Teacher Tuesday: Meet Mrs Karen Wallace
This week we learn more about Mrs Karen Wallace, one of our Year 5 Class Teachers and the Head of Primary Mathematics.
How many years have you been teaching?
Why do you teach?
I enjoy working with children. I love being able to teach new concepts and inspire children to be the best they can be. I think teaching is one of the most important jobs a person can do.
When did you join KIS?
What do you enjoy about teaching at KIS?
The students here want to learn and they strive to work hard and the staff are friendly and supportive.
Is there a topic, trip or activity that you’ve particularly enjoyed since you’ve been at KIS?
In Year 5 our Term 3 Topic is Eco-Tourism. It is a fantastic topic to teach because the students learn about Tourism here in Sabah and they are able to visit the islands as well as the STAR hotel. More importantly though, the students learn about the importance of looking after our planet and about all the ways different companies are working to be more eco-friendly.
What is your favourite classroom resource and why?
Dice because you can play so many games which are fun but also help students to become fluent in key number facts.
We know that students learn best when their subject is related to the world around them, how do you do this in Primary Maths?
Early on, we use stories, rhymes and everyday items that the children are familiar with to teach mathematical concepts. As students progress through the school, we try to link the Maths we teach to concepts they are familiar with such as shopping or we bring Maths into the topics they are studying. For example, in our Y5 Topic on Tribes we learn about longhouses so we use longhouses to explore perimeter, area and volume.
What advice would you give to parents to help them best support their children in learning Maths?
Please help them to learn key number facts. So in Y1 facts such as number bonds to 10/20/100. In Y2 – Y4 it is essential they know their times table facts. If students have a rapid recall of these it will help them in lots of other areas of Mathematics.
What is your favourite place in KK and your favourite place in Sabah?
My favourite place in KK is my garden, I love to sit in my garden at the weekend listening to music or reading a good book. In Sabah, my favourite place to spend time is The Borneo Bio-sSation. It is so beautiful and peaceful there and it is right by the sea which I love!