For many kids math is like spinach--something to be avoided if possible. This may well be because they see learning math as a rather abstract process, cut off from the real world. For many teachers, with large classes and pressure to prepare for standardized tests, opportunities to individualize math instruction and to experiment with creative group activities that bring math alive remain out of reach. As a result of these and other factors, across the nation our children's math achievement levels remain pretty disappointing.
Got Math?, an out-of-school-time mentoring program for third through fifth graders, is one model that aims to turn that dynamic around. Staffed with math-savvy volunteer mentors from the nearby college, the program allows for small group and individual work in a structure that helps children learn by applying math to problem solving and by working closely together in small task-groups of three or four. The strong relationships that evolve over the course of a school year both with the mentors and with other participants encourage children to try hard and to perform well in math. In contrast to I one-on-one tutoring, our one-on-four groups develop more like teams, with the mentor serving as coach. This is a key aspect of our model.
Shea, Margo and Nye, Christopher, "GOT MATH? Implementation Guide" (2002). Curriculum. 38.
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