MOVE IT MATH
MATHEMATICS EDUCATION INITIATIVE
University of Houston-Victoria
K-6 Hands-on, Discovery Mathematics for ALL Children
TOPIC: Elementary Math
USER(S): K-6 Educators, Curriculum Specialists, School Administrators, College Faculty, Education Consultants, Parents
TARGET POPULATION: All Students
EMPHASIS ON: Understanding
• Supplemental Learning/Teaching Materials
• Teaching Lessons/Units
• Curriculum Guides
• Technology-Based Materials
• Hands-On Learning
• Student-Centered Learning
• Cooperative/Group Learning
• Technology-Based Strategies
MOVE IT Math is a K-6 University-supported professional development program. It advocates mathematics instruction based on the use of manipulatives. It consists of three 30-hour [24-hour] inservices: All Kids Can Learn Arithmetic, Enrichment & Acceleration, and Advanced Topics.
Innovative features: MOVE IT Math includes the following:
1. Immersion in manipulatives until the mathematics being modeled is internalized;
2. introduction to algebra as early as kindergarten;
3. use of children’s literature and science to give meaning and purpose to mathematics;
4. attention to mathematics as a language for explaining certain events;
5. emphasis on understanding rather than memorization;
6. students discovery of the “rules” of mathematics through pattern examination;
7. flexibility in its exposition and acceptance of alternate ways to solve problems; and
8. teaching “essential elements,” not covering textbook pages.
Goals: MOVE IT Math seeks a balance between skills, concepts, and problem solving in order to: 1. Elevate scores on standardized exams; 2. Meet the challenge of changing demographics; 3. Improve student attitudes toward mathematics and teacher attitudes toward teaching mathematics; 4. Mainstream “at risk” students for mathematics; 5. Aid “at-risk” students in meeting grade-level expectations; and 6. Prepare students to participate in a mathematically literate global economy. An objective of the program is that all children will be ready for a quality [college-preparatory] algebra class in the [7th or] 8th grade.
Effectiveness: Data collected in 1989 indicated that approximately 80% of the children classified as at-risk (i.e., one year below grade level in reading and/or mathematics) were no longer classified as such after being in the program for approximately six months. All children in an elementary school tested out of the “Chapter” program for mathematics in 1992-93 after implementing the program. Also, teachers report increased understanding, enthusiasm, and interest in teaching mathematics. In some schools, student attendance and discipline problems have shown marked improvement.
(Year initiated: 1987)