Q&A #2916

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Accelerated Math program

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From: David Millette

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2006021114:29:52
Subject: Excited about Accelerated Math!!!

Hi everyone.  First of all, let me give you a little background.  I
currently teach in an at risk inner city setting with mostly ESL
students.  My school got AR and AM last year and I have had great
success using AR in my classroom as a supplement.  My 4th grade
students come to me with reading ranges from K-5th grade+, but the
vast majority are at the 2nd and 3rd grade level.  I am given 4th
grade materials to use, but this year I only had one student at grade
level to start.  This was just unacceptable to me and I have found AR
to be a great supplement in my classroom since every student is now
reading a book at their own level for at least 30 minutes per day.  I
have seen good progress with the majority of my students using this
supplement.  I have found my K-1 readers to benefit the least, if at
all.  They are in need of a more phonics based approach which is a
whole other topic.

Now on to AM.  I liked AR so much that I decided to give AM a try
about a month ago.  Our school purchased the program for our 3rd, 4th
and 5th grade classrooms last year, but not one teacher was using it. 
So, with no training I decided to give it a try.  My kids come to me
with the same varying levels as in reading.  Some cannot add or
subtract.  I have decided to use this to supplement the 4th grade
material I am required to teach.  I have figured out the practice part
of the program, and I loaded all of the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade
objectives.  Within the first 15 3rd grade objectives, 67% of my
students are in need of one or more interventions.  A few of my
students are moving along with no problems and have made it to
objective 30.  67%!  3rd grade!  This was mind boggling to me.  I have
finally found an effective, meaningful tool to help me fill in the
gaps most all of my students have entering my classroom.  I have no
plans to use this as my sole math program, but I find it to be an
absolutely essential part of my overall math program after only three
weeks.  Now I had to figure out a way to provide the students with the
interventions they need in a classroom full of students.  I have
started to load videos onto a website in an effort to maximize my
available one on one time.  We go to the computer lab once per week
and I have the students come in at lunch, or at other available
classroom times to get the interventions they need via video.  Each
student is watching only the intervention videos they need. 
Afterwards, I assess them to determine if they have a grasp of the
objective.  Then, I check them off in an intervention log I created,
or I provide additional one on one instruction if needed.  I sometimes
have the student watch the video again.  I have not completed the test
portion of the program yet, but I very impressed with the practice
portion.  Check out the website.  I am not saying I am the best math
teacher and I am quite sure someone could teach the objectives better
than I can.  I just wanted to create short targeted videos to address
each objective, so that my students can have access to any individual
intervention they need, any time they need it.  I plan on doing this
with all 422 objectives for 3rd-5th grade.


I am interested in any ideas you may have for utilizing this program
in your classroom.  I am just experimenting with the videos.  You will
need broadband for best viewing.  The students seem to like them. 
Please don't use the videos for your own classroom.  I pay $40 per
month for the account.  Right now the company is offering unlimited
use, but they may start charging for usage in the future.  I don't
want to get stuck with a big bill.  :)  If you want, I can show you
how to get your own account.  I am not a technical person, so I chose
this company because it is very easy to do.  If someone can think of
an easy way for me to do this with less cost, then I would be all
ears.  I look forward to any feedback you may have.

Excited in Vegas,

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