As many of you know, this year has brought about new opportunities for me, including the creation of Hilty Consulting! I have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of inquiry I have received about services I can provide to schools and districts. I am looking forward to meeting many new faces this summer and fall, and can’t thank you enough for believing in me and the work I do. I truly love my job and am fully committed to providing the best professional development I can to teachers, parents, and most importantly, students.
Along with starting up Hilty Consulting, and continuing to partner with SDE, I am excited to announce two new partners that I have the pleasure to work with: Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks and Zorbit’s Math Adventure! Links and information about both companies can be found on the “Partners” page of my website. However, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to these two amazing companies and our upcoming partnerships.
John and Jane Felling created Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks many years ago. Their company is located in Edmonton, Canada and they specialize in utilizing games to support math instruction. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing both of them for about ten years, and have promoted their products in all of my trainings. Box Cars offers professional development workshops for all grade levels, preschool through high school. I will be partnering with them to deliver workshops for preschool through sixth grade. Workshops are action packed, with participants learning how to play multiple games, understanding how to differentiate each game to meet all students’ needs, and creating a math game journal which includes writing prompts to support the deeper understanding of the math standards presented. Model lessons in classrooms are also offered, as well as hosting a math family game night! I had the opportunity to join John and Jane recently, and I was blown away at how much I learned, how much fun the teachers had, and how excited the families were to take home their new games and materials. Box Cars is NOT a program! It IS the perfect supplement for every classroom. All games are aligned to standards and provide built -in differentiation. If interested in setting up a workshop in your school or district, reach out to me or click the link on the partners page.
Those of you who have attended one of my trainings know that I have a “love-hate” relationship with technology. I have seen technology over-used with students, when a hands-on approach would have been more effective. A little over a year ago, I was contacted to give my opinion on a new math technology program. I was very upfront about my feelings, but I agreed to take a look and provide my feedback. So, I logged into Zorbit’s Math Adventure, and I was pleasantly surprised at what I encountered. This kindergarten through third grade interactive game-based program moves students through the standards at their own pace. The teacher dashboard provides you with the information you need about each student, and also shows you class trends, strengths, and weaknesses. One of my favorite features, once a weakness is identified you have the opportunity to select an already created lesson to use with students in a small group. The activity is hands-on, comes with a teacher’s guide, and the materials needed are most likely materials you already have in your classroom. Instead of just looking at data, now you can use the data and provide the necessary support to students.
Over the past several months I have worked with several individuals at Zorbit’s Math Adventure to see how we could grow a partnership. Coming up in the fall we will be creating a webinar series which will blend both of our strengths around blended learning, small group support, and best instructional practices in math. Watch our social media posts for registration and topics. If you are interested in learning more about Zorbit’s Math Adventure, or would like to sign up for a trial, click the link on the partners page.
As I’ve said, it’s been a very busy year so far! I feel very fortunate for the opportunities I have already been given, and those that lay ahead of me. Thank you to Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks and Zorbit’s Math Adventure for taking me under your wings and giving me the chance to expand my knowledge, and more importantly, share that knowledge with educators and students across this country!