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Phoebe Dierkers

Lotspeich Lower School Fifth-Grade Teacher
B.S. Middle Childhood Education, University of Cincinnati
M.S. Educational Leadership, University of CIncinnati

teaching philosophy

Important Skills I Want to Teach My Students

One of the most important skills that I would like to teach my students is how to work with a growth mindset and persevere through challenging math problems. As students begin more difficult concepts in fifth grade, even some pre-algebra, it is important that they feel encouraged to work through challenges and overcome obstacles. I also want to teach students how to think critically and work collaboratively. As they tackle extensions in math class and work through projects in Project Math, these skills are sharpened.

Teaching Methods to Reach These Goals

The students learn in a variety of ways in math class. I use inquiry-based learning as well as differentiation to make sure each student is being challenged and has any struggles addressed. Students always have the option to work on an extension in class, which may be in the form of a project or working with higher level thinking skills.

My Favorite Projects

My favorite unit of the year is the unit on circles. Students begin the unit with an inquiry-based lesson where they measure the distance around and the distance across different round objects to determine if there is a relationship or ratio between the two. Through this lesson, students discover the formula for circumference. Then, they use their knowledge and study of circles to help as they work on difficult problems relating to space at our field trip to the Cincinnati Observatory. Following the field trip, students can choose to compete in writing as many digits of pi as they can memorize. The student who has memorized the most digits of pi gets the chance to throw a pie in Mrs. Dierkers’s face!

What I Like Best About Teaching at Seven Hills

The thing I like best about teaching at Seven Hills is the sense of community. Parents, students, and colleagues all feel as if they’re a part of one big family, always working together for the best interests of the students. Inter-disciplinary collaboration between teachers is strong, and because of this, students are able to have unique experiences within the school and classroom.