Shaler Area Middle School teacher named national Teacher of the Month
Dr. Jessica Sapsara, a 7th-grade teacher at Shaler Area Middle School, was named the Open Up Resources 6–8 Math Teacher of the Month for February, 2019. Dr. Sapsara is being recognized not only for outstanding work in her own classroom, but also for her contributions as a member of the Open Up Resources National Professional Learning Community. She’s collaborated with teachers across the country through virtual web meetings, Twitter chats, book studies and support in the Facebook community. 

Dr. Saspara’s work with Open Up Resources 6–8 Math makes her one of the most innovative teachers in the country. The curriculum inspires a new way of teaching math by transforming classrooms into hives of activity focusing on discussion, questioning, debate, and the deeper conceptual learning of mathematics that follows. 

In her first year of implementing Open Up Resources 6–8 Math, Dr. Saspara said she’s had students at all levels grow both in their mathematical confidence and ability. 
“This curriculum provides my students with approachable conceptual understanding,” she said. “Although I have a wide variety of ability levels in my classroom, all students have an entry point to access the math and learn.” 

“My favorite success story is a student who hadn’t had much success prior to this year. But because of this curriculum, he is now the guru of the class; he is able to articulate his ideas clearly and other students look to him for help and understanding,” Dr. Saspara said. 

Open Up Resources is a nonprofit on a mission to increase equity in education by making excellent, top-rated curricula freely available to districts. You can learn more at www.openupresources.org
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