Plane geometry is also taught with a series of games using figures.
Dr. Shoecraft came to Port O’Connor last week to observe the implementation of the program. He was accompanied by several guest teachers, Dr. Toni Turk, assistant superintendent for curriculum in the Calhoun County Independent School District and School Board Member Naomi Albrecht.
Dr. Turk said he was very impressed with the program, especially the work with the older students. “It works,” Dr. Turk said.
The older student aspect of the program involves the use of what are called “peer tutors” from the fifth and sixth grades.
The peer tutors help the younger students with the math and, in return, the math skills of the older students are improved.
Working with the younger students improves the math of the peer tutors by, among other things, helping them to “brush up” on skills learned in earlier grades and possibly forgotten.
Dr. Turk said the Port O’Connor School is the only school in the county using the program in a total immersion concept, but parts of the program are being used in elementary schools across the district, and the results are being shared with other schools.
The teachers and students visiting the Port O’Connor School with Dr. Shoecraft are all enrolled in education programs at UHV.
Since this is the first year the program has been implemented in a total immersion environment in an elementary school, the end results are still unknown. But, the early returns indicate Kindermath is a program that enables younger students to master math concepts and also increases their desire and eagerness to learn.
PORT O’CONNOR — Kindergarten pupils doing algebra and fractions, then teaching older students what they have learned?
The Kindermath Program being used at the Port O’Connor School by Judy Anderson is accomplishing just that.
Using a program [Multi-Modality Math aka MOVE IT Math™] developed by Dr. Paul J. Shoecraft of the University of Houston–Victoria, kindergarten and first grade students at Port O’Connor are learning — enthusiastically — fractions, algebra, basic geometry and place values.
Anderson was introduced to the program last summer while taking post-graduate courses at UHV from Dr. Shoecraft, and she decided to implement the program in her kindergarten class.
The program is currently being used by both Anderson and First Grade Teacher Linda Fielder, and curricula are being developed for use in the second and third grades.
Dr. Shoecraft’s program uses the natural curiosity of the students to introduce them to math concepts and then uses specially developed games to teach the basics.
The kindergarten and first grade pupils are teamed for the games as “math buddies.”
“The games enable teachers to enrich the basic curriculum,” Anderson said.
“The kids gained confidence and increased knowledge. They were challenged counting money and developing numbers,” she said.
Anderson said the program uses tools such as balance beams to teach algebra and cakes [pie-sized circles cut into halves, thirds, fourths, ..., sixteenths] to teach fractions.
Place values are taught using games called Bank It and Clear It that employ … [Fair Lands and Ten Land] blocks with bases of [2, 3, and] 10. . . .
Kindermath Program Teaches Algebra, Geometry
Paul Fortnew, Managing Editor
The Wave, Port Lavaca, Texas, May 21, 1989
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