District Administration March 2018 - 31

SPONSORED CASE STUDY

Rural elementary school sees steady
rise in test scores after implementing
Everyday MathematicsĀ®
Variety of algorithms, repeat exposures help
boost confidence and competence in K6 students

T

he small rural district of United Local Schools in northeast Ohio has seen its math scores increase in the eight
years it has used Everyday MathematicsĀ® in its elementary school classrooms.
In 2015-16, the first school year in which all sixth-grade
students had used Everyday Mathematics since kindergarten, those students scored 26.8 percentage points higher
than the state average in state math tests. Yet the numbers
don't tell the whole story.
"Kids love math," Elementary School principal Christina
Hughes says. "Sometimes they even cheer when it's time
for math."
United Local has one building for 1,200 students in
K12. Still, there was no unified elementary math program
when Hughes arrived 10 years ago. "There was no common
language," Hughes recalls. "That's confusing for kids if you
don't all use the same words or methods."
Hughes wanted that common language, along with
better test scores and quality instruction across all grades.
Familiar with Everyday Mathematics from a prior position,
Hughes oversaw a pilot program two years later, with one
teacher per grade using it. The following year the entire elementary school was using the program, which teaches a
variety of ways to solve math problems while reinforcing
concepts through hands-on, real-world applications and
ongoing review.

Uncommon approach
The district currently uses Everyday Mathematics 4, which
focuses on state standards and offers a digital grade book,
teacher-created assessments and detailed reporting that
identifies, for example, which students are struggling with
which standards, then offers interventions.
"I love the layout, the spiraling, of the program, with
the constant review the students get," says Beth McGaffick,
math coach for United Local's Elementary School. "I love
the online features that allow students to look at things at
home with their parents, and parents can see what their
kids are doing. The program has a neat presentation tool
that integrates with iPads, and it also allows teachers to differentiate instruction for the next day. The differentiation,
enrichment and scaffolding are all built in."

"I love the layout, the spiraling,
of the program, with the constant
review the students get."
Improving scores
According to the 2015-16 Ohio School Report Card for
United Local, 83.5 percent of sixth-graders passed the state
math test, compared with the state average of 56.7 percent.
That same year, 73.7 percent of fifth-graders passed, compared with the state average of 62.4 percent; 91.3 percent of
fourth-graders passed, compared with the state average of
69.2 percent; and 87.5 percent of third-graders passed, compared with the state average of 65.8 percent.
"Our kids are not afraid to tackle a math
problem," McGaffick says. "They will try anything because they have a lot of strategies
to use. And those are the daily payoffs-not
only scores on state report cards but what
we see every day that makes us proud."

For more information, visit everydaymath.com
View, comment, share this story online at DAmag.me/rise


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration March 2018

District Administration March 2018 - Cover1
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