Teachers don scrubs for math lesson

Montevallo Middle music teacher Virginia Cook incorporates math into her music lesson during Order of Operations Day Sept. 27. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – Montevallo Middle School teachers donned scrubs and doled out surgical masks and gloves to their students as they taught about the order of operations Sept. 27.

“It’s a spin on operation,” said seventh grade teacher Raquel Stevenson.

Sixth grade teacher Shellye Lucas had her class create “PEMDAS.” In the order of operations, students learn to first address the math problems within the parenthesis, tackle exponentials and then complete multiplication, division, addition and subtraction operations. “PEMDAS,” explained Lucas, is a means of remembering how to complete a more complex math problem.

Lucas said the traditional “PEMDAS” is the acronym “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.”

Ceanna Grisham, one of Lucas’ sixth graders, invented the following PEMDAS: People Eat Mexican Dip And Salsa.

Grisham’s classmate, Zoe Guzman, said she started her PEMDAS with popcorn, but settled on an acronym about passengers encountering surprises.

“With middle school, you have to keep it interesting,” said Stevenson, who was also decked out in medical scrubs. “What I like is the faculty got into it. You can feel the excitement in the air. With homecoming next week, it’s a way to kick it off.”

Music teacher Virginia Cook also wore scrubs and incorporated math into her music classes.

“In order for them to become true music writers and readers, they need to know the math base for music,” Cook said. “I want them to be able to write and read music and be excellent in it.”

Principal Shelia Lewis, who traded in work clothes for scrubs, said 84 percent of Montevallo Middle’s eighth graders scored proficiently in math.

“Our test scores were pretty good in seventh and eighth grade, but sixth grade could use some work,” Lewis said. “We feel like we need to address it anyhow.”