SAN DIEGO – Nov. 16, 2010 – After years of triumph in a Southern California classroom, Lora Kermode transformed her effective teaching techniques into a business, which helps teachers and parents inspire kids to achieve success in Algebra. Now as a “teacherpreneur” with GEMDAS® Algebra Success® Training, Kermode encourages other teachers to use positivity, colorful visual aids, interactive kinesthetic movements, and enthusiastic rhymes and chants to make teaching and learning math a successful, fun and positive experience.
The term “teacherpreneur” describes teachers who follow their passion for learning and education and develop it into a business. After several years as an inner-city high school teacher for the Paramount Unified School District in Los Angeles County, Kermode did just that. Today, schools in Idaho, Texas and California are investing in Kermode’s proven techniques to eliminate math phobias at a critical juncture in a student’s career.
“While teaching in an inner-city high school, I was continually faced with the challenge of getting the lowest performing students to become proficient in Algebra. The biggest obstacle was the students’ belief that Algebra was hard,” says Kermode, who founded GEMDAS® Educational Services, LLC in 2007. In terms of why people begin to dislike math, Kermode feels that it mainly comes down to the instruction. Explains Kermode: “When people talk about math, they either say, ‘I was horrible at math, I hated it,’ or, ‘I loved math, it was my favorite subject.’ Inevitably these people who say that they love math then tell me about a fantastic or inspiring teacher they had along the way.”
Knowing that teachers have the ability to inspire (or turn off) so many young minds, Kermode developed GEMDAS® Algebra Success® Training, an inspiring professional development for teachers that uses innovative raps, chants, interactive kinesthetic movements, and colorful posters to motivate students to retain and easily understand fundamental Algebra concepts. Kermode’s goal is to help teachers learn how to engage students during daily instruction in school so they succeed in this critical gateway course and graduate, and more importantly, break through the barriers of math phobia. Kermode now travels from coast to coast training teachers in this revolutionary new approach to teaching Algebra.
Lakeside Middle School near San Diego, Calif. is one of the flagship school sites in which all of the math teachers have been trained in the GEMDAS® strategies and visual aids. “The teachers at this school have embraced the GEMDAS® methodology, building on their current instruction techniques,” says Steve Mull, principal, Lakeside Middle School. “Our school is a great example of teachers working together to create a more unified curriculum and raising the bar for educators because they have realized as teachers they have to do better for students to succeed.” When Lakeside Middle School received their California Standardized 2009/2010 test scores this past summer, they learned that all of their math scores increased significantly. In particular for eighth grade Algebra, their scores increased from 37 to 56 percent proficient or advanced. For seventh grade Algebra, their scores increased from 66 to 95 percent proficient or advanced. The increase is attributed to the implementation of Kermode’s techniques by the teachers.
GEMDAS® Algebra Success® works because it focuses on vocabulary development, it’s standards-based and it uses strategies for all the different learning modalities including highly effective visual aids while incorporating positivity, mnemonic chants and rhymes, and kinesthetic movements so all students are actively engaged in learning and retaining the knowledge. Kermode believes GEMDAS® Algebra Success® works because the program focuses on changing students’ attitudes towards learning math and increasing their confidence levels. One of Kermode’s students, Fernando Hernandez, sees great benefit to the program for other students. A recent graduate of Paramount High School near Los Angeles, Calif., Hernandez first met Kermode during the second half of his freshman year when he was required to repeat the first semester of Algebra, which he received a failing grade. It was Kermode’s in-class techniques that enabled him to embrace math concepts and take a failing grade to the highest grade in the class and be on track to graduate high school. “Lesson after lesson, the easy-to-remember chants, color-coded notes, visual aids and posters made math not only fun, but easy,” says Hernandez. “GEMDAS® gave me a strong mathematical foundation and not once did I stop using it, the chants, or Fraction Motions®, even in my higher level math classes such as trigonometry, statistics, and pre-calculus. I consistently outscored my classmates, never scoring less than a B. Before I knew it, June 2010 came and I graduated with high honors.”
Kermode’s GEMDAS® Algebra Success® Training is available to school districts across the country. Because it is standards-based, it is easy to incorporate into current classroom curriculum. For more information on GEMDAS® Algebra Success® or to schedule a training, visit www.AlgebraSuccess.com or call (562) 430-0040.