Books Published by HPU Professor Help Teachers with Common Core

HIGH POINT, N.C., June 16, 2014 – Dr. Shirley Disseler, assistant professor of elementary, middle grades and STEM in the School of Education at High Point University, recently published two books on how to teach elementary Common Core math.

The two-book series, “Shirley Disseler’s Strategies and Activities for Common Core Math Grades 3-5,” provides creative approaches for teachers to use in their classrooms. The strategies and activities are aimed at helping students develop a solid understanding of math concepts and use them in their daily lives.

The books include easy-to-follow instructions for teachers, reproducible student materials, answer sheets and activities that align with the Common Core Standards. Disseler says the activities in the books offer a hands-on perspective to math in a game-like format that helps motivate and engage students.

“Elementary students are good at ‘doing’ math, but they do not ‘know’ mathematics. To be successful, they need to be able to adequately do and know math,” Disseler says. “The only way to make this happen is with relevancy – problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration – which are all 21st century skills.”

The books also provide assistance to teachers in the form of strategies for teaching the Common Core Standards, which were first introduced in North Carolina classrooms in 2012 – 2013 school year. Disseler says teachers need more professional development to make the standards successful.

“The challenge is that the demands on teachers to teach to the test has taken away the creativity and engagement in the classrooms for students,” she says. “Common Core requires students to participate in active learning by doing and applying their knowledge. Teachers have not had the amount of professional development needed to make Common Core a success. No model of curriculum standards will be effective in raising achievement levels or bridging gaps without quality teacher training and materials.”

The books are published by Compass Publishing.

Disseler spent 17 years teaching and working on curriculum development in public schools before joining the HPU faculty. During that time she was named a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching of Mathematics and Science, The Hornets award for Excellence in Teaching, The Malibu Teaching Award, Time Magazine Teaching Excellence Top 18 Teachers Award and was honored as a Time Warner Cable Star Teacher. She is also the chairperson of the Global LEGO Education Advisory Panel’s (LEAP) Board, which is a select group of educators from around the world who discusses potential products for LEGO that can be used as educational tools in classrooms.

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