MathAmigo™ Use in Fort Lewis School Equals Success
Evergreen Elementary School students enjoy learning math anytime, anywhere with MathAmigo
Kenton Morrison, a fifth-grade teacher at Evergreen Elementary School, initially wanted to use MathAmigo to help the students in his class that were behind catch-up with the rest of the fifth-grade class on basic computation skills. Because the school is located on the Fort Lewis Army base, there is a constant turn over of students throughout the school year. Some students arrive at Fort Lewis without the very basic math skills necessary to succeed in their assigned grade level. “MathAmigo gives us the ability to select from its thousands of activities and choose the difficulty level and skill that will enhance math learning and meet the students' individual needs,” Morrison states. He is able to select skills that the students may not have learned at the second, third or fourth grade level.
Today, Morrison uses the program with all of his students. “I am able to tailor the activities to meet the needs of the more advanced students as well, allowing them to work ahead and be challenged at the sixth, seventh or eighth grade level.”
MathAmigo was selected by the Washington State Enhancing Education Through Technology Competitive Grant project, “No Limit” (also known as New Outcomes in Mathematics Infused with Technology). Morrison was on the task force charged with the selection process. He viewed MathAmigo as the perfect supplemental math program to populate handhelds and saw its potential to help all students with diverse learning styles and abilities.
According to James Smith, program supervisor of consolidated federal programs for the Washington State Department of Education, students and teachers alike find the program easy to use and entertaining. Because the program works with handhelds, it goes everywhere with the students. This is a key benefit to Morrison who says, “When my students need to practice, they can practice!” The students pull out MathAmigo and practice while they are waiting to perform at a school concert, even while waiting for the bus to arrive. To the students, MathAmigo is fun yet enables them to improve their math skills.
In the future, Morrison plans to introduce MathAmigo to all fourth and fifth-grade students at the school. Using the program, students can practice skills that will better help them to prepare for the Washington State Assessment of Math.
“MathAmigo has also proven very successful with ELL Latino students in the Yakima Valley and South Eastern Washington Patterson School Disrtrict,” Smith explains. “This is in addition to Seattle successes from the Puget Sound Educational Service District.”
Moreover, Smith says that representatives of Valiant USA have worked closely with Washington teachers to ensure successful implementation of the program.
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