Bobby and Karen Cue have had strong influences on their own grown children, Christina and Robbie – and as Aiken County educators, have done so with teachers and students throughout the county.
Karen has taught middle school science in the county for many years. Bobby is a math specialist in conjunction with the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center.
Last week he worked with middle school teachers during a workshop – Karen among them. Bobby has collaborated with other Ruth Patrick instructors, Gwen Johnson and Gloria Allen, through a multifaceted project.
“The majority of us have been involved in this since last fall,” Karen said. “Bobby and I met at USC Aiken, and it’s been like our home.”
They don’t talk about math much at their own home, Karen said with a smile, but “When I do need help with struggling children, I can ask him for strategies. It’s fun to be here with him this week.”
Elementary teachers completed a similar workshop earlier this month. The middle school workshop expanded on strategies intended for the older students.
“We’re trying to move students from the way we learned math – going from procedural to conceptual,” Bobby said. “We have to work with real-world applications and 21st century skills and needs in terms of career and college-readiness.”
That approach can be difficult for adults to grasp from a time when they were told what do in math class and they did it, Cue said. Children are saying “what” and “why” far more – allowing students to actually explore and develop a deeper understanding of their learning.
The teachers participated in a wide range of activities throughout the week that they can take back to their kids – flight, wind structure, bridge-building, paper structures and an egg drop. Cue also invited them to develop ideas for a safer football helmet.
“We want to get students to think, problem-solve and make analyses of what they’re creating for themselves,” Cue said.
Courtney Harley, a Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle School teacher, appreciated the chance to find more ways to integrate math and science in her classroom.
“It’s been a lot of fun with all the hands-on activities,” Harley said. “It has really kept my attention ... like being a kid again.”
Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard’s education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.
Notice about comments:
Aiken Standard is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point.