Friday, April 24, 2015

Math we see.

Testing Newton's second law of motion.
This year at Clear Spring School we adopted a new math program intended for home school students. It takes the students hands-on through a series of workbooks and manipulative objects, starting from the very basics through Algebra, at their own pace.

The program is called Math-u-see. The program we've used to implement it at all grades is unique. Each classroom teacher, regardless of subject has taken on supervision of a level. With math-u-see, you don't have to be a college math major to teach the more basic levels. So we have math at exactly the same time for all students, and they can proceed from one level to another by simply moving from one group to another. In other words, students can work at their own level and at their own pace and become fully fluent in one area before moving on to the next. No student is ever moved beyond their mastery and no student is bored.

The result has been that the students have learned to love math, and have been asking that they be allowed to continue Math-u-see during the summer months. The levels are not strongly identified with grade level, so there is no stigma (nor is there glory) attached to the student's particular math level.

For some schools, and for many students, this approach to math could be revolutionary.  I believe I am already seeing results in very simple things... like the ease with which my students in first grade can measure and find the half inch marking on a tape measure.

One clear point is that math is basic to so many other things. I also witnessed a clear result of our student's new math proficiency and confidence as our upper elementary science students tested Newton's second law of motion as shown in the photo above.

Make, fix and create...

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