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Peach Creek students ‘think’ their way to pizza party

peach-creek-classPeach Creek Elementary students in Anette Harber’s fifth-grade class have fully embraced the concept of the web-based program called Think Through Math.

The program allows elementary aged students to practice math problems and prepare for the state-required math tests.

“I really want to encourage other teachers to use this program to engage their students,” said Harber. “I think it really did help them quite a bit when it came down to the STAAR test this year and they don’t even really realize it.”

Harber noted that last year 61 percent of the students in Peach Creek Elementary passed the math portion of the test, while this year, that number has grown to 74 percent.

“I really think a lot of that is because of Think Through Math,” said Harber.

While some class time is designated for the students to work on the program, most is done from the comfort of their own homes. Students are allowed the chance to practice problems of varying levels of difficulty, and if needed, a live tutor is available for their use.

“I was amazed at how much they asked the live tutor and how many times they used that feature,” said Harber. “It was very promising and I feel like for many of the students, they are more likely to ask questions outside of the classroom where they feel more comfortable.”

Some of the students in the Harber’s class have even already gone on to work on math problems at a sixth-grade level, which could put them ahead of the game as they enter their junior high years.

The program also offers additional incentives to add to the excitement of the course work. Students are given the opportunity to donate their points to various charities that will then match the points with a monetary donation. Harber, a proud “military mom,” allowed that many of her students have donated to the Wounded Warriors Project.

For now though, the biggest reward was a pizza party held on Friday, May 9.

The students in the class put a combined total of 500,000 points together, which were earned by correctly answering the problems on the Think Through Math program. Papa John’s rewarded them with a gift card that paid for seven pizzas to feed the seemingly always hungry crowd of youngsters.

According to student Nathon Linan, “This might be the best day of my whole life.”

Article by STEPHANIE BUCKNER | The Observer

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