First In Math: Upper Merion Area Teachers Like it, Students Love It

First In Math: Upper Merion Area Teachers Like it,
Students Love It

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA—It is always a thrill to highlight positive inroads to math education made by schools and districts that implement First In Math, and Upper Merion Area School District is one such example.

Caley ES First Grade FIM Team of the Week
Meridith McKee’s 1st grade class at Caley Elementary School.

“Our students are loving First in Math,” says Sean W. Gardiner, Ed.D., Director of STEM Education Curriculum and Instruction for the Upper Merion Area School District. “During one of our recent 4th grade Variety Shows, a student listed First in Math as one of her hobbies. Pretty cool!”

Gardiner says enthusiasm for First In Math is high among teachers and parents, as well. One teacher described her feeling for the First In Math program very succinctly: “Overwhelmingly positive.” In fact, Gardiner relayed so many wonderful teacher comments that we decided to share them with you, as-is!

“I absolutely love First in Math.  My kids started the year (based on my SLO) averaging 0/20 known multiplication facts.  Based on their January SLO assessment they are now averaging 17/20.  I attribute this directly to First in Math. Overall I love the program, how the kids are progressing, and the direct correlation it has with mastering the basic facts.”

“First in Math has been great for my students. It provides review/practice of many different concepts. I like the Player of a Day, and so do my students—they ask me every morning who the Player of the Day is but they already know, because they are checking every morning before school!”

“The kids seem to really enjoy it. We have played it during our computer time and they all get excited about earning stickers. It's nice to see them enthusiastic while doing math!  In the past, there have always been some kids who complain about websites—but I haven't had one complaint yet.”

“The program is great fun for students and leaves a positive taste about ‘math’ in their mouths. Good for both reinforcement and extension.”

“The kids really love it. I love that they are practicing their facts for later problem solving.”

“My 5th graders are obsessed with First In Math, and they get excited about being one of the top classes.”

“I really like using First in Math in class.  Even when I don't assign it, students will choose to play. I like that they can play a game quickly, or spend more time on other games depending on how much time they have.”

“I began to show them how I can see what areas they have practiced and mastered—which was exciting. It is also a great tool to be able to show them how to challenge themselves. They do gravitate to where they feel confident, but they are starting to branch out.”

“Most of the students in my classroom seem to really love First in Math. It seems to be motivating to them and it seems like it is holding their interest.”

“I use First in Math mostly as a warm-up activity for the skill deficits that I see in the students.  They spend a lot of time in the integers and fractions sections now to bolster their basic skills.”


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