Fourth and Fifth Grade Superheroes

Christy Ryan, Elementary Math Specialist


Fourth and fifth grade teachers were treated as SUPERHEROES in their Common Core Math Launch last week! We had over 100 teachers attend this event. This fun-filled day began with a motivational video from Kid President. Teachers participated in several cooperative learning activities to review the 8 Mathematical Practices. A PARCC overview was shared and provided understanding of the new assessment.


DCS 4-5 Math Launch 1

Southaven Intermediate teachers Paula Jenkins, Misty Stubblefield, Marilyn Hicks, and Jennifer Logan are working on their Superhero skills.

DCS 4-5 Math Launch 2

Mathematicians artwork from 5th grade teachers!


The focus of this workshop was for teachers to learn and practice specific foundational strategies for developing strong number sense, learn how to emphasize conceptualization before procedures (algorithms) through concrete-pictorial-abstract sequence of instruction, and consider how to incorporate these new math strategies into their first nine weeks instruction.

DCS 4-5 Math Launch 3

Teachers using color tiles to find factors and multiples.

DCS 4-5 Math Launch 4

Heidi Sloan from Overpark Elementary is using games to work on place value.



Fourth grade teachers discovered lots of new strategies for teaching place value, addition, subtraction, and multiplication, as well as for solving word problems. Fifth grade teachers also discovered lots of new strategies for teaching place value, multiplication, and division. Holly Enberg, fourth grade teacher at Lewisburg Elementary School, “loved all the new strategies that were shared and getting to work with various manipulatives to teach concepts.” Participants were engaged in many activities and games to further support their standards.


At the end of the launch, teachers left with lots of new materials for the first nine weeks which includes: chapter and performance-based assessments, parent letters, chapter overview and PARCC understanding documents. Amy Earnest, fifth grade teacher at Desoto Central Elementary School, said “Love the binder! Thanks for all the hard work!” Teachers also had the opportunity to collaborate with other schools and plan lessons for the first weeks back.

Fourth and fifth grade teachers will receive four more common core math workshops like this throughout the school year. The next training for teachers will be September 4thand 5th at Colonial Hills Church in Southaven. Fourth grade teacher, Melissa Newsom, from Olive Branch Intermediate said,  “Can’t wait until the next training!”

DCS 4-5 Math Launch 5

DCS 4th and 5th Grade Math Assessment Committee Members getting their learn on!!!


Special thanks to all of our sponsors for snacks, drinks, and door prizes to include: McGraw Hill, My Math, Barnes and Noble, Scholastic, and Knowledge Tree. Robyn Liebenhaut, fifth grade teacher at Horn Lake Intermediate won a $50.00 gift card to Office Depot donated by McGraw Hill. But she wasn’t the only teacher who left with an arm full of goodies. With over $1,000.00 worth of door prizes, I think everyone left feeling like a superhero!

DCS 4-5 Math Launch 6

Erin McElyea, Assistant Principal at HLIS and Carolyn Shelton 5th grade teacher at HLIS show their smiles for the camera. They loved the snacks!