Stillwater News Press

January 17, 2013

Sangre Ridge fifth-grade class wins regional math contest

By Chase Rheam
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — A Stillwater Public Schools fifth-grade class is preparing to meet Gov. Mary Fallin following its achievement in a statewide math contest.

Sangre Ridge Elementary teacher Sarah Sinclair’s fifth-grade math class won its region in Think Through Math’s contest.

“It was a regional math cup,” she said. “It’s an interactive website and there’s four regions in Oklahoma and it’s sponsored by the state.”

According to a press release, Think Through Math has a “vision of effective education (through) a powerful blend of web-based, adaptive instruction and live, state-certified teachers.”

The program teamed up with the Oklahoma State Department of Education to hold the contest throughout November. The release said 367 schools and more than 1,211 classrooms took part.

Sinclair said the school was recently compartmentalized, meaning this was her first year to teach math exclusively. She said the website is a great motivational tool.

“I assign it as a homework assignment,” she said. “If they get something wrong, it automatically gives them a version of that. They can go through a tutorial.”

Sinclair said the website also provides a chat function with other certified teachers so the student may ask questions.

“I have a competitve group and I’m competitve, so incentives that way kind of got them going,” she said.

Questions are phrased in a similar way as they would appear on state testing and students can work through the problems as part of the school curriculum and at home with individual statistics and feedback given. Sinclair said her class was excited to have the most points per student in their region.

“They were pumped,” she said. “And now that we’ve won this award, the governor called and we’re going to the Capitol.”

The class is scheduled to meet Fallin in February. A date has not been confirmed yet.

Beyond the class recognition, a few of Sinclair’s students also found success.

“I had three individual winners,” she said. “I had two that got a Think Through Math award and I had one that got a state award.”

Sinclair said every child will find success in this program at their own pace.

“It puts it at their individual level,” she said. “But, it also gives them a program that is beneficial to what we are doing in class because it’s all based on the math skills I’m required to teach in class.”

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