Learning Made Fun

by Seanna Adcox

Kelly Edwards' fourth grade students spend 25 minutes each week teaching kindergarten students math skills. The four fourth grade classes, taught by Lisa Axson, Stephanie Brown, Pam Glover, and Kay McDonald, go either on Friday morning or Monday afternoon so that all four kindergarten classes, taught by Jonna Adcox and Judy Carey, receive equal help. The program, Math Buddies, was developed by Adcox and Amy Denty, the science lab teacher, after they attended the Math and Science Curriculum Leadership Institute (CLI) at USC Aiken last June. Each teacher at the CLI developed a project important to them and carried it out in their district. "I wanted students to get more one-on-one interaction. As a total, my students get eight hours of individual instruction in 25 minutes, which is more than one teacher could ever do," said Adcox. This program benefits both the first and fourth grade students. "Some of my children on the medium to low levels still feel like theyŐre helping, and it really boosts their self-esteem. They also relearn basic concepts by teaching it themselves," said Axson. She also said that her students now understand how frustrating it can be when a student doesnŐt pay attention. Fourth graders, Aaron Duncan and Stephanie Yon, want to be teachers because of the program. Carey said her students are picking up on skills more quickly than in the past. The fourth graders teach by playing different number games with the kindergartners, which makes learning fun. "My students look forward to the math buddies as much as they look forward to recess. The fourth grade students are close enough to their age to be more of a friend than a teacher, and they feel freedom to open up and take risks," said Adcox. Adcox chose the fourth grade because they were her first students when she began teaching at Kelly Edwards in 1990.

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URL: http://rpsec.usca.sc.edu/Newsletter/Mar95/fun.html (August 1997)