New York Student Shares Love for First in Math

New York Student Shares Love for First in Math

Even before the New York State Education Department [NYSED] chose First In Math Online as a resource to support STEM readiness for K-5 students throughout the state, Colonel Jeromus Remsen School (PS144Q in Forest Hills; CSD 28) had already signed on to strengthen two areas of focus:  Math and Social Emotional Learning [SEL].

"In 2020, the arrival of the Pandemic highlighted the importance of SEL to support students," explains Nan Ronis of First In Math. Mathematics Enrichment Teacher Debra Kessler and Principal Jennifer Lucadamo created a plan that would support both Math Achievement and the school’s focus on SEL. Kessler initiated the implementation, energizing each class, starting with her own fourth-grade remote students.

As part of a fourth-grade remote team, Ethan Chan and his peers soon became First In Math champions simply by explaining and playing First In Math while visiting other classes. "That leadership role was very important for Ethan," says Kessler. Now a fifth grader, he shares his experience with the program and how it speaks to student SEL needs, as well as Math Achievement.

What I Love About First in Math

by Ethan Chan

If there’s one thing I love about First in Math, it would be how it connects the whole classroom together. First in Math is like the threads that hold a shirt together: binding and bringing the classroom together as one. Whenever my classmates play First In Math, we talk and share our ideas.

“What games do you play?”
“How did you get so many stickers?”
“Look, this person is in second place, that’s amazing!”

This is what I would often hear throughout my classroom. Just talking and asking questions about how someone got so many points would always put a smile on a person's face. And there would be a good chance you would get a smile on your face if you were asked these questions.

In addition, First in Math also applies educational learning and fun! I always learn something new about math. This is what I love about First in Math. Not only does it play the role of weaving the school together, I often find it an opportunity to make a new friend or two. So get out there and open up First in Math. Once you’re in your classroom, or at home with your friends or siblings, the magic of this program will finally begin.

Editor's Note: Ethan Chan's letter about why he loves First In Math is wonderful, and I thank his parents for allowing me to share it with you. Kudos to Principal Jennifer Lucadamo and First In Math School Anchor Debra Kessler for inspiring their students to such high levels of math achievement: currently the #1 First In Math School in the State and #8 in the U.S. —Robert Sun, Inventor of the 24® Game and creator of FIRST IN MATH®.


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