DIGITS - mymathuniverse.com

  • District selected for math research study

    James Madison and South Hopkins middle schools will take part in a two-year research study involving digits, an interactive, all-digital math curriculum.

    “It is brand new, and it is totally aligned to the new Common Core curriculum,” said Twila Moore, Hopkins County Schools’ math curriculum specialist. “Everything the teacher has can be on the computer or SMART Board.”

    Moore learned of the Pearson curriculum during the 2010 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics annual conference. Digits is “really good, but expensive,” she said. Later, a representative contacted her to see if the district would be interested in applying to take part in the study.

    “Twenty districts in Kentucky applied for the study,” Moore said.”We were the only ones chosen in Kentucky.”

    Hopkins County Schools is among just six districts in the U.S. selected to participate.

    The schools have free use of the curriculum, which is worth $200,000 to $300,000, Moore said. It will be available to them for four years after the end of the study, which is conducted by Gatti Evaluation Co.

    Each grade level will have a “comparison group” that will use the regular textbook and any needed supplements.

    The other group will use digits, as well as specific educational websites like BrainPOP and Study Island. Each of the classrooms will have an AirLiner wireless slate or SMART Board to use with the program. The curriculum features animation and up-to-date references like iPods and zip-lining.

    Consent forms go home this week for parents to sign, Moore said.

    “I hope the parents will see what a wonderful opportunity this is and decide to keep their child in the treatment group,” she said.

    Students using digits will need to log on to the program from a computer to complete homework. Those without home computers will be given time at school to complete their homework.

    The students will be surveyed on how they feel about math. All will take a pre-test and post-test to measure growth. The schools will start using the new curriculum within the next two weeks.

    Educators in nearby Christian County, which purchased the system, say they’ve noticed no gaps between the program and the new Common Core curriculum, Moore said. This eliminates the need to find supplemental materials teaching standards not covered in existing textbooks.

    “If I was still teaching, I’d love it,” she said. “Everything has changed so much with the new Common Core. With digits, we don’t have to look for materials to fill gaps. Also, intervention is built in. Everything is going to be individualized.”