If motivating middle school students to do required schoolwork is tough, then getting them to do extra work is nearly impossible.
Four local students, however, dug in their heels last school year and not only completed all that was asked of them, but strove for more. Their efforts were rewarded when they returned to school.
Albert Cammon Middle School’s Asyan Ulhassan, Harry Hurst Middle School’s Giovanna Humbles, J. B. Martin Middle School’s La’Quincianna Simmons and Raymond K. Smith Middle School’s Mariah Mott all earned new electronic tablets as their reward for completing the most Image Math lessons at their respective school.
“The goal was to complete 30 lessons per year,” Dr. Alice Cryer-Sumler, curriculum specialist and student support for the district, said. “Two of the four students completed as many as 55 lessons.”
She said Imagine Math is a web-based program that is used to provide extra support for students who may need it. It currently used only in the district’s middle schools.
Imagine Math programs help students establish deep understanding and confidence in their ability to communicate in the language of mathematics and make connections, Sumler said, adding the lessons build the aptitude to solve problems and justify reasoning both inside the classroom and in day-to-day life.
John Edwards, an Imagine Math representative, met with principals and teachers at the St. Charles Parish Public School Board last month and distributed the four tablets to the principals and teachers of the students. Each school presented the tablets to the winners when the students returned to school.
“I am hoping that the students learn that you may not have everything you need when you come, but if you work with us and do these extra things we can fill those learning gaps,” Sumler said.
Each middle school in the district has a math interventionist, Sumler said, adding they work tirelessly to provide extra support for students who may need it.
Sandra Loya at Albert Cammon Middle School, Makesa Melancon-LeVeck at Harry Hurst Middle School, Kim Zeringue at Raymond K. Smith Middle School and Tami Thompson at J. B. Martin Middle School all earned high praise from Sumler for the work they do with students.
“They work really hard to build relationships with the students and to encourage them to do the extra work so they can fill in the gaps,” Sumler said. “They are really good motivators.”