Wednesday, May 12, 2021
May 12, 2021

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Teacher, students dress up for online lessons

The Columbian
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RIDGEFIELD: Marta the Mathematician is an alter ego of Southridge Elementary School third-grade teacher Kristen Potter, who started dressing up to engage students in her online classes.
RIDGEFIELD: Marta the Mathematician is an alter ego of Southridge Elementary School third-grade teacher Kristen Potter, who started dressing up to engage students in her online classes. Photo Gallery

RIDGEFIELD — Southridge Elementary School third-grade teacher Kristen Potter decided to start wearing costumes to bring her online Zoom lessons to life. Her hope was to keep students engaged during remote learning by using fun alter egos including Detective Context Clue and Marta the Mathematician. Potter was inspired by a video on TikTok, the popular short-video sharing platform, in which a high school teacher played a character to teach her class. “I thought if it worked for high school students, it would definitely work for third-graders,” Potter said in a news release. “I knew they would love it. So, I tried it, and it was fun for all of us.” Detective Context Clue shows up during English language arts class to help students find clues to the meanings of challenging words. Marta, distantly related to Harry Potter, is a math professor at Hogwarts, the fictional school of magic in the book series. She explains concepts in multiplication. Students were inspired to create characters too, using fun filters and prompts. “When I’m starting to teach a more challenging concept, it gets their attention,” Potter said. “And it makes everybody laugh.”

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