Students Say Math Software Lets Them Set Learning Pace

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) - Teachers and students in a central Kentucky
school district are praising computer software that allows users to
learn math skills at their own pace.
Madison County's school district is one of six around the state
participating in a pilot program to test math software. The
districts were allowed to choose products from two software
developers.
"I've never had kids knock on the school before the doors open
and ask to come in to do math," said Madison Middle Principal Brad
Winkler. "That is happening. We've seen great things happen with
this program."
Madison Middle, Foley Middle and Clark-Moores Middle are using
software developed by Carnegie Learning Inc. of Pittsburgh.
Educators and legislators visited the schools last week to record
progress on the program.
The software simulates one-on-one interaction between student
and tutor and allows the student to learn, practice and master new
concepts and skills while receiving immediate feedback.
During the past legislative session, lawmakers increased funding
for a middle school technology-based intervention program. The goal
of the program is to determine if schools can use technology to
boost the performance of middle school students who are in jeopardy
of falling behind or failing once they reach high school.
"It allows students to be engaged at their level all the time.
Discipline has reduced dramatically in my classroom because they
are engaged," said Amie Gallion, a Foley Middle sixth-grade
teacher. "They are able to track their own progress."
Channing VanWinkle, a Foley Middle sixth-grader, said he has
seen his math scores rise by a letter-grade since using the
program.
"It's easier to understand," he said. "It's more fun than
book work."
Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, who went on the tour with
fellow legislators Harry Moberly, D-Richmond, and state Sen. Ed
Worley, D-Richmond, said he hoped the program would be funded
throughout the state.
Madison's school district plans to expand Carnegie Learning next
year to three classroom labs for each middle school in each of the
three grade levels.
Jonathan Thomas of the Kentucky Center for Mathematics at
Northern Kentucky University, said research also is being completed
to see how effective the program is.
"Were wrapping the process up now, and we'll have some time for
analysis during the summer," Thomas said. "Were also going to
incorporate that data with CATS in the fall as part of the study."
He said some conclusions on the study should be available by
fall.
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Information from: Richmond Register,
http://www.richmondregister.com

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-05-20-07 1356EDT


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