Clairton schools teach parents about new math program
Clairton City School District is putting parents in touch with their roles as at-home educators to help their children succeed with evolving classroom standards.
With the transition from Adequate Yearly Progress to Common Core standards in Pennsylvania's annual student assessment, Clairton elementary and middle school teachers replaced their mathematics curriculum with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's “Go Math!”
And while students have been performing well in the classroom, acting Superintendent Ginny Hunt said it's important for parents to understand their children are working through a rigorous program with high expectations.
“We want our parents to be aware that some of the skills that were taught in fifth grade are now being taught in third grade,” Hunt said. “Children will be expected to perform at a high level of mathematical thinking. We want parents to be involved, because with their support, our children will do better.”
The district hosted a math workshop for guardians of students in kindergarten through eighth grade after school on Tuesday. Parents and grandparents joined students in small groups by grade level, where teachers reviewed concepts and explained the diversity of classroom tasks.
“We give them so many different strategies now on how to solve a problem,” first-grade teacher Michelle Ward said. “There's not going to be one way to do it.”
The “Go Math!” curriculum is more rigorous, exploratory and investigative than any others used in Clairton classrooms, teachers said. They suggested parents encourage their children to “play with numbers” to help them develop an early sense of math concepts.
Second-grade teacher Andrea Baker said students already appreciate the variety of methods being taught.
“They have to prove their answers now,” she said. “We ask, ‘Can you explain that? How do you know? Can you draw it?' You'll see your children using a lot of higher thinking skills.”
Kweilyn Ross, who has children in third and eighth grades, said she was excited to see what her children are learning.
“Math is very important,” she said. “Both of my children are pretty good at math, and they don't need much help; but I want to be able to help when I can.”
Tammy Fine, who moved her second-grade twins to Clairton schools this year after home-schooling them through kindergarten and first grade, said she knows how important the parental role is in education.
“We need to know what our kids are learning, why they're learning it and how we can help,” she said. “I plan to be an active parent in this school.”
Hunt said parents will be invited into classrooms for future discussions on reading and writing.
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- E. Allegheny teachers silent about finding
- Elizabeth council opens barge for fishing
- McKeesport woman charged in weekend fire pleaded guilty to 2014 arson
- Elizabeth’s new K-9 team spends holiday bonding
- Munhall bridge to close for reconstruction
- LaRosa Boys & Girls Club of McKeesport remembers war dead
- U.S. Steel gives $60,000 to scholarship program to help Mon-Yough area schools
- Liberty condemns 3 properties
- Officials envision reinvigorated Allegheny County Airport
- Blessing ceremony prays for McKeesport, summertime safety
- Police confiscate heroin, phones, cash in North Versailles bust