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Thursday March 3, 2016 at 9:27am Age: 3 yrs
Category: Otisville Elementary


Otisville Elementary School is highlighting its special service areas to show how students, teachers and staff members use many strategies and work together to advance learning and achievement. 


Mrs. Stiles is the Academic Intervention Services (AIS) math teacher for grades 1-3. “Making math fun and engaging for our students, especially the younger ones, is about building a strong math foundation for future success,” Mrs. Stiles said. “I think the best way to do this is with vivid and unforgettable activities that reinforce math facts and facilitate assimilation and stretch students to think more deeply about math concepts.”


For example, competitive and team-building games help children associate math with positive feelings such as accomplishment and collaboration.  A student favorite is “Math Snap-it-up!” a fast-thinking card game that builds addition and subtraction skills.  Each player has three cards, and the caller, Mrs. Stiles, gives them a sum or difference to be made up by combinations of cards.  The student who is able to complete the equation, snaps his/her fingers and shouts, “I got it!” and calls out the number sentence. While there is an element of competition, the students also cheer each other on, and help each other find the right match. They are working on an equation without realizing it. 


“Eureka Math,” the adopted curriculum, also involves “Sprints” which consist of addition and subtraction drills. “On your mark, get set, think!" signals the 1-3 minutes students have to answer math facts. These related activities are designed to help students assimilate the concept of place value and number fluency.  Mrs. Stiles coordinates her efforts with other teachers to help AIS math students make grade-level progress. 


Mrs. Stiles said the curriculum gets more demanding and intense for 3rd graders with the integration of multiplication and division, which makes it important to find ways to make math a positive and memorable experience for all her students. “Sometimes that means an art project or a creative display to express and grasp math concepts in a visual way,” Mrs. Stiles said.