Bethlehem Area School District to Conduct Three-Year Math Study

Bethlehem Area School District to Conduct
Three-Year Math Study

BETHLEHEM, PA—Suntex International, parent company of the First In Math® Online Program, is partnering with the Bethlehem Area School District (BASD) to conduct a three-year analysis of student gains in fact fluency. The study will focus on automaticity with math facts, as well as fluency in mental math for adding and subtracting double-digit numbers.

 Robert Sun - VIFs 

In August, First In Math creator, Robert Sun, and Implementation Specialist, Monica Patel, participated in District PD sessions to present an overview of the program to third-grade teachers. The team detailed a new, premium-content feature known as the VIFs system.

VIFs, short for Very Important Facts, is the quickest path to fact fluency, according to Sun. “Too many students find math difficult—and may even get left behind—simply because they do not achieve basic fact-fluency by third grade.” Combining short instructional videos with digital games, the VIFs system helps students become automatic with basic facts, better preparing them for higher-level math.   

The end goal of the District is for students to be able to add and subtract double-digit numbers using mental math by the end of third grade. In Year One, 70% of students completing third grade will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in adding and subtracting double-digit numbers. In Year Two the goal is 80%, and the Year Three benchmark is 90% of students leaving third grade. Students are considered proficient if they complete both the VIFs Add and Subtract modules. 

All BASD schools and grades will have access to the VIFs, but only third-grade data will be analyzed. The district will also assess PSSA scores over the same three-year period.

“Meetings will be scheduled with BASD teachers and principals to get feedback, and we will visit schools on a regular basis to both train and observe the students working in VIFs, says Patel.

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