Ky. Center for Mathematics highlights efforts to engage students in math
When an elementary school in Letcher County was devastated by historic floodwaters last summer, the Kentucky Center for Mathematics (KCM) sprang into action.
The response of the center and Executive Director Kelly Stone DeLong helped ensure that students would receive high quality math instruction when they returned to Martha Jane Potter Elementary School, said Amanda Holbrook, a second-grade teacher.
“Kelly showed up to help,” Holbrook said. “She brough in truckloads of brand-new, hands-on math materials and calculators for students. She fully equipped our teachers with the materials they needed to teach mathematics. With the help of Kelly and the Kentucky Center for Mathematics, our students began the year with good, quality math instruction.”
The assistance to Martha Jane Potter Elementary is just one of the ways the center’s work was highlighted during the August 1 meeting of the General Assembly’s Education Committee.
The Kentucky Center for Mathematics, based at Northern Kentucky University, was created by state lawmakers in 2006 to provide professional development for teachers in reliable, research-based diagnostic assessment and intervention strategies, coaching and mentoring models, and other programs in mathematics.
DeLong told lawmakers the center’s education resources include statewide courses for teacher professional learning, instructional resources, customized district support, and a partnership in the Math Achievement Fund grant community.
She noted the math resources on the center’s website have been popular.
“We’ve had over 263,000 users of the KCM website” over three years, DeLong said. “The math of it is that somebody logs on every minute for the past three years. We have close to 1.5 million page views.”
The website’s “Family Math” and “Math Fact Fluency” resources are particularly popular, DeLong said. The center’s online resources can be viewed at www.kentuckymathematics.org
Dr. Jonathan Thomas, STEM Education Chair at the University of Kentucky, told lawmakers he has been a fan of KCM since its inception. The center helps connect educators from across Kentucky, he said.
“A good example of that is a collaboration with public postsecondary institutions from across the state focusing on elementary teachers’ understanding of teaching numeracy for young children,” Thomas said. “…That gives our prospective teachers the language, the tools, and the skills, to do amazing work with young children right from the jump and it also plugs them into the KCM community so when they get out there in the early years of teaching they feel supported and they feel networked.”
The complete PowerPoint presentation given by KCM to lawmakers is available online at https://bit.ly/3Qmf9MY
More info about KCM will be offered during the Kentucky Academy of Science’s Annual Meeting this fall at Northern Kentucky University, where KCM will give a presentation about efforts to boost math in Kentucky.