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Establishing foundational math skills

Play is an important tool for elementary school classrooms, as it encourages students to think strategically and develop a deeper understanding while tapping into their natural inclinations to have fun. Specifically in math, integrating games can change a child’s academic trajectory. Math knowledge builds upon itself and grows deeper each year in the classroom, so a strong foundation rooted in both conceptual understanding and self-confidence is critical to future success. Teachers in Collierville recognized this and reached out to CEF for interactive materials to aid their students' burgeoning math skills. Here are just a few of the fun-filled, math-related grants we gifted to teachers in Collierville last year. 

RTI Puzzles Me

At Schilling Farms Elementary, Katy Johnson’s first-grade class received new materials for their Response to Intervention (RTI) periods and math blocks. RTI is a state and district requirement to help students' educational progress. Each day, students have an hour-long RTI block. During this time, students can play different math games and participate in activities – thanks to the new materials purchased from a CEF grant. With these games, students learn number combinations, values, patterns and other fundamental number concepts like counting sequence, one-to-one correspondence and computation strategies. Katy’s students are excited to participate in the math games during both the RTI period and math block.

Stacking Math Skills, One Block at a Time

Christin Matthews, an interventionist at Crosswind Elementary School, requested unique math toys called Math Stackers for the school. Math Stackers are wooden blocks that show each number's value in size. The physical blocks give students a concrete way to view, manipulate and utilize numbers. They can be used in kindergarten through fifth grade and show addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and even fractions. Introducing these concepts early with interactive manipulatives build students up for success – pun intended. As a bonus, the Math Stackers come with a discovery guide that shows teachers how to integrate different learning styles into the lessons so each student has a higher likelihood of engagement and retention. 

All Hands on Deck

Jennifer Conti at Schilling Farms Elementary took more of a technology-based route with her interactive math lesson plans. A multi-touch interactive table now sits in her classroom and students can work on a variety of math problems and projects together. The multi-touch table is different from a smartboard because multiple students can interact with it at the same time. The Smart Media board in Jennifer’s classroom has 40 touch points, so her students are free to complete math puzzles and games side by side and in groups. This allows for a free flow of solution ideas and further develops critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

Grants like these are made possible by our amazing donors and sponsors. Without the support of the community, classrooms in Collierville might not have access to top-notch education materials. Now that giving season is here, consider making a donation to support enhanced education in Collierville.


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