overcome some math anxieties.”

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About the Contributor
Abigail Rudy
Abigail Rudy, Reporter
Hi. My name is Abigail Rudy. I am a junior. This is my second year writing for Mountain Echo. I enjoy reading and walking my dogs. I have four dogs and two cats. I love nature and being outdoors. I am looking forward to writing more stories this year for people to read.

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