Elementary school takes different angle on teaching math
Parents had a chance to brush up on their math skills Friday at Kathryn Senor Elementary School.”This new math really messes me up,” said Marsha Lewis. Lewis attended KSE’s Math-You Count, Too seminar in hopes of learning how to better help her three children in the first, second and fourth grades. She said she especially struggles when helping her daughter, a fourth-grader.”She does nines (multiplication),” Lewis said, “and puts her fingers up and puts them down and it’s just not the way I learned.”Kathryn Senor is teaching math in a new way.”When I went to school,” principal William Zambelli told parents, “we started out learning how to add and then subtraction. You had to master one thing before you can go on. But we found out that’s not how the brain works.”He said the school is employing a spiral concept to teach math, which means students are exposed to geometry, algebra and even trigonometry in every grade. The program is working, Zambelli said, standing in front of a bar chart indicating that Kathryn Senior students have performed above the national average on MAPS standardized math tests.”One of the things this program has done,” Zambelli said, “is make math fun for the kids.”He showed another chart indicating that 71 percent of students said they really enjoy math and 19 percent said they sometimes enjoy math.Parents were encouraged to work on homework and play prescribed math games with their kids at home before they headed off to their kids’ classes for the daily lesson.
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There are a few extra stories being shared around the tables at the Village Smithy restaurant in Carbondale this week following the death of restaurant founder and longtime community leader Chris Chacos.