Grade 3 Teacher
Mr. HamiIton feels fortunate to be surrounded by earnest, driven, and professional teachers at Graland. In his third grade classroom, he likes when students make the transition from asking him for help to asking their peers or using other resources to solve their problems independently. Did you know he is a Graland alumnus (Class of ‘06) and was Student Council President?
Third graders love to work fast, so some of my favorite lessons are the ones that require them to grind things to a halt. I love teaching students how to show the tracks of their thinking in the texts that they read. Annotating is a lifelong skill that spans every discipline and it's amazing to watch students realize that they can bring as much of themselves into a text as they can take from it. When I teach annotation we aggregate everyone's thoughts onto one master page. As the lesson goes on, the few furtive pen marks on each student's page start to grow and spread as they get permission from their peers to give back to the page in front of them. I'm always struck by the number of students who, even at a young age, feel like they are breaking the rules by interpreting the work in front of them or making outside connections. I love to break down that barrier for students and show them the value of creating something new and individual from each moment of reading.
I attended the Greg Tang Baltimore Math Conference and my biggest takeaway has been making rigor more purposeful in my classroom. When students are engaged in productive struggle and able to construct their own learning, they make connections that are more unique, memorable, and impactful than the ones they find in a math book. I've worked to adapt lessons to multiple levels of challenge in real time so that every student spends more time in their zone of proximal development.
Favorite Graland Tradition
My favorite day of the year is the Sam Loewi Unified Neighborhood Games. While I'm not directly involved in the programming of that event, I feel like it is a moving touchstone for everyone in our community. When I was a student at Graland, I was lucky enough to call Sam Loewi a friend. Seeing what the games named in her honor have become is a testament to the school's mission and a reminder of how we can continue to strive for equity and inclusivity in our community every day. My favorite teaching moments are when I see that same spirit of empathy and understanding reflected in my classroom or in the halls of the Georgia Nelson Building.
In the classroom I feel most passionate about providing students with an interdisciplinary education and teaching critical thinking skills that translate across all disciplines. Before thinking of themselves as mathematicians, readers, writers, or historians in isolation, I want to teach my students to recognize the universal thinking strategies that make them more active learners.
I'm dual citizen of Canada and the US. I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Favorite Childhood Memory
Learning to water ski on Lake Okoboji, Iowa
Ride a stage of the Tour de France
Joined Graland in...
Also Known As
Math PLC Member, Math Department Member
MA in English literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder
BA in English literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder
BA in anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder
Minor in The Study of Leadership from CU Boulder
Certificate in The Study of Leadership from CU Boulder