Finding the right mix with new math pilot programs |

Finding the right mix with new math pilot programs

Sandy HansonDistrict 16 public information director

Finding the right equation in the math curriculum at Bea Underwood Elementary adds up to two new math pilot programs in two second-grade and two fifth-grade classrooms. “Math is going to be the focus this year,” said Rhonda Dillon, coordinator of curriculum and instruction. “We feel that we are on the right track with reading but we haven’t made the same strides in math. We are looking at new math programs that will better serve our students.” Teachers involved with the pilot programs will document the pluses and minuses of each program. They will be looking at how the programs handle different areas and how each lesson builds from the previous lesson. “We want to make sure that our math programs are hitting on all the key areas for achieving success with the standards and expectations for state testing,” Dillon said. “One area that we have found other programs lacking in is how math is taught to our English Language Learners students.”With previous programs, instructors noted that support for teaching ELL students was virtually nonexistent. Fifth-grade teacher Addie Meeks sees the pilot programs as a means to help bridge the level of math at the middle and high school.”The Scott Foresman program differs from the previous math program in that the level of math being taught at the fifth-grade level starts off at a very high level.” Meeks also likes the fact that students are exposed to numerous word problems: “There are word problems where students have to write out their answer as well as the process it took for them to get there.”A key benefit to the pilot programs is the fact that they incorporate both reading and writing in the curriculum. By selecting a program that meets standards and expectations, the school district is creating a mathematical advantage for its students.Noteworthy newsThe Mt. Callahan Community Fund recently presented eight grants totaling $10,000 to deserving nonprofit organizations in the Parachute-Battlement Mesa area. In only its third year, MCCF has already presented $30,000 for worthy community causes.Van Merritt, band director for Garfield County School District 16, was thrilled to receive a grant to help the school district’s band program. The money will go toward repairing band instruments and to help start a music library. District 16 also received grants benefiting the Spanish-speaking community. Julie Lana accepted two grants. The first was for the “Language First” Learning Center Program. The program is for non-English-speaking and English-speaking students. The second grant was for the purchase of English-Spanish and Spanish-English dictionaries.December calendar14 – Board of education regular meeting, 6:30 p.m. Central Administration boardroom14 – GVHS boys (5:30 p.m.) and girls (4 p.m.) basketball (JV) at Fruita15 – GVHS wrestling hosts Meeker, 6 p.m.15 – Preschool/kindergarten music program, 6:30/7/7:30 (Grand Valley Early Childhood Learning Center)16 – SMS/GVHS winter program band/choir at GVHS cafetorium, 7 p.m.17, 18 – GVHS boys and girls basketball host GV Roundball Tournament18 – GVHS wrestling at Gunnison Invite, 9 a.m.18 – NO SCHOOL – Winter Break (Students return to class on Jan 4.)20-23 – Parachute/Battlement Mesa Winter Basketball Camp 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., GVHSSandy Hanson is the public information director for Garfield County School District No. 16. For a full schedule of district activities, go to

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