Students, teachers both learning at summer math program

CLEAR FORK VALLEY — There were some pretty stern looking faces on folks gathered at the Hines Street school building last week.

In one room, a group of 10 kindergarteners cheerfully sat at tables, working on math problems.

They were surrounded by a group of teachers, observing the session being taught by Kailea Sparks.

The adults provided the serious faces, because the goal of the summer math literacy camp was to not only teach kindergarten and grade school students more math skills. But it was to allow teachers to observe, analyze and share opinions about pluses and minuses to the teaching methods.

Students in other grades occupied other rooms, and in the gym, the game Flagway was being played. This used a grid system which required students to find their way to the end of the pattern. This involved thinking on their feet by students, who had to figure out the quickest way to negotiate the path.

Jessica Litzenberg, the math literacy coach, said the object of the camp was to help develop lessons together. The kindergarten students were being led through their paces by Sparks. Some of the time she used a projector screen to show study items to the kids.

Litzenberg said the activity on Friday was the fourth for the week.

The Flagway game is being used by various school district. It is hoped competitions can be put in place with other school districts which are using the system, Litzenberg said.

The project had several college students helping, and Dr. Terri Teal Bucci, of The Ohio State University, was on hand. She works in mathematics education at the Mansfield campus of Ohio State.

The teaching system was set up so that the kids could garner benefits of the teaching episode, while teachers were getting the benefit of working with and observing others.