5th-grade Math Teacher, Mrs. Deanna Scotto, Helps Her Students Apply What They Learn in Everyday Life

Posted by PA Distance Learning on 2/15/21 9:59 AM

Mrs. Deanna Scotto has been teaching elementary students for 10 years. More recently, she has been teaching mathematics to 5th-grade students and helping them master important concepts like long-division, fractions, and order of operations to name a few. 

“I remember thinking it was really cool that my teacher could write with chalk every day,” she recalls believing that was the real draw to teaching when she was in 2nd-grade. “So I took that initial spark and looked more into it.” 

To begin her teaching career, Mrs. Scotto earned a BS in Elementary Education K-6 from Clarion University. With that, she has a PA Level II Certification in Elementary Education and is also a Nearpod Certified Educator and a Google Certified Educator Level 2. She recently earned an MSCN in Curriculum and Instruction from Western Governors University to add to her expertise. 

After teaching in York, PA for a number of years, Mrs. Scotto and her family decided to move back to the Pittsburgh area to be closer to family. In 2018, she found an opening at PA Distance. 

“The job at PA Distance was a match made in heaven,” she described. “I was introduced to the same online programs that we use now while working at my school in York and really loved it.” 

“I like getting to know students from such diverse backgrounds,” she added. 

Mrs. Scotto focuses on helping her students learn core math skills so that they are ready to apply them in everyday life and build on them when they get to algebra later in middle school.

“Right now, we are working on long division and getting comfortable with those skills,” she explained. “The students are also going to spend a lot of time with fractions.”

Later on this year, Mrs. Scotto’s students will work on a project where they create their own resort from the ground up and, using their math skills, build a budget for a successful business. 

“The kids really enjoy this project,” she said. “It helps them understand the importance of what I am teaching them.”

Throughout the year, she mentions how different concepts that they are learning can be used in everyday life. Each month, we also cover a career education and work lesson for all 5th-graders and in March, they are focusing on math careers.

Every day, at 3:00 pm, Mrs. Scotto holds office hours where she walks students through an assignment from the day or helps them with their “weekly checklist.” The weekly checklist is a “map” of their week that all 5th-graders receive with assignments for each subject, including math. Students benefit from one-on-one help with their teachers when they attend office hours. 

“I was horrible at math when I was in 5th-grade, so I think that’s why I love teaching it so much now.  We, as math teachers, understand potential struggles my students can have and how to help them,” she said. 

“Math may be hard for some of my students, but I always remind them to reach for the stars and when things are tough and to persevere,” she said.

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