MOVE IT (Math Opportunities, Valuable Experiences, Innovative Teaching) Math is a professional development program for teachers of students in kindergarten through grade six.... The program results in rapid student understanding of equality and base and place value; early ability to solve and graph algebraic equations; natural facility with fractions; mastery of whole number addition and subtraction by grade one; and command of whole number multiplication and division by grade two.
In addition, MOVE IT Math centers on children’s strengths and focuses on the kinds of skills and thought processes they must acquire to succeed in mathematics. These include having a literal feel for equality; being skilled at counting forward and backward and skip counting; understanding how a numeration system works; and knowing the function of fractions.
The brainchild of Dr. Paul Shoecraft from the University of Houston–Victoria, the program was introduced to CISD [Comal Independent School District] teachers in an intensive training program during the summer. Shoecraft was back in the district in November to conduct a follow-up MOVE IT Math workshop for the elementary school educators.
In a recent issue of American Educator, Shoecraft’s MOVE IT Math program is described in the article, “Anyone Can Learn Math, New Programs Show How.” The article says, “Shoecraft’s program works—and it works for kids from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds…. In Dr. Shoecraft’s schools, the manipulatives make possible a new, more advanced curriculum.”
“As in other school districts that have implemented MOVE IT Math, Comal ISD elementary students as young as first graders will become proficient in skills such as adding and subtracting 10-digit numbers and will work with xxx
fractions. More importantly, with the MOVE IT Math pro-gram, when students perform addition, subtraction, multipli-cation, and division, they are understanding what they are doing,” said Carol Hall, assis-tant superintendent for curricu-lum at Comal ISD. “Also, algebra and geometry are an integral part of the elementary curriculum. Students determine the areas of irregularly shaped geometric figures using geo-boards and elastic bands.”
Algebra is introduced first through the balance beam as a means of establishing the equality of different equations....
Through acceleration of the elementary math curriculum by eliminating unnecessary repetition and by teaching the students for true understanding of mathematics concepts, Shoecraft’s program allows the majority of students to master the mathematics skills necessary for completion of Algebra 1 by grade 8,” Hall said. “According to Shoecraft, who has studied the mathematics curriculum of other countries, this must become the standard expectation if we are to truly prepare our students for future success in mathematics and for the students to be truly competitive in future international job markets.”
Comal ISD plans to continue the MOVE IT Math training in the summer of 1991 when advanced training will be conducted for those teachers trained last August, and more teachers will receive the initial training. Also, Shoecraft will be working with the teachers to realign the mathematics curriculum to assure that all students meet success and acquire skills that have resulted in rapid student mathematics achievement.
Move Over for New MOVE IT Math Program
Kaleidoscope, Herald–Zeitung, New Braunfels, Texas, Dec. 2, 1990
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