March , 2019

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Hands-on activities highlight innovative teaching in math classes on display in the Governor’s Tent at the Illinois State Fair


SPRINGFIELD, IL — Kim Thomas, the 2016 Illinois Teacher of the Year, and two of her former students from Woodruff Career and Technical Center in Peoria will be at the Illinois State Fair to demonstrate several unique learning techniques that Thomas has created to excite her math students. Thomas and her students will be making presentations in the Governor’s Tent on the fairgrounds at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12; Saturday, Aug. 13; and Sunday, Aug. 14.

“Teachers have the most important job in our society after being a parent, and it is an honor to recognize Kim Thomas as the Illinois Teacher of the Year,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “The theme in the Governor’s Tent at the State Fair this year is ‘Educating Our Future.’ Ms. Thomas’ innovative ideas are inspiring a new generation of scholars that learning can be fun and exciting. I want to thank Ms. Thomas and all of our teachers for the extraordinary work they do day in and day out for our children in Illinois.”

Thomas’ enthusiasm for teaching is contagious. She sprinkles math concepts through everything she does in the classroom, using terms like “mathilicious,” “mathtastic,” and “dynomath” to capture students’ attention and excite them about learning math. Kim creates games like Math Muscles, YahMATHzee, and March Mathness to keep her students engaged. Her students will join her in demonstrating a few of her other games several times a day while at the fair. 

Students in Kim’s class know they have an advocate and an ally who makes learning fun.

“Kim became a teacher so she could provide her students wonderful experiences in the classroom. She forms relationships with her students so they know she cares about them and wants them to succeed,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “Kim’s energy, compassion, and passion for teaching are evident in everything she does. Her games and projects help her make a personal connection with her students and help her students make a connection with learning.”

The Governor’s Tent is at the corner of Main Street and Bryan Ramey Avenue, near the main entrance of the fairgrounds. 

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