Math classes catch on quickly

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 1, 2004

There is a new supplemental addition to the various math programs that are currently being taught at the different campuses of the Demopolis City School System. Accelerated Math is the new little brother of the very successful Accelerated Reading program.

Demopolis Middle School sixth grade math teacher Mrs. Heidi Nettles said she has been using the program since January and the students’ grades have responded very well to the program. She also said that when she first heard about Accelerated Math, she was a little worried about having to rely on a computer so much.

“I’ve been using the system since Jan. and while some of the teachers don’t like it, I love it and can’t wait till next year to fully implement it,” Nettles said.

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She said that Accelerated Math was a very easy program to bring into the classroom environment. She also said that while she teaches the subjects the students have their own personalized worksheets that follow along with the new material.

“That’s one of the major benefits with this program is that all the worksheets, assignments, and tests are all totally personalized by the computer for each student,” Nettles said.

She said that another benefit of the program is during test time the students can be grouped together with no fear of cheating because every test is different. She also said that every test is different, but the objectives of the test are the same.

“Since I’ve started using this program, the students test scores have improved very much,” Nettles said.

She said the best benefit that comes with the program is now the students who are more advanced can receive the instruction they so long fore. She also said when the tests are scanned into the computer, the computer automatically grades the tests and makes a chart with check marks and other symbols displaying whether or not the student mastered that objective.

“The only problem with the system I can find so far is that it uses so much paper,” Nettles said.

She likes the fact that the tests are graded so quickly because it gives the students their results in a split second. She also said that she likes the fact that the program will include some older skills on the tests, so there is always a constant reinforcement of older skills.

“I really enjoy using Accelerated Math and as long as the students continue to do well, then the program is doing its job,” Nettles said.

Eleanor Bailey with the Demopolis City School System said Accelerated Math is a component of Renaissance solutions, which is a scientifically based research program, proven to give educators the powerful tools and practices they need to differentiate instruction and accelerate learning for every student. She also said it is a sophisticated computerized assessment system that enables teachers to provide exactly the instruction each child needs, when the child needs it.

“This program significantly reduces the amount of time teachers spend on paperwork,” Bailey said.

She said this program supports all textbooks, instructional programs, and curricula helping to ensure that students meet state and district standards.

“Better data means better decision making and better teaching and learning,” Bailey said.