Innovative Math Teaching Revolutionizes Learning at Piney Woods Elementary

Piney Woods Elementary School is pioneering a transformative shift in math education inspired by Peter Liljedahl’s book, “Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics.” By moving away from traditional methods, the school has adopted a dynamic approach where students collaborate in small groups around vertical whiteboards, fostering teamwork and engagement like never before.

This innovative system empowers students to drive their own learning through collective problem-solving, resulting in a remarkable 100% engagement rate. Every student actively participates in the learning process, and teachers, free from the constraints of independent seatwork, can quickly assess the entire class and provide personalized support as needed, ensuring no student is left behind.

Piney Woods stands out for its creative use of space. With students eagerly tackling math challenges, the demand for vertical whiteboard space sometimes exceeds availability. This limitation has spurred creativity, with students using windows as makeshift whiteboards, fostering an atmosphere of adaptability and resourcefulness.

This approach is not only transforming minds but also getting bodies moving. With students frequently moving around to confer with other groups, the classroom has become a hub of activity, promoting physical health alongside intellectual growth.

Most notably, this innovative teaching method has ignited a newfound passion for math among students. Far from the days of dreary arithmetic drills, Piney Woods students now eagerly anticipate math lessons, even clamoring for additional problems—a testament to the profound impact of collaborative learning and student-driven exploration.

Principal Cassy Paschal expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “This innovative approach has truly revolutionized math education at Piney Woods. It’s inspiring to see students so deeply engaged and excited about learning. We’re witnessing the transformation of not just math skills, but of lifelong learners who embrace challenges with confidence and creativity.”

As Piney Woods Elementary continues to lead the charge in reimagining education, one thing is clear: the future of math learning is collaborative, dynamic, and filled with boundless possibilities.

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