Whiz kids mathematics summer camp offers something for students and teachers
KINGSVILLE - June 22, 2006
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A group of fourth and fifth graders are spending two weeks in the Whiz Kids Mathematics Summer Camp at Texas A&M University-Kingsville learning new ways to solve problems – as are their teachers.
Held from June 12-23, the camp brings together 25 kids entering fourth and fifth grade in the fall and teaches them how to deepen their mathematical thinking, look for the answers to problems in a new way and exchange ideas with newly made friends.
The Whiz Kids Mathematics Summer Camp is co-sponsored by the Alliance for the Improvement of Mathematical Skills Pre K-16 (AIMS) and the Texas Collaborative for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (TxCETP), both funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Leading the children’s lessons are two in-service teachers currently working in the Kingsville Independent School District, along with four pre-service teachers from the College of Education teacher prep program at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
AIMS math specialist Abi Barton of Del Mar College is overseeing the camp. So far, the camp is going great, said Barton, with everyone working hard and the kids engaged in the unique learning activities the camp teachers have worked up for them.
Some of those activities include incorporating real-life objects and activities to express time, length and weight. They are also staging a Metric Olympics to teach the measurements and terms of the Metric System.
“We’ve all worked really hard to show that math can be fun,” said Barton. “The camp has been designed so that it doesn’t have a traditional school feel to it.”
Dr. Dwight Goode, professor of mathematics at A&M-Kingsville, serves as the AIMS project director. He notes the equal benefits to the teachers involved in the Whiz Kids math camp.
“ Whiz Kids Math Camp is designed for pre-service elementary teachers,” said Goode. “Future elementary teachers get a dose of ‘the real world of the elementary classroom.’ In observing and working with veteran elementary teachers, they gain valuable experience in the art of teaching young children.”
AIMS is a $4 million, five-year regional partnership between A&M-Kingsville, Del Mar College and 9 independent school districts that seeks to prepare all students for success in college-level math by the time they graduate high school through professional development, vertical alignment, challenging curriculum, use of information technology and research on strategies and interventions. TxCETP, based at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, is part of a national Collaborative for Excellence in Teacher Preparation effort. Texas CETP goals include course reform in science and mathematics, recruitment to science and mathematics teaching, support of preservice and novice teachers, and strengthening systemic connections. TxCETP partners include ten founding universities, state and federal agencies, businesses, industries and colleges, among other entities.
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