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Mathematics Achievement Program

Eighth grade students received formal mathematics instruction using information from their animals' movement and Signals of Spring data. In working with the staff of the Gladys Hillman Jones Model Middle School in Newark, NJ, student strengths and weaknesses were determined at the onset of a recent 12-week program. In-class instruction was performed with students across the grade level once or twice each week.

Students learned math content and strategies that were combined in motivating sessions. Topics focused on are those tested in state assessments. Using animal data from Signals of Spring was key to help students to understand that mathematics is used in everyday life.

Project Director, Glen Schuster, explains, "When students can make connections between a math concept and information or questions about animals they care about, the abilities of the students to solve math problems increases." Animal data from the 2001 and 2002 spring season was put in the context of the state assessments, which was a logical thing to do. "When the students have the opportunity to learn more about their animal and do grade level math at the same time, it's great, especially when the students look forward to coming to class."

The new Signals of Spring program is expected to be available online for the next school year. Details about the program are available from:

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