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Teacher is tops in math

April 15, 2001

Teacher is tops in math



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town

Photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Faye FlickHEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - In Faye Flick's third-grade class, math is as much of a game as it is a lesson.

And the key is, it has helped children at Tomahawk Elementary School better understand the subject.

Helping third graders understand geometric shapes can be difficult if the only tool a teacher has is pictures from a textbook, said Flick, who has been named West Virginia Elementary Math Teacher of the Year.

In Flick's class, the teacher encourages students to make geometric shapes with straws. Flick said she has learned that if students make the shapes, they better understand the concept.

To help students learn addition, she pulls out a box of dominoes. Students are asked to add the dots from two or more domino squares. To give the correct sum, they must find another domino with the correct number and attach it to the end of the last block.

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To learn multiplication, the students roll dice. If they are able to correctly multiply the two numbers that appear, they get the points shown on the dice. The student with the most points at the end of the exercise wins.

"They love to do that kind of thing. Most kids are enthusiastic at that age," said Flick.

The West Virginia Math Teacher of the Year Award is given every year by the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The organization is always looking for math teachers to recognize who are being creative in the way they teach math, said Steve Dellinger, who teaches with Flick at the school along W.Va. 9 just west of Hedgesville.

"She is definitely one of the top-notch ones," said Dellinger, who was one of the teachers that nominated Flick for the award.

Flick has taught at Tomahawk Elementary for 10 years, and before that, she taught at Back Creek Elementary for 10 years.

She grew up in Back Creek Valley in the southern part of the county and attended Back Creek Elementary School and Musselman High School. Flick said she always had good math teachers when she was growing up.

"I love school. None of us are ever supposed to stop learning, right?"

Flick attended Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., and received her bachelor of arts degree and teaching certificate from Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

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