ShareThis Page

Clairton Elementary math program develops skills

| Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, 8:22 a.m.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Clairton fifth-graders Tehiran McDougald and Kamiya Walters serve slices of homemade cookie cake during a math lesson on scaling recipe measurements.

Clairton Elementary students are immersed in a new mathematics curriculum that challenges their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Kindergarten through fifth-grade classrooms are following Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's “Go Math!” program.

Aligned with Common Core standards for mathematics, “Go Math!” is intended to meet the objectives outlined by state and federal departments of education.

“We are working every day to teach students how math impacts their daily lives,” fifth-grade teacher Wendy Blotzer said. “This isn't just problem solving on a piece of paper. We are dealing with manipulatives in real-life situations.”

Blotzer's class recently hosted chef Anthony Ellis, who used recipe-writing techniques to illustrate measurement and scaling. Students were asked to increase and decrease recipes to make treats for their classmates.

In a lesson on multiplying fractions by whole numbers, Blotzer explained, students are engaged in a process rather than memorization.

A math teacher for 20 years, Blotzer has noticed changes in educational trends.

“We are going from the original reading, writing and arithmetic to analyzation,” she said.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or jvertullo@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.