Greetings! I'm Jen Mendez, a Virginia-certified educator, who most recently worked for FCPS as an Advanced Academic Program (AAP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) 4th grade teacher. I have a Masters in Education and over 15 years of elementary education teaching experience. I worked in public, private, international, and homeschooling settings. Last spring, I was one of the many dedicated teachers who worked hard to make distance learning meaningful and accessible to all my students. I know what it's going to take this coming year.
Did I mention yet that I also have two elementary AAP children of my own? I've been that mom who had to oversee distance learning unexpectedly. However, I had an advantage. Not only am I a veteran educator, but I also home schooled my children for seven years. I know what it takes to help kids learn at home.
Teachers, instructional support staff, educational coaches, administrators, support staff, counselors, parents, grandparents, neighbors, and anyone else involved right now in helping all children successfully learn are all heroes. I serve to support children and families who each are finding their own path during these challenging times, but I also hope that by helping families I can lift a little weight from the shoulders of these heroes who doing the heavy lifting of of helping each and every child successfully learn to the highest levels.
Beautiful Math Minds comes from a desire to serve in this time of need because education is our greatest resource and all children deserve this gift. Math is a "rabbit hole" to exploration, creativity, and play. It transforms our way of thinking and open the door to a world of discovery that every child deserves.
Imagine telling your child that they need to "stop doing math" because they are so motivated and excited to learn that it fills their days. Careful, by joining our educational community that just might happen because our love for math is like pi - irrational and never-ending!
Our approach to education inspires children to ask questions and wonder deeply. The Math Club builds the mathematical foundation to continue learning through projects, games, stories, and challenging problems. Children learn more than just math. They are empowered to become lifelong learners and are encouraged to develop self-regulation and critical thinking skills like: inquiry, problem-solving, communication, and reasoning.
Together we discuss strategies to approach problems, play creatively with concepts, tackle enrichment puzzles, and discover connections that inspire a love for mathematics and the world. We pique curiosity, invite questions, and let inspiration grow... exponentially!
Mastery learning is grounded in the belief that all children can successfully learn math to the highest level, but we are not robots who do so in lock step. Beautiful Math Minds emphasizes depth and mastery over speed. Some children have gaps in their knowledge that gets overlooked as they move on to because there is only so much time a school or class can spend on any given topic. When do they spiral back to deeply learning the math?
Over time, small gaps can add up to a significant obstacle to learning more advanced math. It's critical in elementary years that children get the opportunity to build that strong foundation. Beautiful Math Minds helps by focusing on mastery learning and creative application of knowledge and skills.
Children eagerly choose from a variety of weekly learning activities that support visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning. Even though they work independently during the week, they are never alone. Learners can interact daily with the teacher and each other via asynchronous Flipgrid video chats that promote community-building, self-management skills, and academic knowledge.
Beautiful Math Minds sees children as active "meaning-makers" and natural inquirers. Our approach helps children develop social-emotional connections and self-regulation skills, in addition to learning academic concepts and skills. Each day is an opportunity for children to drive their own learning, ask questions, and share their thinking with a community that cares.
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Education is one of our most essential resources.
Your gift will enable us to meet our goals and serve more children.