Posted by: Nick Voss | October 14, 2013

Creating a “Math”terpiece in the Northwoods

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CONSERVE CAMPUS– As in any math class, at least some students walk in the door of the Conserve School math classroom with mixed feelings about the subject matter they are about to grapple with. The strange phenomenon of “math just isn’t my thing” may infiltrate much of American society, but here at Conserve School our nurturing, individualized approach to the subject helps many students develop a more positive attitude about mathematics. No matter where students may be in terms of math achievement, at Conserve School they work through individualized instruction tailored just for them and delivered via a computer program. They also receive support from our math teacher, Caitlin Lemley, both during class and after school. Math may not include the outdoor excursions that distinguish most other Conserve classes, but, as a critical academic skill, it is a keystone in the architecture of Conserve School’s overall academic program.

Using the the ALEKS program,  (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces), students log in at the start of each class and pick up right where they left off during their last practice session. Caitlin tracks each student’s progress and balances the computer program with individual and small-group instruction as well as textbook assignments.

Stress? Confusion? Yes, they honestly happen as they would in any challenging class with academic content that’s tough to master. However, through tailored instruction, repetition, help during class, and assistance after school and in the evening, students eventually work their way through these inevitable difficult moments. The challenges of higher mathematics can help students develop persistence and self-discipline. Our combination of a computer-adaptive program that holds students to high standards (and repeats instruction until students demonstrate mastery) and compassionate, personalized instruction encourages the development of these key personality traits by helping students see that hard work eventually pays off.

Attached below you can find more information about ALEKS: a PowerPoint and an accompanying document that summarizes research related to ALEKS. This information was presented to parents at our recent Family Weekend.

ALEKS Math at Conserve School

ALEKS Research for Parents

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