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Laura Steele

CGI Math TLC Mentor Teacher, Kindergarten

CGI taught me how to use my students’ natural understanding of mathematics and build upon it. The way my students engage in math leads to algebraic understanding instead of confusion and frustration!

Ms. Laura Steele is a Kindergarten Teacher at Wright Elementary School in the Okaloosa County School District of Florida. She was teaching more than 20 years when she attended her first CGI Course through a grant from Florida State University (FSU). She entered this professional development session with an open mind, but had no idea how completely transformed her teaching would be in under two years. In year 1, she enjoyed watching her students and listening to their explanations of how they solved problems.

In CGI year 2, Ms. Steele learned how to use her kindergarteners’ solutions to word problems in a scaffolding teaching approach. Her students represent a WIDE variety of background knowledge and ability and they were all able to contribute to class discussions, engage in student talk, and use multiple strategies to solve problems. She still sometimes finds herself speechless as she watches her students interact with one another during their math block.