2020 has been the most challenging year as our world was suddenly turned upside down. This especially affected educators across the world as schools were quickly closing and there were no answers in sight. Because of your dedication and perseverance, we want to show how appreciative we are of you! At hand2mind, we don’t think a “week” is a substantial amount of time to express our gratitude, so that’s why we’re declaring May Educator Appreciation Month! We’re so grateful that we've had the chance to meet and work with some of the most amazing educators around the country. From your friends at hand2mind, THANK YOU!
Fun Fact: did you know that we have employees who used to be educators in the past? Without their expertise, we wouldn’t have such amazing resources and products! (We’re not lying when we say that our products are “teacher-tested”!) That being said, we would love to shine the light on these amazing hand2mind employees and ask them what their favorite hand2mind product is and why!?
Drum roll please...
When I pursued a career as an art teacher I combined my passion for education and love of art. I had the unique experience of teaching grades 1st through 12th at two schools. I am currently married to a high school teacher and my brothers and their wives are also all teachers. My favorite hand2mind product is Squishy Water Beads Science Lab. With both a 5 and 7 year-old, they enjoy the storybook, and it is so much fun to watch them create their own water bead experiments. (In true transparency, they LOVE just about EVERYTHING I bring home.)
I taught elementary Math and Science for several years before becoming an Elementary Instructional Coach. The best part about teaching is sharing a passion for learning with students. My favorite teaching memories are all the “ah-ha moments” students experienced and the pride they felt having accomplished something new. My favorite manipulative to use is Snap Cubes®. They are so versatile and are great for finding combinations of 10 or discovering the formula for the volume of a rectangular prism. Snap Cubes allow students to discover patterns and relationships in math in their own ways.
Hello! My name is Jessica, but my students call me Ms. Jessica. I was an early education teacher for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and K-prep students. I’m a huge advocate for Social Emotional Learning, so my favorite hand2mind product would definitely have to be our Sensory Fidget Tubes!
My name is Rhonda Mandeville, and I have been with hand2mind for more than 15 years. Before that I was a classroom teacher. I taught 1st grade for several years, but I have also taught 4th grade and high school English. I still work with kids through the children’s ministries of my church. It is hard to pick one favorite product. I love the Differentiated Math and Differentiated Literacy Centers. They would be easy to use regardless of your school’s core curriculum and they make it easy to differentiate for individual students.
Hi! My name is Michelle Robins, and I am an Educational Sales Consultant with hand2mind. Before joining this amazing company, I was a first-grade teacher with Chicago Public Schools for 11 years. While teaching, it was incredible to see the “light bulb” go off when using hands-on manipulatives. My favorite hand2mind resource is our Daily Problem Solving because I wish I had this while I was teaching. This would have really assisted my students with providing daily math practice in reasoning through and solving many varieties of word problems.
My name is Kristin Gauldin, I live in the Chicago metro area and have two girls ages 11 and 5. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher from the time I was very little. I would spend hours playing school in my basement and even had a classroom with real desks and materials. I even wanted to be a principal someday. I am certified to teach grades K–6 with a B.A. in Elementary Education as well as an M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership. I taught 2nd grade for a couple of years and also taught 6th grade math before I left the classroom to work with a textbook company to deliver Professional Development to teachers. I was in this role during the rollout of Common Core and led Chicago Public Schools and New York City Schools through their adoption and implementation of Common Core Math. I have a passion for mathematics so my favorite product from hand2mind is definitely Daily Math Fluency. The reality is that fluency instruction is difficult for teachers as many programs don’t include this component. Students, as a whole, also lack foundational number sense and fluency skills and Daily Math Fluency is the perfect solution to address this gap. It’s effective, engaging, and easy to use.
Hi, I am Brittany Goerig the Editorial Lead at hand2mind. I was a former classroom teacher for 17 years. I taught grades 1–4, and my last year in the classroom I was a 7th grade math teacher. I have ton of favorite products from hand2mind, but I might be a little biased about my favorite. It is Daily Math Fluency. I love Daily Math Fluency because it uses Number Strings and Math Talks to help students construct strategies that build mathematical fluency in students. There is nothing better than hearing students be young mathematicians as they are developing their numeracy skills.