Here at LearnBop we have a team of amazing educators with diverse backgrounds who have come on board to author content for our interactive Bops. To help you get to know them better, we started a series of Author Profiles. Today's is the third installment, written by Annette Zook, a valued member of our author team.
Hello! I am Annette Zook, a Teacher on Special Assignment in our school district. I have had experience teaching at all levels—elementary, middle, and high school. My main instructional areas have been in mathematics, although I have also taught social studies and worked as an interventionist, helping to identify interventions that can help students close different knowledge gaps. I love working with teachers and students as we explore mathematics and look at multiple ways to solve problems. My current passion is helping teachers find ways to engage students in mathematics!!
My favorite areas in math are in Algebra. I love transformations and simplifying rational expressions. Transformations are cool because they help to describe what is happening to a function. The transformation notation carries across functions, so once you have an understanding of it, all of the future functions make sense—even if you don’t understand the function itself. I also love, love, love rational expressions. It is so exciting to take a huge expression, and, through simplification, end up with a very small, simple expression. (The kids I tutor think I’m crazy when we get to this part and I’m super excited about it ☺.)
I became involved in authoring for LearnBop after asking for a trial of their interactive system. I am always looking for products that I can share with my teachers when they ask for resources that they can utilize with their students. I was then contacted by LearnBop to see if I might be interested in writing for them. I loved the product that was offered and wanted to be a part of a great thing!
When I am assigning a standard, I research it to find the meaning behind it. I’ll look at sample problems in textbooks and on the web to make sure I have an understanding of what students need to demonstrate and how to phrase questions. After my questions are approved, I start thinking about how I would work through the problem as if I were sitting right next to a student. What are the steps they need to go through to answer the question? What are questions they might have along the way? What are previous skills they need to know in order to answer the questions? These become the steps and hints along the way. Sometimes, I even have to do some new learning on my own before I can author a Bop!
I have learned so much about standards by being a part of the authoring team. Because I am considered “the expert about math standards” in our district, I often have to go to outside sources to clarify what a standard might mean. By authoring, I am getting clear direction on what the standards mean and look like in their truest form. I am able to tie standards together and give a bigger picture to my teachers as we work on what they need to teach. I’ve also been exposed to understandings of why and how math content is connected. I love that my reviewer will guide me in a direction that I might not have thought of on my own, because this allows me to share those ideas and connections with teachers in my district!
Supporting Student Succeses
As a teacher, I measure success by the understanding that students (and teachers as well, in my district position) walk out of my room possessing. I love seeing their enthusiasm and willingness to engage in the math. As a LearnBop author, I can only hope that the same is occurring as students complete Bops! One of the biggest challenges I have is attempting to get a good grasp on some of the more difficult concepts that I need to author. But these challenges give me the opportunity to become a learner and share what I’ve learned with others.
I see so much promise in every student! I believe that every student can be successful in mathematics, given the right tools and the support they need along the way. I see LearnBop as a tool that can support students in their mathematical journey, and I’m proud to be part of a team working to make the best learning experience possible for our students.