Addison teacher uses field trips to teach math skills


Above: Addison teacher Deb Davis goes over homework assignments with eighth graders Madelynn Sines and Allison Jarchow.

Students learn in the ‘real world’

By Julie Yeider, Principal, Addison High School
and John Hummer, Editor

School starts at 8 a.m. for students, but for Deb Davis, Addison Middle School math teacher, school starts between 6:45 and 7 a.m.

Sometimes her morning starts with study groups for a test that will be given that day, sometimes the day starts with a parent/student meeting, and sometimes her day starts with an idea that is being shared with administration in the morning.

“Deb is a professional, hardworking, dedicated teacher,” says Addison high school and middle school principal Julie Yeider. Indeed, Davis is truly dedicated, having spent all 24 years of her teaching career with Addison Community Schools. She spent some of those years teaching elementary age children.

Currently Deb has Tuesday and Thursday morning math tutoring from 7:15 to 7:50 a.m. She presented the idea of morning math tutoring when she saw that there were parents and students interested in having early tutoring sessions due to transportation conflicts in the afternoons. Morning tutoring has been a success.

“I work really hard to make sure they truly understand it and I try to get it to what they understand,” Deb says. “Years ago, I had a young man where, if I changed it into farming terminology, he understood it.”

Deb also opens her door to students during her lunch. She will also return emails she receives from students over the weekend.

“I know Deb spends countless nights, weekends, and holidays preparing lessons that would inspire her math students to understand why math is important and how it is used outside of school,” says Yeider, adding that Davisinvites guest speakers to talk with her math students about careers that use math.

“I know Deb spends countless nights, weekends, and holidays preparing lessons that would inspire her math students to understand why math is important and how it is used outside of school.”

Julie Yeider
Addison Middle School and High School principal

Deb grew up in Jerome and graduated from North Adams-Jerome High School. Following high school, she earned her bachelor’s degree in math from Central Michigan University with an elementary education emphasis, along with language arts and science minors. She then went on to get her master’s in educational administration and community leadership, also from CMU.

“I try to get them to put forth the effort they need so that they can succeed,” Deb says of her students.

One of Deb’s other unique teaching tools are the field trips she organizes to show how math is incorporated into the everyday world.

Most recently she took her students to the bowling alley for a math lesson on mean, median, mode, ranger, and outliers.

“We used their bowling scores to find all the math terminology we needed to find,” she said.

The learning experience spoke volumes because her students were eager to participate in the math lesson when they returned to the school and they scored exceptionally well on their math test.

“Deb is always looking for ways to get her students excited about learning math,” Yeider said.

Davis has also taken her students to the Market House in Hillsdale for a scavenger hunt.

“We did our math at the grocery store and went out to eat at Saucy Dog’s,” she said. “They had to figure out their tip and the tax, that kind of thing.” She has also taken students to the Holiday Inn Express in Adrian where they do math with the hotel owner.

“All of this indicates a job well done,” Yeider says. “She is a very talented teacher who may get some pushback from students and parents, but once they see the results that can be achieved with hard work and dedication, they are truly grateful for her. I thoroughly and deeply appreciate what Deb has taught the students at Addison Middle School.”

In her spare time, Deb loves to ride horses. She owns six horses and two cats. She has ridden across the state of Michigan in the Shore-to-Shore trail ride from Oscoda on the sunrise side to Empire on the sunset side.

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