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Harding uses personal touch to aquaint parents with math lesson being taught to their children

September 28, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

Though well out of elementary school, El Centro resident Laura Rogers sat at a Harding Elementary School table Thursday evening and prepared to do some mathematics with second-grade teacher Patti James.

It's not that Rogers needed to brush up on her addition skills. She was one of many parents who came to see for themselves how their children are learning math in school.

Thursday's event was intended to acquaint the parents of Harding kindergarten through fourth-grade students with the new Valle Imperial Mathematics Teacher Enhancement Project and related math programs being implemented here and at other school sites in Imperial Valley.

Instead of relying on their children to tell them what's going on at school, parents saw for themselves the lessons being taught to their kids.


"Other than parent-teacher conferences, it's hard to tell what they're (our kids) doing in class," Rogers said.

Royce Page, VIM coordinator, explained that the math curriculum uses many games to reinforce mathematic lessons. Not only are they used in the classroom, parents can use them at home, too.

One such game demonstrated Thursday required one person to throw out a mathematic equation such as 13 + 4. As another person punches the numbers in a calculator to reach the answer mechanically, the student does the problem in his or her head. Whoever gets the answer first wins.

This game, explained teachers, not only gets kids to practice doing mathematics, it proves to them their brains are faster than calculators.

James, the teacher of Rogers' son, Nathan, makes a point of explaining to parents and students alike the mathematic concept behind the activities "so they understand it's not just a game," James said.

"The students are really enjoying it," James said. "Hopefully it will foster a love of math."

The parents also had a good time as they learned about the program Thursday. Most were laughing and talking with each other and teachers while playing the games.

"The parents are very interested and supportive," James said.

Staff Writer Kelly Grant can be reached at 337-3441.

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