Our Math Program.

At Exploris Middle School, our mathematics program reflects our belief that mathematics is about more than just getting the right answer. Mathematics is also about making sense of complex problem-solving situations, using varied strategies that correlate to the problem at-hand, modeling problems in various ways, and communicating about why your approaches make sense. 

Our students benefit from a differentiated, co-teaching instructional approach. Our teachers work together to frequently assess student progress and provide all students with ample and flexible opportunities for both on-grade level and off-grade level work using the North Carolina Essential Standards. These experiences may be used to reinforce, enrich, or extend learning, based on individual student needs. Students also participate in rigorous in-depth projects that apply mathematics to real-world contexts. We do not follow a single curriculum or text book. We build Mathematical learning and experiences from a variety of sources.

Shannon Hardy

Shannon Russell Hardy is an 6th grade teacher working to “keep it real.” She has worked in rural and urban schools, but it was twenty years ago when she found her passion, Exploris. She is currently a 6th grade math and expedition teacher certified in ELA, Math, Social Studies, Gifted, National Boards Young Adolescent Generalist (2000, 2010 and 2019), and a principal’s license. She believes that ALL children benefit from time in the natural world, and that citizen science is service-learning. Her passion for both has driven her leadership in attaining the U.S. Green Ribbon for Exploris, and in co-coordinating a 10-part series for EdNC on school utility management, “Powered Schools”. She continues to support NC schools and universities applying for the U.S. Green Ribbon as a path to authentic student work in energy, water, soil, and ecosystems. Shannon prefers “problem” over “project” based learning.

She has collaborated with SAS Curriculum Pathways, NCSU Public Science Lab, and co-founded the NC Museum of Natural Science PBL Fellows. She has been a NCMNS Educator of Excellence traveling to both Belize and Yellowstone. In 1995 she was one of the first American teachers to work through an exchange in Peterhoff, Russia during Perestroika, and has since traveled with Exploris to Japan and Germany. She champions Design for Change USA for their work in elevating student projects supporting United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. This spring she was a featured teacher in PBLWorks “Remote Learning Webinar Series.” Beyond teaching she has volunteered as a community advocate and PTA officer for Knightdale High. Shannon is a sloppy composter, gets walked by her dogs, and tries to do garage Crossfit with her own children (Exploris alumni) Brenna an accounting major and Dax a senior in high school.

Emily Felker

Emily is a teacher by trade and a traveler by choice. She is certified to teach secondary science and believes in the power of hands-on experiences and a relationships-based approach to learning. Emily has a BA in Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill and earned an MAT through the Global Field Program at Miami University, and she has traveled to Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Galapagos to study conservation biology. Her travels abroad have developed her sense of compassion and for the experiences of others. Emily is a 2020-21 Kenan Fellow and believes anyone can be a scientist. Outside of school, Emily is an animal-loving introvert, and you can usually find her reading, cooking, playing board games, or caring for her personal zoo.

Brennan Liming

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