Roane County students get a jump start at summer math camps

Roane County students get a jump start at summer math camps

Posted:
The students go to math camp five days a week, four hours a day for two weeks, and they even call it fun. The students go to math camp five days a week, four hours a day for two weeks, and they even call it fun.

By ERICA ESTEP
6 News Education Reporter

ROCKWOOD (WATE) - School doesn't officially start for a couple more weeks, but more than 100 Roane County students are voluntarily spending part of their summer vacation in math camp.

We're talking about five days a week, four hours a day for two weeks, and they even call it fun.

Organizers of the Jump Start math camps for rising sixth and ninth graders say a hands on approach is helping them understand math concepts like algebra, like never before.

6 News found a group of rising freshman at Rockwood High School playing a game called Tick Tock, almost like the childhood Duck, Duck, Goose, at their algebra camp. Getting out of their seats, and solving algebra equations to stay in the game helps the information stick in their brains.

"It is fun. I mean, if you stayed in there for the total four hours that we're in here, and you just listened to all the different gags and stuff that we have while we're trying to figure something out and all that, then yeah it is a lot of fun," said 14-year-old Cameron Newberry.

The teens told us that they're becoming more confident in their math skills, and a lot of it has to do with a new teaching method. Roane County Schools Math Coach Leanne Malicoate explained, "I don't teach a procedure, and say now practice it. We give them hands on activities, and allow them to learn it through discovery."

They're also encouraged to work together for a solution. While in small groups working, Malicoate reminded them, "Remember you're going to share, compare, look at other people's ideas, help someone along."

Fourteen-year-old Tristen Wallace says it's working for her. "It helps me me to work with kids my age, and I can talk in their point of view."

A new term they're still getting used to is "brain dump." It's a way of brain storming to get the best answer, rather than sticking to a strict procedure.

"The students are not used to just putting everything on paper in math," Malicoate explained. "They just want to, often times, just put the answer, how do you get it and want to put the answer down. I ask them to just, just do a brain dump. Dump everything that you think of and that you know, and we'll try to organize that information towards solving the problem later."

"Even though you get up really early, I get up earlier than I do for regular school, but I think it's definitely worth it, because usually I lose some of the stuff I learn in eighth grade over the summer. But it's helping refresh it," Wallace said.

The students and teacher agree they're seeing positive results. The Roane County Jump Start Math Camps are free and voluntary for rising freshman at all five high schools, and rising sixth graders in three middle schools.

Last year, 90% of sixth graders, and 85% of ninth graders who attended were passing at the end of the first semester of school.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.